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5 Steps to (Finally) Launching Your Startup

Posted: February 26, 2018 at 7:29 am / by / comments (0)

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, your business is your baby. You’ve protected its information from preying competitors and nurtured its growth to the point of launch. The groundwork has been laid, and now it’s time to present your startup company to the world. Caution: moving too fast, too soon, or in the wrong direction can cause your startup to slip and your progress to be lost. If it’s (finally!) time to launch your vision, take just a few minutes to read through these five simple steps first. Although there’s no foolproof method, following these strategies can set you up for more success in a highly impacted market and you might find your patience heavily rewarded.

Find Your Focus

Business 101 states that before you can do anything else, your brand needs a crystal clear identity. Before launching your startup, make sure you can answer who you (i.e. your company) are, what you offer or solve, how you’re different, why it matters, and so on. Only a solid focus can support a strong, budding startup; every subsequent layer will be built upon your foundational structure. The people you hire and the marketing you employ should all revolve around your brand’s identity.

Put Your Peeps in Place

As a small startup, it’s probably unlikely you can afford the best in the biz. It’s therefore doubly important to hire trustworthy candidates, whether it’s for web development, software design, or any role in between. A smart protocol is to run a pre-employment background screening on all potential candidates. Understanding what shows up on a background check can help you decide whether screening is the right move for your company.

Should you purchase a certified screening solution, you’ll gain access to a variety of information, including:

  • Employment Verification
  • Education Verification
  • FICO Credit Report
  • Criminal History
  • Address
  • Social Security, and more

Whether or not you choose to request a drug test from your applicants is up to you, but have a list of hard disqualifiers ready in mind which could come back on your background check. For example, violent felonies should be an obvious out, but the importance of poor credit or prior bankruptcy can fluctuate depending on the industry of your startup venture.

Build, Baby Build

Don’t wait until after your launch date to start building your brand’s online presence. Hire a web developer to create a clean, user-friendly website or make one yourself using services such as Wix. Your website needs a sign-up form interested users can fill out to get early access to your product. Also, make sure your site includes your company’s blogged (which you’ll need to regularly update and maintain). A blog will allow you to build solid search engine optimization (SEO) for your keywords, so relevant content will be your prelaunch best friend. Don’t forget to build backlinks—or incoming hyperlinks from one website to yours—to increase your startup’s authority and SEO ranking. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by listing your company on various directories; start with the free-of-charge Google My Business to prioritize which listings to pursue.

Engage in Emails

It’s time to get the word buzzing via email and marketing campaigns. Find a reliable customer relationship management (CRM) system such as Zoho and download all of your contacts from Outlook or Chrome into the software. Include those from your sign-up leads within your database as well, and be sure to send a “thank you” follow up email. Send announcements and updates as your launch date grows nearer, but don’t annoy your recipients with daily junk mail. Remember to leverage LinkedIn and invite all of your friends on Facebook to “like” your company page.

Track and Trace

Before (and after!) the big day, it’s imperative to track all of your operations including expenses, engagement rates and email metrics. Use analytics software to track where your site’s traffic comes from and click-through conversions. Getting a clear, data-driven picture will allow you to better direct your marketing efforts in the most cost effective way.

Follow these five steps to give yourself a competitive edge in marketing before your big launch date. If you lay the ground work ahead of time, you’ll spend less time trying to catch up and more time sailing smoothly.

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