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How to plan your start-up launch with a strategic roadmap

A successful launch can help gather publicity for your start-up company’s product or service, as well as ensure you gain vital revenue and investment opportunities.

You need to consider a lot of different things when organising your launch, one of which is a strategic roadmap.

In this article we will look at how a roadmap will help your start-up to succeed and how to plan your roadmap.

What is a strategic roadmap?

A roadmap is a crucial part of project management methodology and can be used at any time throughout the timespan of your business.

However, when used as part of your start-up’s launch plan, it can help you successfully launch your product or service, make key decisions and help keep your team on track.

According to Cooper & Edgett, 38% of high-performing businesses use roadmaps compared to 19% of poorly performing businesses. Motorola pioneered the use of roadmaps as far back as the 1970s, and they have been utilised ever since!

A strategic roadmap will help you determine:

  • How your product or service aligns with your company strategy
  • The essential tasks you need to carry out before launch, and what you will do if any issues arise
  • The teams that need to be involved in the launch phase, and in what capacity
  • The unique selling points and features that will make your product or service stand out

Think of your roadmap as the stepping stones that will carry your business over the river to your destination. It will summarise what you need to do to get your product, service or mobile app in from of your customers.

One of our favourite books that looks at the start-up roadmap in detail is ‘The Start-up Roadmap’ by Ed McLaughlin.

How to create a start-up roadmap

“Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details.” — Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

The great thing about a start-up roadmap is that it is very high-level — it’s about focusing on the big picture rather than looking at the details.

We’d recommend planning your launch at least six months in advance. This will give you plenty of time to prepare and time for your team to fully digest the document and understand what they need to do in time for the launch.

The start-up roadmap is something that your product manager can put together and manage, or alternatively, you can put it together yourself.

Create your timeline

Before you start your roadmap, you need to know what timescales you need to work to.

You need to create a timeline for your launch, determining what you need to do for the launch to happen successfully. For example, finalising your pricing, agreeing on your branding and organising training for your sales team. The best way to do this is to decide on a date you would like to launch (it doesn’t have to be specific) and work backwards.

You can visualise your timeline is by creating a Gantt chart. This is a project chart that you can use to track the time running up to your launch as well as which tasks are dependent on one another. That way, if there is a delay with one of your tasks, you can see how much of an impact it will have on the rest of the launch.

Once you have your timeline in place, you can use it as a basis for your strategic roadmap.

If you use Jira, you can use the Advanced Roadmaps app to create agile, easy changeable roadmaps and timelines.

Do your research

It’s essential to do as much research as possible before you put together your roadmap.

Not only should you have your timeline in place, but you should have also carried out thorough market research.

  • What are your start-up’s goals?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What problems does your product or service solve?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What business model will you utilise?
  • What resources do you have?
  • What is your price point?
  • Do you have a proof of concept or minimum viable product in place?

The more information you have, the more comprehensive your roadmap will be. Think back to the stepping stone analogy we mentioned earlier… you want each stone to be thoroughly in place!

Explain your reasoning

A strategic roadmap should explain the choices that you have made in the runup to your launch and any changes that need to be made.

This will not only give your employees insight into your reasoning but also help sell your product or service to any prospective investors.

Make sure your roadmap is easy to understand and engaging

Everyone in your start-up needs to be able to read and understand your strategic roadmap. This means you need to not only make it easy to comprehend but attractive to look at too. According to HubSpot, visuals are 60,000 times easier to understand than plain text!

If a prospective investor asks to look at your roadmap, you want to make it as compelling as possible. After all, the more effort you have put into it, the more likely they are to invest!

Here are some great examples of roadmaps that you can utilise for your start-up.

Don’t forget to update your roadmap regularly

Remember that your roadmap is not a static document; it is a dynamic one. Your strategic roadmap will grow and evolve over time as your knowledge of the market grows, and your start-up’s circumstances change.

Be sure to update your roadmap regularly in advance of your launch and make everyone aware of the changes. You want to make sure that everyone is prepared for your big launch and has the most recent information at their fingertips.

Hope you liked the article and we would appreciate to get some claps from you.

Originally posted at: https://www.urlaunched.com/blog/the-startup-roadmap-planning

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