You only get one chance to make a first impression, and you only get one chance to launch your business. So, it’s important you get it right if you decide to go out on our own.
I’ve helped launch plenty of businesses — fast approaching 100 — and there’s a few things I’ve learnt along the way. Most importantly, the launch of your business must ensure you roar out of the gate with plenty of momentum to carry through the next stages of growth. The goal is to make certain everyone in your market knows who you are and what you do within 90 days. That means identifying who owns property in your core market, dominate their eyeballs and capture their attention.
Here are my seven top tips for guaranteeing you squeeze every possible drip of opportunity from your new business launch:
- Have a launch event
Having a launch event is essential. It is a major celebration where you are the centre of attention. It’s a way for you to set the scene and demonstrate what sort of business you’re bringing into the world.
Launches are awesome networking opportunities, too. They let all invitees be part of this major milestone. It’s a great way to not only bring family and friends along for the ride but draw on your contacts and business relationships to build more goodwill.
This is not the time to be bashful about what you’re creating. Tell the world and talk it up.
Well before the launch, you must utilise the contact details of every past buyer and seller, your pipeline of future sellers, referrers, friends, family, and the local media. Email every single one of them, informing them about the business, thanking them for their support to date, and inviting them to the launch event.
But don’t stop there. Send each a letter and enclose one of your new business cards with your fresh logo and email address. Also, send them an SMS with your new details so they can drop it straight into their contacts list.
- Get postal
There are plenty of property owners in your area that you’re yet to meet, but there’s a tried-and-true method for making yourself known.
Letterbox drop your area incessantly for the first 90 days — do a drop every two weeks and get as many flyers out there as possible. If you don’t have a “just listed” or “just sold” flyer to drop, drop a self-promotional flyer instead.
This is a smart long-term strategy for ensuring you’re front of mind when owners look to sell.
You need to get your brand (and face) on as many local bus shelters and billboards as possible. You must dominate these spaces for at least your first 90 days of business.
If you’re lucky enough to have a community newspaper, pitch them with a story about your business. Newspapers love local success stories. Look to run big adverts in the local paper, too.
Complement your self-funded promotion with vendor-paid listings that feature your brand. That’s what all the big franchises do to build their brands.
In addition, get the REA banners in your suburb(s). They’re expensive, but absolutely worth the dollars.
Another source of advertising is via local community groups. Look to support them by offering their members free appraisals and other services.
- Share your knowledge
There’s no better way to demonstrate your expertise than by creating an email newsletter. The key here is to provide great information — not just stuff generated via listing portal add-ons. Make sure your newsletter delivers some personal anecdotes about local sales.
Also, be consistent with it. A newsletter delivered to inboxes every two to four weeks is essential.
- Be a ‘Spielberg’
Utilising great-looking video has never been easier or cheaper. It’s a fantastic tool for promoting your listings and your brand.
Do “just listed” videos, “just sold” videos and testimonial videos. Make sure they’re of excellent quality and buy some effective, reasonably priced hardware like a decent microphone to boost the professional sound. I recommend the Rode GO kit.
Here’s a pro tip: Consider adding subtitles to your videos which will increase engagement.
- Do the phone hustle
Get on the phone and start calling! Nothing beats old-school phone work. This is a great opportunity to connect with everyone in your database, let them know you’ve started your own business and find out where they’re up to on their property journey.
My rule is to connect with a minimum of 20 owners each day, and try to book at least one meeting from that cohort. This will equate to 20 face-to-face meetings a month which should yield two to three listings.
Launching a business is exciting and provides plenty of opportunity to open with a bang. Don’t blow it! Utilise these tips and you’ll give your new venture a great start in life that will reward you for many years to come.
Dan Argent is the founder and CEO of UrbanX.