Ready to launch your business? This checklist helps you set up your communication and start reaching your dream clients from day one.
Congratulations – you’re launching a new business! How are you spreading the news?
Communication and marketing can sometimes be forgotten amidst all the other things you need to think about as a business owner.
Communication and content can also feel overwhelming. There are so many channels and opportunities that it is hard to choose where to start.
I thought I’d help you out with all the experience I’ve gathered through my work with small businesses.
This complete communication checklist for a new business sets you up for marketing and communication success and helps you reach your dream customers from the first day!
What you need
When launching a new business, it’s crucial to focus on a few key elements first. Especially if you don’t have a huge team yet, focus becomes essential.
Start setting up your communication with these key elements and concentrate on one thing at a time.
What is the value you are adding to the world? How is your product or service resolving a problem? Get clear about your key message before setting up any communication. Once you know what you are going to say, the rest will flow easily.
Your website is your home base. It communicates the value you offer clearly and guides your clients to the information they need to make a purchase decision.
Even very small businesses benefit from having their own site but you can keep it very simple.
Social media presence
In addition to the website, it’s good to be present at least on some social media platforms. You don’t need to be everywhere at once but open an account on one or two platforms that make the most sense to you right now.
If you’re worried about not getting the username you want on all the platforms, you can open an account and reserve the username even on the channels you’re not using yet. Then it will be easier to add those channels to your mix later on.
Presence on relevant platforms
Think of setting up a Google My Business page as well. It improves your search engine visibility and allows you to gather and display positive comments from clients.
Depending on your business, other apps or platforms may also be relevant for you. Many travel industry players rely on TripAdvisor, for example.
Be careful with paid platforms and subscriptions, though. Make sure you’re getting tractionand a return on your investment, if you end up paying for visibility.
A lot of site visitors find their way to your website through search engines, so creating a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is worth your while.
This doesn’t mean hiring an expensive agency, but thinking about the key words people use when searching for a service like yours. Implement these keywords on the most important elements on your site, like headers.
Another SEO strategy is to think of launching a blog or another regular content marketing project to create fresh content on your site regularly.
Media kit is an information package that summarises the basic facts about your business, some key figures and links to photos and other resources. It’s not only destined to the media but can be shared with other interested parties as well.
Based on your business model, a separate information sheet tailored for investors or other stakeholders can be useful, too. Keep it simple and concise.
Now your channels and communication supports are more or less set up and it’s time to think about the details. Create a content plan that outlines the different types of content that you are publishing as well as the publication schedule. An editorial calendar helps you get more details to your planning.
Goals & tracking
Last step: measure your success. Align your communication goals with your business goals and make it a habit to track the key metrics regularly. This allows you to find out what works and what doesn’t and adjust your plan as needed.
Who you need
Second part of the process is to think about your team.
If you have a team, even a tiny little one, think of assigning the responsibility of communication and marketing to one person. She doesn’t need to be a full-time communication manager, but knowing that someone keeps an eye on your goals, priorities and operations ensures that communication won’t fall through the cracks.
It’s also a good idea to start building a roster of people who could help you with different things in the future. Do you know someone who is a wizard in social media? An excellent blog writer? Start gathering this information in one place so that you have it ready when you need it.
What and who you don’t need
When you start something new, you’ll probably start getting loads of well-intentioned advice. You’ll learn about all these shiny things that are “going to change your business” or “guarantee success”.
Honestly, you won’t need most of those things.
Set up everything on the “What you need” and “Who you need” list first, before putting your time and efforts in these things:
Google ads and paid social media ads can be great ways to build your business, once you know what works. Start by working on the organic content, and when you’ve learned what resonates with your audience, put your budget behind those strategies.
An armada of landing pages
The same applies to your website: work on a solid site first and figure out which products and services your audience appreciates and which message gets through to them. Then you can start optimizing your site and building separate landing pages for different products, services and client groups.
10 000 followers
Have you ever been told that you absolutely need 10 000 followers or that you definitely must publish content on Facebook seven times a day to be seen?
Whenever someone shares absolute truths like these with you, take them with a grain of salt.
You don’t need a huge audience or a crazy publication schedule to get started. Start from where you are and create a strategy that is aligned with your resources. Exhausting yourself with unrealistic goals isn’t going to benefit you, your team or your clients.
Press release or press conference
Yes, I mentioned earlier you need a media kit. However, many small businesses don’t need huge press coverage in the beginning.
This means putting your resources behind a press release or a costly press conference won’t probably be the first things to consider, unless you have a revolutionary new product that will stop climate change (and the coronavirus in the process).
Want help figuring out your next steps?
This checklist will get you started and ensures you focus on the right things to launch a successful business.
If you want more personalised advice or have any questions, I’d be happy to chat with you. Schedule a complementary Strategy Mapping Call with me and we can finalise your communication plan together. During this 45-minute call, we’ll talk about your plans and goals and map out the next steps to take to keep growing your business and turning your vision into reality more quickly.