Ultimate Launch Checklist
Ready to develop your first product and launch that brand you’ve been dreaming of? Well, here’s a complete checklist to keep you on track and focused on everything you’ll need to do leading up to your launch.
12-18 MONTHS OUT
Build an audience
Before you’ve even started anything, build an engaged audience as a content creator
Begin product development
This varies widely depending on your product(s) so do your research to accurately estimate how much time this will take (usually longer than you realize)
Define your distribution channels
A critical piece to business planning is deciding what distribution channels you’ll use: DTC, retail, wholesale. Whatever you decide, it will inform decisions you’ll need to make in the near future.
Settle on a business name
If you haven’t yet picked a business name, now’s the time. Once you’ve settled on that, secure your domain and social media handles.
9-12 MONTHS OUT
Begin planning product marketing
You should be far enough in product development that you can begin to identify the features, benefits and unique identifiers of your product(s)
Develop your brand identity
Branding provides the foundation for everything you will do in your business going forward. It gives you a compelling way to describe your business and its products, informs your launch your strategy, and gives a visual representation of your brand.
Following your branding, begin working on getting your website designed, written, and built.
6-9 MONTHS OUT
Get products shots for your website, social media, and UGC like content
Gather reviews of your product(s)
Don’t wait until you have paying customers to capture reviews. As soon as you have a sample or finished product, share your product(s) with friends, family, anyone and ask for a review (and honest feedback) in return.
3-6 MONTHS OUT
Finalize your go-to-market content plan
You’ll launch your brand account about 6 weeks before launch day. Finalize your branded content for the 6 weeks leading up to launch day. Do the same for your personal account which will transition into functioning as a founder personal brand and brand ambassador account.
Email and SMS marketing
Set up your email to capture emails for your waitlist that you’ll announce a few days before launch day. Write 2-3 automated emails for everyone who joins the waitlist.
6 WEEKS OUT
Launch your brand account and begin publishing your go-to-market campaign content.
LAUNCH DAY AND BEYOND
Once you’ve launched, you’ll transition from the go-to-market phase of your business to growing and scaling. Expect for year 1 to feel like a year of experiments. You’ll still be heavily in a learning phase. Be kind to yourself. In year 2, you’ll hit a stride where you begin to have some semblance of knowing what you’re doing. By year 3, you’ll be able to begin planning for major growth in your company.