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5 steps to a successful launch, because of or in spite of, your technology

Are you listening? I’m about to share one of the most important secrets of business with you. It’s not often talked about, and even less often is it accepted.

Are you ready?

Technology is not perfect.

At all.

There is no software on the market that is perfect and flawless. It doesn’t exist. And the pursuit of it will do nothing more than make you crazy.

There is no software on the market that is perfect and flawless Click To Tweet

Because again, it doesn’t exist.

So, let’s talk about this. Why it doesn’t exist, and what to do about it.

There are thousands of software programs out there, and any one business can be using dozens at any one time. In order for all of these to work, isn’t it critical that they operate according to plan?

Well, sort of yes, sort of no.

Let’s talk about a critical piece of information that is often forgotten when dealing with software and, for that matter, hardware.

It is developed by humans.

It runs on computers built by humans.

It communicates on a internet network that is maintained and upgraded by humans.

You see, regardless of the name of the software, the function it’s supposed to perform, the price or age of the software or anything else…it is still developed, built and maintained by humans.

Regardless of the name of the software, the function it’s supposed to perform, the price or age of the software or anything else…it is still developed, built and maintained by humans. Click To Tweet

And that means it is imperfect.

So, knowing that, what can we do to keep things running amidst the imperfections that will inevitably affect us at one point or another? What do we do when a software we purchase doesn’t work as we thought it would? Or when an existing platform we rely heavily on is eclipsed by an up and coming competitor? Or when something breaks in the middle of a critical launch and things go haywire?

What do we do when a software we purchase doesn’t work as we thought it would? Click To Tweet

There are several things you can do to prepare for this if it happens, and deal with it when it does. Let’s look at each of them.

Have a sense of humor and levity about things

Yes, I know, I know. This is tough. It is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do, and one of the most important. Let me explain why.

If something breaks during a launch, for instance, and you begin to panic or get upset, a number of things happen, most of which will make the situation much worse.

When you keep calm you have many more resources available to you. You are able to reach out, resourcefully, to your team or colleagues to explore solutions. You have more of your problem-solving skills available to you instead of your adrenaline and fight or flight response.

You are less likely to make a decision or change based on emotion, and more able to think logically about all of the potential risks and benefits to making any change.

You are able to more clearly communicate the issue to your team and find solutions that will get things working again. You are able to consider the immediate and long term consequences to any choices you make, giving you the chance to find the most stable and effective solution to your issue, allowing you to get your launch live again and working smoothly.

By maintaining a sense of humor and levity you are able to counteract the initial adrenaline filled panic response that naturally comes with a break in a system. It is a way of inoculating yourself against all that comes with panic and frustrations.

Have a backup plan for broken technology

Launching a new product or service? Do your revenue goals rely on this launch being successful? Scarier yet, does your ability to stay in business rest on making a certain number of sales?

If so you can’t leave anything up to chance.

So, when the success of something involving is technology is critical, have a back up plan.

For example, a while back Clickfunnels had a huge issue. Their site was down. Like, the entire Clickfunnels site. All of it.

And everyone’s Clickfunnels sites were down along with it.

This meant no emails went out from any Clickfunnels account.

Including from Clickfunnels!

Subscribers and users got no notification about the outage and took to social media. It was, quite frankly, a nightmare. And part of the nightmare was because nobody got any notice that things were broken for a good 45 minutes or so.

Finally Russell Brunson, founder of Clickfunnels, did a Facebook Live video and explained that the Amazon S3 servers had been down and his team was working with them to fix it. He also explained that he hadn’t sent a notification email because he, too, used Clickfunnels and he wasn’t able to send out emails.

Unfortunately, by then dozens, if not over 100, people had already taken to social media in a panic wondering why their launches were stalled and they had no information about why.

Now, I am all about drinking the Kool-Aid and using your own products and services. I wouldn’t run a business any other way.

But…I wonder how differently it would have gone if Clickfunnels had a backup file of their contact list with a way to email their list if necessary. I wonder how much happier their customers would have been if they had gotten some communication as soon as the problem occurred.

I also wonder what would happen if something awful happened in tech and they, for some reason, lost all of their email list. Do they have a backup? I know their database is huge, but it is also their most valuable asset. Do they have a backup plan?

Do you?

Have a tech attack team on standby

Whether it’s someone on your team who is great with tech problem solving or it’s someone else you contract for the job when you have a launch or important sales even coming up, you need someone whose tech skills are strong enough to research and identify the problem, and ideally someone who, even if they can’t fix the problem, can help figure out what kind of solution is needed.

You also need someone who can fix technological problems when they do come up. Because they will. I have seen very few launches and sales events that go off without a hitch. It just doesn’t happen. Things come up, people have issues that no one could anticipate, sales go so well that fulfillment plans need to change.

Any number of things can come up that will require updating things during your launch. If you are ready for it, it won’t be a big deal when it happens. Be clear with your team about your expectations of them during this time. Let them know what you expect in terms of communication, responsiveness and hours of availability.

Don’t leave anything up to chance. Get clarity prior to your event, so there won’t be any reason to panic when things matter the most.

Consider what you will do if the event isn’t successful

I have worked with dozens of entrepreneurs who have a launch that has to be successful and if it isn’t the business may fold. They may have to lay team members off, stop taking paychecks themselves, or even close their business.

That is an insane amount of pressure to put on a single event.

So, in your early planning stages, consider what you will do if your event isn’t successful. If you don’t reach the sales you need to, what will you do?  Will you truly have to lay people off? Will you honestly have to stop taking paychecks? (I have seen this more often than you want to know about) Or, worst yet, will you actually have to close your doors?

Get honest with yourself about the consequences if you don’t reach your goals and your event isn’t successful. What could happen?

And make a backup plan if needed. Whether it’s a second event, or another sale, or outreach to a JV partner, a business loan, or something else, know what the consequences are and what you will do if the worst happens.

Don’t blame your team, keep the focus on solutions

It’s natural, when something breaks, to blame the person who put it together. The problem with this is that it keeps your in problem mindset, rather than in solutions mindest. That means your energy will be spent thinking about the problem instead of figuring out how to fix it.

Once the problem has happened, let’s be honest. What matters more during your launch? Who created the problem or fixing it?

You can save the blame piece for calmer times after the launch or sales event. Once you’ve completed the launch you can spend the time and energy to determine if the error was caused by someone on your team or if it was completely out of your control.

Whatever the cause, you can be sure everyone will be more resourceful if you are leading the team with a solution oriented approach your team will follow suit. If you lead with a blaming mindset your team will also follow suit.

Where do you want their energy spent? On figuring out who made the mistake and trying to save their own skin, or on finding and implementing a solution to the problem?

Once you’ve set these things in place, you’ll be prepared to deal with anything that may come up. If your technology breaks, or something stops working, or your servers crash…whatever problem plagues you, you’ll be ready to deal with it.