Project Management Tips for New Business Launches
Every new business needs a plan of action, and often while many things are considered by new business owners, a few very important considerations seem to slip through the cracks. This is not to say that they are completely ignored, but rather that they are not given the priority that they deserve.
Tip # 1: Focus on Branding
Your brand is vital to the success of your business. Your brand speaks for you in a visual sense, and is often a combination of logo and ideals that sticks in the mind of your target audience. Branding should be one of the first things that is tackled when getting a new business off the ground, because this is the image and association people will have with your business and you want it to be a good one! Branding is especially important for online businesses because they might not have a physical location to use to spread awareness of their products and services. The goal is to have someone find your logo (online, in print, etc) and immediately be able to connect it with your business. Marketing will have something to do with this of course, but without a brand to focus on, marketing efforts are not going to take anyone very far.
Tip # 2: Seek Greater Overall Results
When first launching a new business, you may be tempted to micro-manage everything into the ground and chase after every little detail or imperfection in order to make sure nothing is out of place. The peril in this course of action is that it can cause you to lose sight of your greater goals and lose the momentum your new business has gained so far. Instead of focusing on the finer details, try to turn your attention instead to the “big picture” and pay closer attention to the overall performance of your business. If your website is a few pixels off, or a color is not rendering correctly in one kind of browser, ask yourself if these details are really affecting the overall user experience of your website. If they are, by all means get them fixed ASAP! If they are not really noticeable, focus on making your website perform well and deliver the best possible experience and satisfaction that way before turning to correcting those pesky pixels. It is more likely that a potential customer will leave your website (or your physical store) if things are just plain not working the way they should as opposed to if something is just a bit out of place.
Tip # 3: Set Realistic Milestones & Break Up Larger Goals
One of the best ways to make a larger goal more achievable is to break it down into smaller milestones. Not only does this reduce the overall stress of reaching for something so large, but it makes morale easier to boost as each step is reached. While the first step should always be to get things set up for the initial weeks following the launch, many businesses have trouble articulating their goals beyond this point, aside from making a profit and perhaps expanding into additional markets. By taking these goals (or whatever goals your business might have) and creating smaller milestones between then and now you will be able to measure your progress as your business grows.
Tip # 4: Planning For the Future
Making plans for the future might seem like getting ahead of yourself during a new business launch; many new business owners are neck-deep in the day to day operations of their business to even have time to worry about where they will be beyond the next 6 months, never-mind in 3 years. However, this is where problems can begin to develop is the issue of planning is not addressed early on in the game. One day you (as the business owner) are going to want to step back a little, and at that point you will need to have people you can trust around you to help you carry on with your business and its future.
The sad fact is that many new businesses will not last beyond the two or three year mark, closing their doors before they really even had a chance to get started. By keeping these four tips in mind, you can help to give your new business a fighting chance of success!
What do you think? If you have started a business in the past year, have you followed any of these tips?