You’ve spent months and years working hard on your idea and finally it is out in the world. You’ve launched your app or product. You can now sit, relax, and wait for the money to come your way. We hate to disappoint you, but the hard work behind you was the easy part. Your countdown to greatness is yet to come. This is why.
There are so many things you need to do before you see your app or product on the market. The process requires time, money, and energy. On our website, you can find a comprehensive and free checklist of all the steps needed to get to launch. We have gone into detail on this topic in various shows and blogs. We are talking about a 4 years process if you work alone or 12-18 months if you partner with us. During this time, you should figure out how you are going to be different, offer solutions that people want, and validate your product or app. You go through phases of development, business development, and engineering with all their different tasks. You work hard, but that is only the beginning.
“Entrepreneurship is a continuing process that never ends.” – Fred Cary
What happens once you launch? Some of the biggest companies we know have struggled after launch had to reinvent themselves. There are many unexpected twists and turns that can occur down the road that you may not be prepared for. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to overcome them. Imagine you’ve started making sales. Whether you work out of your garage, signed a deal with Amazon, affiliate marketing companies, or you are selling from your website, you are now the owner of a business. Most probably, you are working alone which means you are working long hours.
The first thing you should be concerned with is the people who are making, distributing, storing, and delivering your product. This is why you have to make sure you’ve developed a relationship with your manufacturer.
Have a good partner and nourish this relationship. Don’t count on them without a backup plan because if something goes wrong you will have a bunch of orders you can’t fulfill that is not the best way to start selling.
The same goes for distribution. Figure out how you’re going to market and who is going to handle the distribution. Build a personal relationship with your distributor and don’t take them for granted.
When you are starting, there are inefficiencies in your processes that don’t matter much when you are making $10,000 – $20,000 worth of sales a month but can hurt your business when you get to $100,000 – $200,000 or more. Plus, you will be bringing additional resources as you grow. If you don’t keep an eye on the costs, you will make more sales and less money.
You should get someone in the finance department who can help you. Hire an accountant, a bookkeeper, or a CFO that works on an hourly basis who can take a look at your numbers and give advice. Don’t assume that the numbers have to be rigid. Think about how you can cut costs while maintaining the quality. If you are losing 10 cents on every sale, you are not going to make it up by selling 10 million of them. Be prepared to bring in additional capital when things aren’t going right or when things are going too right.
“Success can come and harm you if you are not ready for it.” – Fred Cary
In the beginning, you may go by with the help of a couple of friends with an entrepreneurial spirit, but soon you will need people to manage different areas of your business. You will need experts for distribution, customer relationships, marketing, and so on. The products with the biggest sales aren’t the ones with the best quality, but the ones with the best marketing. Don’t wait too long to bring those people in.
“Create your company’s culture and insist on it. Bring in people who have a similar mindset like you.” – Fred Cary
Too many people focus on tactics alone. However, tactics without a vision and strategy are almost pointless. If you only focus on what you are selling, it is going to be easy for a competitor to knock you off. You have to sell an experience. The only way to do it is with a clear vision of what you want to deliver a mission that tells you how you are going. Then you apply tactics and strategy accordingly.
When you launch, you start working alone, but soon you will have people you’ll depend on. Trust and empower them. Don’t micromanage everything your employees do. Owners try to do everything themselves and focus on every aspect of their business. Whereas leaders delegate, motivate, and trust that the people they work with are going to do their job.
Don’t forget, you are an entrepreneur now. Don’t stop innovating and always look for the next thing you can do.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.
Want to see the products we have launched? Check out IdeaPros Launchpad!