In one of the Facebook groups I moderate for Virtual Service Providers (VSP), Virtual Assistants and online businesses I asked who hadn’t launched yet and what we could do to help. Then it hit me, I haven’t publicly launched either-yet I’ve been in business over ten years. Yikes.
So, I thought this would be a good time to explore launching and the emphasis we place on it. The overview is we ‘announce’ we’re doing something publicly. I’m noticing this public announcement induces a lot of fear because when it is done things just got real. It’s like “we’re doing this now and all eyes are on us to sink or swim!”
Let’s define launch as it relates to virtual service providers:
1) start or set in motion (an activity or enterprise).
2) to give (a person) a start
3) to put into operation or set in motion
Launching and public launching are not the same thing.
You can launch without a mass public announcement, but should you?
If you know anything about me you know I’m a firm believer that there is no one size fits all answer, it’s about what is a ‘right-fit’ for the person or business. Sometimes you get started with an inner circle launch and grow outward and at other times you start with a full circle launch. What’s right for you?
Launching your services doesn’t have to be the big scary thing we hear about that has you having cold sweats. Best practice is to discover what’s right for you and how you want to grow your business. The answer to that could be a mass announcement and for others it will be quietly sending out letters, emails, pitches and inboxes to a carefully selected group—all are still launches.
Shhh, don’t tell anyone but if you have or have had a client you’re launched.
Just so we’re clear a client is a person or organization using the services of a professional person or company.
I know this is going to shock some people and anger others but businesses launch every day without a social media or public blast because that’s not their immediate growth strategy.
As a photographer I spoke with a client who was renting a facility for a wedding, she found her location via word of mouth. She was in love with her location and asked the owner why she wasn’t advertising and aggressively marketing to get more business. The owner’s response shocked her—they weren’t looking for more business. They didn’t want to grow fast. Word of mouth marketing was their desired pace of growth for the moment.
You have to decide these things for yourself and not fall into the trap of doing what is a hard and fast model that everyone else is doing. What’s right for you?
If you launch publicly and get twenty clients ready to sign on are you equipped to handle them immediately?
Are you prepared to subcontract if needed?
Where are you in your building process and what are your goals? Do what’s right for you. Don’t get trapped in cookie-cutter models, they may not be what’s best for you to build a long term and sustainable business.
Want to know why I never did a mass public launch?
I didn’t need to do one for the level of growth I wanted. I was working an office job as a risk manager, I was busy being a parent, I was working in a non-profit and I had an inner circle of business people, non-profits and others that I could market to.
launch means to start.
Why is launching so scary?
Because we make it scary.
Sometimes you make a big blast about launching, sometimes you don’t.
Some have launched and don’t know it.
Either way take the scary out of launching by launching according to your goals not someone else’s goals.
If you have no plans in life to ever fail, you also have no plans in life to ever succeed.
Doesn’t mean we like failing just means we know it sometimes happen and we have an actionable plan to recover from it.
Don’t grow too fast; it has killed a lot of businesses.
And don’t grow too slow; it has killed a lot of dreams.
Be flexible and learn to speed up and slow down as needed.