Is a product that you want to become a big hit with customers key to your startup’s future success? Whether your product offering is an app, a new piece of hardware technology, or something entirely different, it’s essential that your product launch reaches the right customers at the right time, and that they instantly feel a need to buy it. In fact, a large percentage of your startup business resources may be devoted to your product launch because it’s so vital to the success of your company. Having a stellar launch should be one of your key startup growth strategies, but it’s easy to get it wrong. Here are three common product launch pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Pitfall #1: An Ill-Defined Minimally Viable Product (MVP)
Inexperienced startup founders who have not worked with startup consultants sometimes lack clear vision and cannot define or deliver a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) that will summon new customers and secure much-needed cash flow. The bottom line is that you must build a product that your customers want or you will not have a successful product launch. This requires research, test marketing, and identifying the pain points of your target market, so you can develop a product that will immediately fill a need or create a want.
Dropbox is a great example of a former startup that crushed it with their MVP, and grew fast to become a large company. Instead of getting stuck in the development phase, they decided to ensure market viability by creating an explanatory (or demo) video to gauge interest in their product. The three-minute video demonstrated Dropbox’s functionality and, when shown to potential customers, it resulted in an overnight increase in subscriptions from 5,000 to 75,000 people.
Pitfall #2: Absolute Perfectionism
Growth hacking experts know the flip side of launching a half-baked product with no research behind it is spending too much time on development and polish that you miss your ideal launch window. ArsDigita, an influential startup developer, ultimately lost its fight against Oracle when launching ACS 4 due in part to perfectionism. After getting bogged down with over-hiring and poor management, ArsDigita failed to launch their much-anticipated upgrade, while simultaneously discouraging customers from using their current ACS 3.4 version. The result? They lost a significant number of clients and eventually went out of business.
Pitfall #3: Launching Too Big
When focusing on how to grow a startup, it’s easy for entrepreneurs to put all of their eggs into one basket and rely on a ‘big bang’ launch campaign to catapult them to success. Unfortunately, this can drain resources and, if the launch isn’t successful, it can leave a startup with no clear plan of what to do next. In many cases, using a ‘lean-agile’ methodology approach is the perfect way for a startup to test their product during the launch phase and avoid this pitfall. Initially practiced by Toyota in Japan, a lean-agile approach involves developing a prototype based on what your customers want and incorporating their feedback to continue making tweaks and improvements as you go. By utilizing this iterative approach, by the time you’ve arrived at a final product, you already have an engaged audience that’s ready to buy.
Although your startup may have great product offerings, it may still lack the necessary startup expert help, guidance, and knowledge to succeed. With the help of Promeets’ experts, who have years of experience bringing startup products to market, we can help you steer clear of common pitfalls and help your business achieve success. According to Rhett Morris of Endeavor Insights, 33% of New York tech firms that have been mentored by successful, tenured entrepreneurs went on to become top performers. Harness this advantage for your team by scheduling a meeting with a Promeets’ expert today.