Most online startups fail. We asked experts how entrepreneurs should launch in 2019.

Most internet business startups fail. This is not because they weren’t brilliant ideas but because of a lack of self-awareness. If you don’t understand and validate your business assumptions, your site is doomed. The truth is brutal which is why we asked serial entrepreneur Eckhard Ortwein for ten tips for launching a product in 2019.

‘Entrepreneurs instinctively question products, processes and the status quo,’ says Ekhard who is an adviser for software companies and Fintech. ‘They aren’t being combative or belligerent. They have a feature installed in their brains that keeps asking them why.’ Elkhard is CEO & Founder of Lean-Case which is a business planning workspace providing entrepreneurs with business models and metrics, revenue streams and cost. We asked Elkhard to share his advice to wannabe entrepreneurs and this is what he said.

‘Launching a new product, validating assumptions is exactly what you should apply, in particular asking what decisions associated with the product have been tested following these steps:

1. Figure out which kind of assumption you have.
2. Conduct an experiment to see if you were correct.
3. If your team’s assumption was correct, move forward to the next assumption.
4. If your team’s assumption was disproven, evaluate other options.
5. Try again.

Inspired by Tami Reis post on the Assumption/ Validation Flowchart, these are 10 tips to apply for your product launch:

Assumption 1:

We think this is a solution for the problem.
Experiment - Sketch the solution and talk to some potential users, make sure they think that your solution will help. Get out of the building.

Assumption 2:

We think X group will pay for this solution.
Experiment - Ask potential customers how much they’d pay for the solution. Price before product, period.

Assumption 3:

We think that our business model is viable and scalable.
Experiment - Check if you understand unit economics – the financial viability – of your product.

Assumption 4:

We think that we understand the mechanism of pipeline conversion.
Experiment - Measure conversion, time delay, cost and volume metrics for each stage of your sales process. Check if you can double revenues with simple incremental improvements.

Assumption 5:

We think that influencers can reach your target audience faster and more effective than you ever could.
Experiment - When you have narrowed your niche, you’ll be able to find influencers on Blogs, YouTube, Instagram or even Snapchat. Build trust with influncers from the groundup.

Assumption 6:

We think that you can build buzz for your product launch with giveaways promoted with the help of influencers.
Experiment - When you partner with the right influencers, you can introduce your new product to a relevant audience of consumers more likely to be interested in participating in the giveaway. If you’re looking to get the most bang out of your product marketing buck, focus your efforts on micro-influencers.

Assumption 7:

We think what we launched is being used.
Experiment - Look at your Google Analytics, Mixpanel, or other event tracking tools. These should be set up before launch.

Assumption 8:

We believe creating content for your niche and getting backlinks to them is one of the most effective, tried and tested tactics of marketing.
Experiment - This takes time and effort. Check highest ranking content for your keywords including keyword difficulty and search volumes. Create better and more innovative content and run a campaign to get backlinks to your site. Two to three per cent of sites reached out to should give you a backlink (helpful sites likes AHREFS).

Assumption 9:

We believe that guest posts on sites that are relevant to your niche will target better.
Experiment - Come up with a list of relevant blog post ideas, and pitch them to the publishers and editors of those niche-specific sites. Your guest posts can help you win over those target consumers with your expertise and knowledge. This will speed up the backlinking process.

Assumption 10:

We believe to reach out to people at LinkedIn is a good strategy to create awareness.
Experiment - Run a personalized LinkedIn Campaign inviting people in your target group to connect around a topic. Likely a third will accept the invitation within a few days without having read your invitation text. So send a “thank you for connect message” and repeat your request. You should create conversations with 2-5% of those which have been invited. DuxSoup sends automated, personalized LinkedIn Campaign and LinkedIn Navigator for search criteria.

Lean-Case – Eckhard’s company’s product is a valuable resource to build your business case.

If you liked reading these business tips, find more here:

Five social video trends: Tim Wilson-Frier, Head of Digital at themission Agency, Speed, tells us what's hot.

A bluffer’s guide to leveraging psychology for the web.

April 2019