Tag Archives: Launch

What is the Best Way to Roll out a Business Opportunity? Six Suggestions

Situation: A CEO is reviewing options for introducing a new offering. The target customers are small companies or projects within larger companies. The offering includes both an initial product and follow-on services. Education or training will be a component of the offering. What is the best way to roll out a business opportunity?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • It is best to position the offering as a straightforward proposition at launch and develop proof of concept. This will provide experience and an income stream to fund more complex offerings based on the initial model.
    • It will also provide insight on how to sell the product and service in different markets – manufacturing, service, and software.
    • Leverage this experience to pursue more complex models.
  • Build a portfolio of case studies before pitching to paying companies.
    • Use companies with whom relationships already exist as the proving base. These will become references for new clients.
    • Develop data to show actual cost savings from the use of the product and services.
  • Establish a relationship with an existing company for which the offering is complimentary and cross-offer products and services on an ad hoc basis.
    • Trial the product and service with one of their clients in return for a royalty or share of the profit.
    • Ask that company to make the introduction.
  • Target start-ups – offer an initial package for a low price. Offer the product to start-ups for free and get them hooked as long-term customers.
  • What would be needed to roll the offering through growth equity firms or venture capitalists?
    • This will require some proof that the offering increases the ROI to growth equity and VC portfolio companies and funds.
    • Note that the portfolio companies of growth equity firms are larger and farther up the growth curve
  • In current economy the key message to prospects may be that the offering will help them to “right size” their company.
    • Take a closer look at the offering and determine whether it is configured appropriately for the current environment.

When is “Good Enough” Enough? Five Factors

Situation: A company is about to launch a Beta version of their web-based software. The CEO strives for perfection. What is sufficient for launch, and can the company tolerate imperfections in Beta version? When is “good enough” enough?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Many successful software companies – think Microsoft – have realized that finishing the last 10-20% of a new release can be as expensive and time consuming as the first 80-90%. The challenges are often greater and it’s difficult to prioritize the final pieces. So they release when the software is 80-90% complete, prioritize the final pieces based on user feedback, and focus on quick response to user feedback.
  • You really have no idea how users will experience a new web-based program until you hear it from them. They will tell you what does and does not need to be fixed. They may even be able to help you fix it! Craig’s list stinks from a pure GUI perspective, but is highly popular and successful.
  • Get the Beta program out ASAP. What you perceive as imperfections may not appear as problems to young Beta users, and may in a way add a quirky appeal to the user experience.
  • Find a customer or group of customers who will pay for the program. Only this proves its actual worth. There can be conditions for a Beta release and discounts, but if nobody is willing to pay, where is the value?
  • Consider releasing your Beta version in a college campus environment and invite both participation and feedback. College students are very web-savvy, more tolerant of Beta programs, and crave the opportunity to contribute.
    • As an additional bonus, when you are ready to launch, college students are great at helping you generate buzz and early adoption because they talk to so many of their friends from both college and high school.