Launching Your Business
We live in a fast-paced society where ideas are born and can quickly be pushed to production within a matter of weeks. It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur because with all the technological advancements over time - it’s easier than ever to put yourself and your ideas out there.
As a designer(and a customer), however, you can tell the difference between a well thought-through idea and one that was rushed to market purely for the sake of “getting it out there”.
I’ve worked for several multi-million dollar businesses, where the lack of strategy around certain launches backfired. I care too much about your dreams to let you walk down this path. So I want to share 8 things you should think about, before launching that'll help you build a stronger brand and brand strategy.
1.) Your WHY matters (What made you want to do this?)
Stories are more powerful than the credit we give them. Customers don’t just buy products and services, they buy stories.
For some, this first step comes pretty easy. For others(myself included), your why doesn’t seem as clear, or maybe you just don’t know how to put it into words.
Take the time to sit down, dig deep, write every thought that comes to mind and piece together those string of words to form 1-2 sentences. If you’re still having difficulties thinking this through, ask yourself this - “What makes me get out of bed every morning to do THIS?” The first thing that comes to mind, is your why.
I promise you, your clients and customers will connect with you, your products, and your services on a deeper level if they knew the WHY behind it all.
2.) Dream wild (If nothing was holding you back, where do you see this dream taking you?)
We ought to give ourselves permission to dream more freely without constraints. So, whatever it is you’re trying to launch - dream wildly about where you want it to take you in life. No dream is too big. Put it all out on the table. These dreams will breathe life into your goals and vision for the future.
3.) Vision (How are you adding value to the lives of your clients and customers?)
This is where you take all those dreams and turn them into reality. What do you want to accomplish when everything’s said and done?
This vision will help direct your path.
This vision should be specific to keep you(and your team) focused.
This vision should communicate the values of your business.
This vision should be inspiring - because that is what engages people to invest in your brand and dream.
Here are some great vision statements from companies I know you’ll recognize:
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” – Patagonia
“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.” – Southwest Air
“Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.” – IKEA
4.) Know your industry (What makes you different?)
It’s always a good idea to know what is happening in your industry. One step further, it's also good to know what others in your industry are doing. Not to compete, but to know what skill sets you bring to the table that are unique.
Several years back when I was a freelance photographer, if anyone asked me to shoot a project that required a skill set I hadn’t invested in - I always knew which photographer to send them to. We didn’t see each other as competition, we saw each other as a network of people trying to help the customer have the best experience possible.
There are people out there doing the same thing that you’re doing - but no one does it quite like you. Instead of seeing everyone as competition, be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be mindful of what others are doing, it just means competition shouldn’t be your focus. Your focus should be on becoming the best version of you, every single day.
5.) Dream Client (Who are the people you want to sell your product or service to?)
Knowing who your dream client will help you tremendously when it comes to how you position your brand or your products and services. The truth is, not everyone is going to gravitate towards your products or services - although it’s OK to dream. Not everyone is going to have a need for your products or services.
So, focus your efforts on speaking to your dream clients with the colors you use, how you present yourself online(tip: always be genuine), the pictures you post…all of that matters and is a form of communication. Others will purchase your products and services, sure, but you will make the most impact on those who your language is directed towards.
Want to know how to pinpoint your dream client? I won’t leave you hanging. That blog is coming VERY soon! I promise.
6.) Establish your community (When you’re having a bad business day - who are the people that will help lift you up?)
Establishing your community is one of the most important things in business and yet often overlooked.
Dream chasing is glamorized by society, but the truth is, it can be very difficult at times. That’s why it's so important for you to have a group of people who support you. This is essential to your emotional health - and the health of your business.
7.) Ask for feedback (Does your product or service need refinement before introducing it into the market?)
Receiving feedback from people who are in the same industry as you or those you trust to be honest is extremely valuable to you and your business.
I’ve heard so many people ask, “Well, what if I ask someone for feedback and they don’t like it?” You can either receive feedback from people you’re comfortable with or from customers or clients who can leave unfiltered comments and reviews online.
Taking the time to refine your products and services will ensure that you launch the best version of your ideas.
8.) Don't let fear hold you back!
Your dreams are there for a reason. Your dreams were meant to add vibrancy to this world. You dreams were meant for you to follow, so don't allow fear to hold you back. Take that next step and do what you were meant to do.