Successfully launching a small business requires careful planning and consideration. But simply dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s is not enough. To truly stand out in a crowd of driven entrepreneurs, you need fresh, creative ideas for catapulting your small business to success.
If you’re ready to reach out and grab the attention your business deserves, here are seven expert-approved, creative ways to launch your business.
1. Hold a Launch Day Event
Stacey Pretty, marketing director at Let’s Do Business Group, said that a launch day event can be an effective way to create hype around your small business — particularly if you offer a special deal for that day or week.
“An event, if planned enough in advance, could pick up traction from local press, and local supporters/social media can spread the word,” she said. She recommended utilizing the events facility on Facebook or LinkedIn and encouraging people to share.
“A new burger restaurant opened in our area a few months ago that gave a free burger to the first 100 customers. It was a raving success as those with the free burgers bought other items off the menu to try and more than 100 people showed up, gaining them natural revenue as well. If you are offering something new and unique, people will want to try it, and if you are also offering the promise of saving money/something free — even more so!”
2. Host a Business Pop-Up Adventure
“Choose a busy area,” said Kurt Uhlir, a chief marketing officer, “such as a well-liked park or community center, and organize several fun events that are connected to your business. For instance, if you’re opening a fine-dining bakery, host a cupcake decorating competition or provide a live cake-sculpting demonstration.
“Invite local celebrities or influencers who have a following on social media to come and report back on their experience. Encourage guests to post about the event using hashtags. This engaging and interactive launch event will attract new consumers, build buzz and provide a memorable brand experience.”
3. Launch With an Online Giveaway
If an in-person event won’t work well for your small business, launch with an online giveaway.
“To do so, figure out the entry requirements, where you’ll host the giveaway (such as Instagram), and what the winners will get (such as a product set),” said Chelsea Clarke, founder and owner at HerPaperRoute. “This is a great way to grow brand awareness, as you can create entry requirements such as following your IG page, joining your email list or tagging friends on the post. You’ll also need to pick a giveaway tool to help you keep track of the participants.”
4. Do a Podcast Tour
“A podcast tour functions similarly to a book tour: The idea is to take one compelling, newsworthy conversation around to 10-20 relevant podcasts to build brand awareness and credibility, as well as drum up excitement and momentum ahead of your business launch,” said Mosser. “Even brand new entrepreneurs with a small or zero social media footprint can launch a successful podcast tour with the right strategy, if they select the right shows and really dial in their content to pitch.”
5. Utilize Brand-Awareness Campaigns
Angela Capeles, a marketing strategist and founder of Capeles Agency, said that every brand should begin its journey by prioritizing a brand-awareness campaign with the goal of increasing familiarity and recognition among its target audiences. She said that this type of campaign is an opportunity to make potential customers aware of your brand’s existence and associate positive qualities with the brand.
“An example could be creating a teaser campaign as a way to create excitement and build anticipation around your business launch,” she said. “Think about how you can maximize your social media platforms to showcase a series of sneak peeks and details about your new business, your story, your vision and mission, and what makes you unique.”
Capeles also pointed out that social platforms favor video content and recommended getting comfortable telling your story in video form.
6. Partner With Other Brands
Another small-business idea worth considering is seeking out brands to partner with.
“Collaborate with brands that have similar values or target audiences to cross-promote each other’s products/services in authentic ways,” said Capeles. “This can help expand your reach and establish credibility with potential customers. It’s good to keep in mind that partnering with local charities or organizations to promote your products or services can create a positive image for your brand and build long-lasting relationships.”
7. Leverage User-Generated Content and Offer Incentives
“Encourage early customers or beta testers to share their experiences with your product or on their social media platforms,” said Liza Kirsh, chief marketing officer of Dymapak. “This can be in the form of a review, a testimonial or a creative post. This UGC not only promotes authenticity but also helps you reach a wider audience through your customers’ networks.”
Capeles said that using user-generated content as a way to launch your business can help build trust and engage with customers intimately, but took it one step further: “Offer a special promo code for first-time customers that they can share with their friends and family; this creates a sense of exclusivity and encourages word-of-mouth marketing,” she said.
Launch Your Small Business With One or More of These Creative Ideas
Implementing creative ideas to launch your small business is a smart move and will help you stand out from the crowd. The best part is that you don’t have to pick just one. Combine two or more of these ideas to launch your business and see what kinds of results you get.