View Full Version : Question of the week: Product/Project Launch - Grand Opening or Slow Growth?
09-26-2011, 07:47 AM
So this week, and in preparation for tomorrow's KTT show, I ask you to consider how you prefer to introduce your business to the world. Are you a "grand opening" type of marketer? Or do you prefer "slow growth"? It's our question of the week this week, so please give it some thought and get ready to share.
09-26-2011, 08:40 AM
Joe, interesting question. Sorry to dodge the question, but I think i'm a bit of both. Both because I'd prefer to make a small ripple to prove everything works then a big splash when I know it does. However, if I have sunk a lot of money/resources into something, then I won't wait. I'll make a big splash as I need to recover the costs as soon as possible. Interestingly enough, the more I have at stake then the more I would shout about it. If I don't have a lot at stake I'll see how things go. Maybe that reflects how committed I am to the project and I'm better being all or nothing. Matthew
09-26-2011, 08:53 AM
I'm not sure if this is about the type of person you are or the type of business you are launching.
If you have a location based business - i.e. a restaurant or shop or salon - somewhere people go to buy your product of service - I think there is maybe more of a natural inclination to hold a Grand Opening. You have a capacity, largely dictated by the physical size of the location and you want to fill it from the get go.
When you are selling a service you are essentially selling hours and I think it is less "natural" to think in terms of a Grand Opening. I never heard of a marketing agency or lawyer holding a Grand Opening - though maybe they should!
Also if you sell products whether a physical, packaged product or a service wrapped up into a product, I think this influences a decision hold a Grand Opening - again it is more natural to launch a product - once it is built and ready to delivery you want to launch it with maximum fanfare.
This is a great question and has really got me thinking about what we do - I started (never really launched) Lime Cube Marketing just over two years ago - we had a couple of great clients who got us started and we never really thought about it terms of a launch. A couple more clients came on board via recommendation etc and all seemed rosy so I guess you would call it slow or organic growth. However, about six months ago we started a new, productionized version of our service and have thought far more in terms of a launch for this. Initially it is what you might call a beta stage product and is undergoing a slow launch at the moment - although it is a definite launch and we have written a marketing plan to grow the product.
Assuming this goes well we will then have a Grand Opening in about 14 months at the New Business Exhibition in London. So we will be following up the soft, slow launch (if successful) with a Grand Opening around 18 months after the first customer subscribed to the product.
Sorry for rambling, and not sure if that exactly answers the question but it has certainly helped me think.
I hope your own launch is going well this week!
09-26-2011, 10:25 AM
I am without a doubt, no questions asked a Grand Opening type. Open the doors for business and get it going. For me and my personality I will tweak it and tweak it if is a slow growth and that hurts business as then the big grand opening launch never happens. Go all in and make the tweaks after.
09-26-2011, 10:28 AM
Good question, Joe! I didn't think I had much to say, but then I read the other responses so far; Simon's comment in particular got me thinking.
For my own business, my "launch date" was the day I finished my website and had my business cards ready to hand out -- but I didn't think of it as a launch as much as something that proved the existence of my business. It made me feel legitimate.
Like Simon, I have a consulting business so there's no "Open/Closed" sign at my door, no "Get your communication strategy here!" flags at the end of the driveway. But I'm in the process of reworking my business plan and I've been thinking - why not?
I read somewhere about productizing consulting services because it's easier for people to wrap their heads around.
The clients I have are really happy with what I'm doing. But I think I read an older post from Chris B. the other day that said anybody who can put together an email thinks they're an author - "why pay a writer when I can do it myself". And social media - I don't know how some pseudo-experts make thousands of dollars selling bad advice, because more often than not prospects want to know why they should pay me for something they can "do for free".
As I rework my business plan, I've been pondering how I can better-package my consulting services as products so it's clearer what I offer and why it has value. Since I'm still figuring many things out, one colleague suggested that I pick an area where I want to build my portfolio and offer/promote a limited "sale" on that type of work.
