The Ups and Downs of Launching A Business

On July 29th, we announced that we were starting a blog carnival submission service. Before we get into launch day, let’s go back a few weeks.

We had our idea, we wanted to automate the carnival submission service so that we could plug in the information and have it sent out to all the relevant carnivals for that week with just the click of a button.

Getting Ready For Launch Day

We got the system working pretty well after a lot of coding and testing, and since nothing ever gets done without deadlines, we set a very strict deadline. We wanted to launch by August 1st, and Monday seemed like the perfect day, so July 29th it was. All we were waiting for was the last set of confirmations that our system was submitting properly, which would come the same day.

I’ve heard a million times that there’s no day like today to launch, so we set a very ambitious goal, but it meant that everything had to work perfectly for there not to be a hitch. Well, everything did not work perfectly, as that final set of confirmations did not come back the way we expected. There was another coding changed needed, and we found out the day we were launching a business that we weren’t going to be able to go forward as planned.

We Had a Backup Plan, But Did It Matter?

Fortunately, we had a backup plan, which was crucial to being in business for a second week. We had a way to submit manually, so while it did not come close to being the perfect solution, it did get the job done. However, it was not a sustainable solution.

But without any clients, it wouldn’t really matter. We let people know through posts on this site and on Yakezie.com, so we expected several curious people to sign up for our free trial. There was nothing to lose, so even if they didn’t stick with us, we figured they would try it out.

We were wrong. In the first day, only one person signed up. It was quite a letdown. I felt like a failure, but in the second day 4 people signed up, which helped lift my spirits as we desperately tried to fix our technical issues to get things automated again. After that, we had a sign-up every few days, including our first bulk order. We had enough to make this worth it and if we proved our worth, we would get paying clients and referrals within a few weeks.

The first day was quite eventful, but in the end, we came out alive and learned some important lessons, like always have a viable backup plan.

8 Responses to The Ups and Downs of Launching A Business

  1. Mark Ross says:

    Yeah! Backup plans are quite essential whenever you do something that will ask you to do a lot of work.

  2. Martin says:

    The most humbling thing is when NOTHING happens on launch day.

    I launched in July. There was a flood in Toronto. I scrambled to use my cell phone’s data because my power went out. I finished just in time to launch and crash at 7am. I passed out, hoping that power would be restored to charge my phone and laptop.

    I launched the course at 7am and went to sleep. I was excited to see what would happen. I was dead after an all nighter. Totally exhausted.

    Yet I could barely sleep. I slept a few hours and woke up around noon. I noticed that the power was back. So I went to see how sales were doing. ZERO.

    My partner and I spent a whole two months working on this course. Zero sales. It was very humbling.

    • @Martin, Things always seem to go wrong at the worst times, right?

      There’s no real way to prepare for something like that, but maybe we set expectations that are too high?

  3. moneystepper says:

    Things always can, and to some extent usually do, go wrong. Therefore, having a back-up plan in business is essential.

  4. Thanks for your post! Especially about being disappointed on launch day. I am starting a business with a launch date set for 3 months from now. I am already struggling to keep on task getting all the actions done for that date. I know I will be launching for no or a minimal at best audience but that doesn’t take the stress off… it is still out there for the world to see and I want perfection! Too much to ask, I am sure but I can hope, right?

  5. Even big corporations have horrible launches for products and that’s after pumping millions of dollars into product development and market research. Good job for having a temporary back up plan. At least you were able to still deliver your service.

  6. No Waste says:

    Surface Tablet by Microsoft.

    Even some of the best and brightest can have spectacular failures.

  7. Whenever I read about something like this, my mind goes back to clear Pepsi… sometimes things just don’t work the way we planned.

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