Continuing Development Post-Launch: Tips for Startups

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The $100 Startup" by Chris Guillebeau. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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So, you’ve just launched your business, and now what? What are you supposed to during your project’s post-launch?

The work doesn’t end once you’ve launched your product. An essential element of success is what happens at the post-launch stage. To maximize the chances of your product offering being successful, keep your business moving forward through self-promotion and ensuring profitability.

Here are some tips on what to do post-launch to give your startup the best chance of success.

What to Do During a Project Post-Launch

When it comes to launching a business, most of the attention is typically focused on the product launch stage. But what you do post-launch is no less important. After your initial launch cycle is complete, channel your efforts into promoting and ensuring profitability.

Create a Post-Launch Promotion Plan

Effective promotion is a balance between style and substance. Style is your ability to effectively market your product, while substance is the quality of your product. If you have style, but no substance, your shoddy product or service will undermine your charm. If you have substance, but no style, people likely won’t hear about your product, no matter its quality.

If you have a quality product and market it effectively, you’ll be able to grow your client base and grow your business. As you create your post-launch promotion plan, use the following strategies to help expand your audience and spread the word about your business:

  • Use the allies you already have by sending a message to your friends and colleagues about your new venture. Explain what your company does, the primary product you’re trying to sell, and the goals that you’re trying to achieve. From there, provide 1-3 ways that they can help you if they’re willing. Be sure to thank them for taking the time to read your message.
  • Offer your services free-of-charge or at a low cost when you see friends, colleagues, or customers in need of assistance. Don’t put conditions onto your help or demand something in return. If you show that you sincerely want to help others, not just sell them on your product, you’ll be able to build long-term relationships that may help you in the future. 
  • Give away products or services. There are many ways to go about this, including a free consultation, a contest, or a giveaway. Experiment with different methods to see what works best for your business. While you’ll have to embrace a little cost or time upfront, the audience growth you’ll reap will make it worthwhile. 

Ensure Profitability

Above all else, in order for your business to survive, you must be able to make a profit. While social media followers and dedicated customers are great to have, they mean very little if your company isn’t making money. Ensuring profitability can be boiled down to two basic concepts: spend money wisely and generate more income.

Spend Money Wisely 

It’s often tempting to spend significant amounts of money on large ad campaigns, complex websites, or custom merchandise. However, if your purchase doesn’t build your brand or generate sales, then the cost isn’t justified. Especially in the early stages of post-launch, you should be extra mindful of what you are spending your money on. Keep costs low by only spending money on items that have a direct impact on sales. 

Generate More Income

While this seems obvious, many companies struggle to bring in enough cash to stay afloat. To generate more income, consider the following strategies: 

  • When pricing your product, charge your customers based on the benefits they’re receiving, not the cost of producing the product. For example, if a single physical book cost you $1 to produce, you wouldn’t charge $2 for the product. Instead, you’d determine the value of the content of the book and charge $20-25.
  • Once you know the value of your product, create tiers that offer more pricing options for your customers. If you can, price up from your base model, not down, and keep the range limited. For example, if you charge $75 for your service, you could offer a $100 advanced service and a $150 complete service. Typically, a few people will go for the basic item, and a few people will go for the premium item, but most will go for the central item. 
  • Create a recurring payment model. Instead of only selling a single product, find ways that your business can offer a subscription or membership service that includes a recurring payment. Recurring payments create a more reliable source of income and keep your customers coming back. 
Continuing Development Post-Launch: Tips for Startups

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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