If I can get my business to the point where I have products and sale items, why not also a Grand Opening event? Hmmm...
Looks like I've used the forum for a smidgen of my morning pages, ha! But this thread definitely has me thinking, and hopefully this will provide some more food for thought for others!
09-26-2011, 11:25 AM
I echo a lot of the comments here, especially Suzanne's. I'd say that I blend a little bit of both. I like to trust the process and that's where I've been able to exercise a lot of patience in not giving up on my business even when growth can feel slow at times.
At the same token, I definitely do a lot of launches to not only build anticipation but also because I'm always excited about upcoming products, services, or projects I want to share with the world. You can say in this regard, I'm pretty impatient.
Also related, this may or may not be a detriment to my business depending on how you look at it, but I've always been a "do it now and figure it out later" kind of person so I know I can roll with the punches and get done what needs to. However, my greatest learning lesson this past year has been "learning how to work smarter when any harder is nearly impossible."
Great question, thanks Joe!
09-26-2011, 11:23 PM
Love that - learning how to work smarter when any harder is nearly impossible. But then (thinking I am 21 still) is there a barrier to harder? If we try look and say this is impossible, is it really or is it a proverbial wall that we feel we cannot get over? Sometimes literally we cannot work harder or change something and that is so very valid but taking that away, if we are 5'1 and the hurdle is 4'8 can we some how find a way to get over it? That goes to the working smarter.
IDK really as I can only relate to what I know, have seen, experienced, hear and learn from. You are so inspirational and have a means to the end that we can understand. I am impatient as well but being a single mom and closing the eyes counting and learning patience for 6 yrs now (ya think it would be easy) it is still a learning process. I am a do it now. Get it done. Stop me if you can and when you do, I shall fold for a bit and then meander my way back in stronger. One ways are only us going one way, now it may be the wrong way but it is still one way. Ok, u-turn in the middle of the road. Turn around because now you are going the right way. Some stop signs we roll through but others we stop and really think about it but we keep on going.
I guess we are who we are and who we are is what makes us the Grand Opening or the Slow Growth. Both have aspects that are paths to success. We just have to find them.
09-27-2011, 10:12 AM
And I knew someone would call me out on "working any harder is nearly impossible" which is why I said "nearly!" LOL. I knew you'd get it, Suzanne.
We're more alike than you know. My son is now 17, which is kind of bitter sweet. Though I miss the days I used to be soccer and wrestling mom and wrap my whole world around him, which I know he appreciated and I did too; he's now old enough and too busy for momma so I've been fortunate enough to be able to take bigger risks with my career since I'm kind of an empty nester now.
However, I was very patient for a long time before this. After his dad and I divorced eight years ago, I vowed to keep Milwaukee as my home so that I could co-parent my son since his dad wasn't going anywhere else. In that time, I juggled full time work, full time school, and managed to make it to as many school and after school activities as possible to support my son. So I know that "working harder IS possible."
I'm not saying that my job as a parent is done because he's almost an adult. However, roles have reversed now. He's been very supportive because he's seen my work ethic over the years and has encouraged me recently with words like, "keep chasing your dreams, mom!" So I can't let this little booger down. :)
What I'm saying is that "anything" is possible if you want it badly enough, but you've got to get creative with "how" you go about getting it. So, I could probably stretch myself more thin if I cut out bathroom breaks and sleep time, but I would be very uncomfortable and miserable. And, for me, that would not be a viable option. So my other option is to work smarter, even though I'm always inclined to do it now and get r done as well, because it will best serve me during this critical juncture in my life and business.
We're so much alike Suzanne, it's awesome. Can't wait to meet you some day!
I think there should be a good balance of slow growth and grand opening. What I mean by this, is that for most things you need a launch date (there's stuff to prepare before you have sellable/marketable stuff). However, after the grand opening you want to do "mini openings" - that is constantly innovating and constantly delivering, and you might as well announce what you're doing in the style of a grand opening. What would you call that? Grand opening sounds so "one time", but couldn't you do it more than once?
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