E36 – Ben Sampson / Cofounder, WeHero

There is a spirit of adventure that fuels many entrepreneurs as they start new projects or launch new products. While it may serve as the driving force behind their motivations, it also brings with it inherent risks. Product launching expert Ben Sampson provides us with six actionable steps to take before launching any new product or service that will save you massive amounts of time, energy, and money.

Before diving headlong into your next product launch, it’s best to take some precautions to reduce your risk. Ben Sampson gives us six great steps that you can take to make sure that you’re selling what people want to buy. Ben talks about the six steps to saving your product launch:

1. Ask the Right Questions

Ben knows that the allure of just getting your product out there is strong. After all, you can tweak it after launch if you need to, right? Well, post-launch changes are often risky, time-consuming, and expensive, especially if you’re dealing with a physical product.

One of the first things you should do before even considering your launch is to ask yourself hard questions about the product. Even more important is to give yourself honest answers. “It's hard to be your own devil's advocate,” Ben says, “and it's hard to challenge your own idea over and over again, especially when you're so excited and you so strongly believe that everybody wants to use this.”

Here are some questions that Ben lists that you can start with when evaluating your launch:

  • What problem am I really trying to solve?
  • Is this product a must-have?
  • Where would a user or client truly find value in my product?
  • Is it going to fit into my life if I invest the next 6-12 months into this?
  • Do I have the right skill set and team to accomplish this?

2. Survey, Survey, Survey

Next, make sure that your target audience actually wants your product by surveying 50-100 people about their problems surrounding the product and potential solutions.

3. Do Some Pre-Launch Marketing

The next step is to build a landing page and use Google Ads to further gauge interest in the product. See how many people click the “Buy” button. Even if your product isn’t ready yet, you can use this data to see what your response rate may be after launch.

4. Prototype

For physical products, this can be a challenging step. However, for digital products, such as an app, you can easily create a small prototype that you can send to potential users to see if this is something they would be happy with even after clicking “Buy”.

5. Survey, Survey, Survey Again

Now that your prototype is out there, it’s time to survey again! This time, your participants will have much more than a vague idea of the value you’re providing—they have a tangible version of your product that they can evaluate. This is the time to make significant tweaks before beginning development.

6. Figure Out What the Real MVP Is

Lastly, determine your minimum value product (MVP). This means cutting through all the bells and whistles your product could have and discovering the core of why people want to use it.

Ben says it best: “When you figure out what your real MVP is, you're saving yourself a lot of time, and you're also saving yourself a massive amount of money just focusing on something small that's going to provide value to your core audience.”

To connect with Ben and learn more about product launching or his own donation and volunteering business, you can find him on LinkedIn or visit him at wehero.co/onebigtip.