How to Launch a Successful IT Start-up – In 2021
Artificial intelligence is a modern solution to global problems
There is an opinion that it makes no sense to enter the IT-sphere – all niches are occupied, the business will definitely go bankrupt. Such a judgment really takes place, but only if you cannot offer the world a new solution to existing problems. You can solve small, but very capacious business problems and become a real pro, thereby gaining the loyalty of your customers.
A. Internal communication
B. Formal approval
C. External communication
E. Launch impact analysis
F. Sales and Marketing support
Stage A. Internal communications
Internal communications before the launch are needed to inform all stakeholders within the company that a release is being prepared. You can either send out an email or create a messenger to inform all your stakeholders of the release date, changes in the product and newly developed features. Usually, such a message has a link to download the software, the dates of training, and other useful information. This kind of communication can be done 1-4 weeks before the public launch. The exact timing depends on your development cycle – the longer it is, the longer it is necessary to notify internal employees of the planned release.
Stage B. Formal Approval
Formal approval is needed to ensure that the quality of the release is as high as possible. Before bringing something to market, all teams and -executives need to give the product the “green light.” Doing so avoids the minor annoyances of someone being “out of the loop” and not completing something. Such coordination also includes the technical part and the marketing part: the R&D team “signs off” that all the features are ready. The QA team assures that all the functionality is tested and working properly. The technical writers notify that the documentation is ready. The web team reports that the content for the website update is ready. The sales team informs that the employees are ready to sell the new version; and so on.
Stage C. External communications
External communications are much the same as internal communications, with a slight difference in the pitch. This time, your partners and major customers receive the mailing. This mailing most often happens on the day of the release, or a day or two in advance to create excitement and a sense of anticipation. You inform your recipients about major changes, the release date, provide a link to the product download page, announce the dates of training and webinars, and so on.
Stage D. Training
Training is needed to ensure that the transition to a new version was smooth so that all stakeholders understand how to use the new features, know what their benefits are. Usually, training is attended by internal services, including technical support and developers, as well as external users – partners and customers.
The quality launch of a product requires both technical and marketing training. For example, the support department needs to know all the details of the features, and the operations department (DevOps, Data Center team) needs to know the peculiarities of the product deployment. Sales and marketing teams need to know clearly what business problems the new version solves and how to correctly position the product.
Stage E. Launch analysis
Evaluating the launch is necessary to assess whether the release made sense, as well as the technical and financial benefits it brought. At this stage, there is a comparison of costs and profits, analysis of the number of requests for technical support, and evaluation of other parameters in order to draw conclusions for the future.
Among the metrics that can be evaluated – click-throughs and user responses, the geography of interest in the new version, reactions to “call to action”, calls to support on the new version, increased traffic to the data center for SaaS products, and, of course, sales/revenue.
Stage F. Sales and marketing support
Support at the marketing and PR level is very important. Once the product is launched, you need to make sure that external statements about the product are correct, that they reflect the company’s vision and strategy, and that public information is targeted at the right target audience and presented in the “right sauce.
This step is to ensure that all-important documents about your product have been updated (or created) and meet the parameters of the release. Presentations, specifications, website sections, and so on must be reviewed.
Evaluating the Price
We pay attention to how the company’s value has changed over time: a steadily growing valuation of the startup at every round of investment is a positive factor. We also look at how long ago the company held its last round — if the startup last raised investments more than three years ago, and there is no data on revenue growth and customer growth, this may be considered a negative factor.
How reliable is it?
Any startup founder is ready to dance around in front of his investors and describe the bright prospects in the coming months. But a smart venture investor protects his capital, and soberly evaluates all the risks of this business (additional costs, failure to meet sales plans, not reaching the entire target audience, etc.). Only after becoming aware of all the risks and a willingness to accept them in this business, the investor can take part in the startup with the goal of obtaining the desired return.
Who will manage it?
Even the most successful idea and the most innovative product can be brilliantly screwed up by people who have little understanding of the business they decided to get involved in. A startup’s team is one of its key assets and should consist of (or at least be led by) competent people who are well-versed in the target market and have a solid understanding of what they do, how and why.
Even adhering to all these conditions does not guarantee a return on investment, the takeoff of the startup and the desired profitability. However, by adhering to these rules, you can avoid investing your money in many businesses that will definitely not provide them with an effective application.
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