Business Personal Finance

Tuesday 2 September 2014

You get one chance to launch a product. Do it right, not right now

Feargal Quinn

Published 10/04/2014 | 02:30

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A woman walks past a sculpture based on euro bank notes in Nicosia, Cyprus.
A woman walks past a sculpture based on euro bank notes in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Feargal Quinn

Q I am producing a new product and the reaction from potential customers is phenomenal – with lots of interest in placing orders, etc. My problem, in the short term, is that I have a very small amount of cash to invest in the business, and I can't decide on whether to launch now – or wait until I have the correct resources behind me. I would appreciate your input.

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A It sounds to me that you are on the verge of something very big, which will be both exciting and challenging. I would caution you about your judgment becoming clouded by the potential for enormous success, and as an outcome of this, losing sight of the risks that come with your project.

It may be that the cashflow issue could very quickly become a problem.

You would launch the product, get substantial interest from the market and find that you couldn't fund new stock to fulfil orders.

Your reputation would quickly become tarnished, consumers would become disgruntled and you could potentially mess up what would otherwise be a successful business.

If you can ramp up the business slowly, then that is one way to do things.

However, it sounds like once you launch this product, demand will grow very quickly and you are not going to be able to control that.

You are only going to get one chance to launch this product and on the information you have given me, the best advice I can give is to delay the launch until such time as you can get the funding in place.

While the delay might be frustrating, and it will be very tempting to grab any business that is there now, the risk of destroying future success seems too great.

Obviously, there are other considerations – such as allowing a competitor to get into the market before you, losing customers who are currently talking to you, etc – and you will need to take all of these on board. The great news is that this project seems to have built-in success. Good luck.

 

Do you have a problem with your small business? Email Feargal at problemsolver@independent.ie

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