In my last post (Building a Home Based Business) I wrote about deciding on the right business. This follow-up deals with the tasks involved when launching the business.
I was fortunate to get started early in this process, during the pre-launch phase of my chosen business (7 Minute Workout). The team promoting this did a very professional job, so many of the activities associated with a launch were taken care of. However, there was still a lot to do, so I’ll mention the main tasks, in no particular order.
The business will have a corporate website, but you will want to build your own site as well, using your personal branding. This can be a daunting task, especially the first time, but I have found that using a site-building program and choosing a simple template allows me to get a website up and running in a few days. The biggest problem is knowing what to put on the site, and what to leave out!
For a business launch, a simple website is sufficient. I use a landing page, an “About Me” page, a page of testimonials and a Contact page. Just four pages (one of my other sites has about 25 pages of material, but that’s an information website.)
Remember the purpose of this website is to get visitors to the capture pages created by the company. If the company has done a good job there, you should not need any more. After the launch, you can always add to your site or change it as you wish.
7 Minute Workout provided me with a plethora of banners, e-mail letters and other promotional tools I could use. This is an important aspect of any business, as I mentioned in my previous post. Of course, in the early stages you will need to trust that the company will provide the tools you need as promised. I have found in the past that not all companies live up to their early promises.
You can also use your own tools to promote your site or the company sales pages. I use links on my e-mail signature and my other websites and blogs. How effective these are is questionable, but they’re free and can’t hurt!
We all have lists we can use, even if it’s just a few e-mail contacts. I have no idea whether the right thing to do is blast out the information to everyone you know, or use the personal approach, contacting people who might be interested and following up with them. The experts are divided, but I believe it’s best to use both approaches.
Sending sales information to everyone you know looks a lot like spamming, and you will get complaints. Each time I get a complaint, I ask myself whether this is from someone who might otherwise have joined the business. The answer is invariably “no”, so I take them off the list immediately, apologize and trust that no permanent harm has been done.
If you get ten complaints and one sign up – guess what? You’re ahead of where you would have been!
Your best prospects are your personal friends who see value in a home business and are interested in the product itself. For many of us, this is a very small list, especially if we have been in network marketing businesses before. Our friends and relatives are sick of hearing about our latest business idea for them!
Even so, careful thought will often lead you to a few select people who will be pleased to hear from you. Some of these may join you: when this happens you have the added pleasure of working with your friends! I am reluctant to approach close friends with business propositions unless I believe they might really benefit from the business: but shouldn’t that be true of everyone we approach?
The business will provide you with affiliate links you can use. Some marketers like to cloak them for two reasons.
First, the link is often ugly, with a question mark and a string of numbers. To my mind that doesn’t matter much: people aren’t normally going to try to enter it manually when they can click on it. And if they don’t know how to click on it you probably don’t want to be teaching them!
The second reason is a concern that a prospect will remove your affiliate id from the link so that you will not get recognized. With products, that can be a concern, but I don’t see it with a business link. If someone is that dishonest, I don’t want him or her in my business, anyway.
The Right Way
So what is the right way to prepare for a launch? Should you phone everyone you know, or e-mail them, post to social media, promote your website or should you advertise? There are so many avenues open to you, which do you pursue?
This is a hugely controversial issue, and I’m looking forward to reading your comments and views on it, but here is my two cents’ worth:
There is no “right way.” If there were, everybody would be doing it, and there would be no controversy! The right way for you is the way that works and that you feel OK with.
If you are a screaming extrovert sponsor monster who aims to build a business quickly and move on to something else, your approach will be totally different from a quiet introvert who wants to build slowly and have lasting relationships. The good news is that each of these types can learn something from the other and build a stronger business and better relationships. There is no right way, just the way that works best for you.
Let me know how I can improve my new website!