For some the real joy in a startup comes from actually launching. Some startups spend a few months preparing for launch while others have taken up to two years (if not more). There are hundreds of things that can go onto your launch checklist.
Spencer Fry, a 28 year old serial entrepreneur who founded TypeFrag (2003), Carbonmade (2007) and Uncover (2012) has a lot of experience launching startups. He penned “Startup Launch Checklist” on his blog at spencerfry.com. Here are some of the highlights from his checklist.
Web and Marketing tips:
Complete Homepage copy: One of the pages we left for last – and I know many new startups do – is the copy for the homepage. You need to write about whatever you’re selling in a clear, concise and engaging way. If you can’t quickly capture the interest of a visitor to your service then you’re going to immediately fail. This leads to my next point.
Contact page copy: For us it’s a matter of making sure that we list all of the different ways visitors to our service can reach us. It’s not enough to simply provide an email address nowadays. Lots of customers want to reach you on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks.
Determine FAQ strategy and write it: One of the things I like to leave to the last minute is writing the Frequently Asked Questions. If you write it too early, then chances are your service will have changed and it’ll become outdated. Writing the FAQ will also help put you in the mind of a customer right before launch. It’s a great last-minute exercise in making sure your app is clear.
He has five more web marketing tips here.
Model our potential revenue: You should never found a company without a good idea about how you plan on making money. Even better, you should project how your potential revenue stream will grow over time.
Set monetary/sales goals: After you’ve modeled out your potential revenue growth, setting sales goals will give you a better understanding of when you can raise money on good terms or quit your day job and bootstrap. It’s great to have numbers to work toward that aren’t arbitrary. Knowing exactly how many users you need over a projected time frame helps to determine whether you’re matching projections.
Add to various services around the Web: To help with SEO and to possibly get the word out, sign up your new app with Crunchbase, AngelList, StartupList, Listio and others.
Press Coverage: Every successful app has a great short term and long term press plan. However, right after launch you should ask yourself how much press you actually want. Do you want to reach out to blogs for coverage? Do you hope to get on Hacker News? Sometimes you might want to delay press coverage until you’ve had a chance to fix up the bugs.
Email friends and family: Last, but not least, you should email your friends and family about the new app you’ve built. Chances are that leading up to its release you’ve been so busy that you haven’t had time to update them. Now’s the time!
There are plenty more tips including 17 programming tips, sales tips and more here at spencerfry.com
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