Launching new products or services brings lots of excitement and energy into a business. Opportunity and potential will do that to anyone. But very often, businesses move too quickly in releasing and focusing on new initiatives. I’m guilty of it myself, and I recently met a couple of manufacturing companies in Manchester and the North West, who I thought would value this checklist, ahead of their plans for business growth in 2020.
My pre-flight checklist for new product launches are 3 fold;
- Steady the ship.
- Be honest about potential risk.
- Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
1. Steady the ship
In order to introduce a new product or service, you need cash. If your existing business isn’t really busy with the things you already sell, how will you fund the promotion and marketing of the new product?
If your business is struggling now, it’s only going to get worse when you try to pivot to the new gold mine you have in your sights. Why? Because there will be less resource focused on the existing business than there is right now. So if the staff aren’t as busy as they should be today, that’s only going to lead one way.
2. Be honest about potential risk
Understanding how difficult the journey ahead “really” will be, is VITAL!
The Ansoff Matrix shows how your risk increases as you move your offering away from existing markets and products. The bottom left box shows where you are now.
- Moving across right means developing new products = hard
- Moving up one box means developing new markets = very hard
- Moving diagonally right means developing both new products and new markets = incredibly hard
Understanding where you are going and the risk it brings to your business will save you a lot in the long run, and allow you to do no.3 below, fully.
3. Hope for the best, plan for the worst
Taken from the Jack Reacher books, this statement is so true when getting ready to take new business products or services to market.
The hardest part as the business visionary is to think worst case. But in doing so you can unravel hidden pitfalls and hurdles that may be stood in the way.
- What if it takes you 2 or 3 times longer to get traction with the market?
- What if the new product has teething issues during manufacture?
- What if no-one actually wants the service you have?
- What if the decision makers aren’t who you think?
- What if the buying cycles are longer than you imagine?
- What if it costs you 5 times more money to market to the audience?
- What if a competitor has a better reputation and opportunities come half as fast as expected?
- What if your existing business isn’t steady, and you run out of money?
All these barriers (and more) take time and money to uncover.
If you do not address the pre-flight checklist fully… your new endeavour may take its’ toll in a negative way.
Take the time to ensure you tackle all 3 areas for the very best outcome of launching a new product or service in your business.
Think of the potential if you can realise ahead of time that;
- The new audience isn’t as accessible as previously thought.
- A safety-check on your existing or new marketing could reveal ways to raise the return on your budgets.
- A realistic increase in the rate of your sales conversions would make your existing business better in every way.
- Different people could really help you in the long-term.
- Existing systems and processes aren’t up to challenges the new products bring.
- Commercial finance is needed to solve projected cash-flow issues during planned changes.
If you’re planning to launch a new product or service in 2020, give Savanna Bison a call or message Chris Dunkerley on LinkedIn to see how we can help you avoid wasting precious time and money.