7 Lessons I Learns from Launching My First Ever Product and Hosting a Celebration Event
Name: Arizona Mercedes Brodie
Company: Arizona Botaniq
Description: Sports beauty & grooming brand,
world’s 1st anti-chlorine skincare range
made from natural ingredients
Hello readers, nice to meet you. My name is Arizona! Today I’m guest posting for Elevator on the topic of “Lessons I learned from launching my first ever product and, hosting a celebration event".
On Wednesday 1st November 2017, I hosted the Arizona Botaniq launch party to celebrate the collective effort that’s gone into getting my business off the ground. It hasn’t been an easy journey - that’s for sure, but I’ve been lucky enough to be starting up in probably one of the best places in Scotland to start a business, thanks to the really high quality and wide variety of business support services in the area. To say it like that sounds very clinical though... what that means is there are some lovely, very enthusiastic and passionate people who go above and beyond to support the business community in our gorgeous city, Aberdeen.
Arizona Botaniq is a Princes Trust supported sports beauty & grooming brand, most well known for the debut product range, After Swim Skin Rescue - the world’s 1st anti-chlorine skin care range made with natural ingredients. Yes, you read that right: The world’s 1st natural skincare range that removes chlorine!
Ok, now we’re past the introductions, let’s get on with my 7 lessons learned:
- Don’t delay launching. Let’s think of the innovation adoption curve (Rogers 1962). We have early adopters, early majority, laggards etc. Personally, I spent a long time developing the perfect business on paper but when it came to implementing it all, the first steps (whilst working on a tight budget) all looked pretty different from that ideal model. It takes time to move through the adoption curve, to gain followers, customers, ambassadors, so you might as well start riding the curve early and gaining traction while costs are lower. Your first customers are your most invested customers who care less about perfection and more about the innovation. When you’ve got your processes down, things are running more smoothly and you’re a little closer to your business ideal, you’ll be ripening up to majority adoption.
- Host a party to celebrate. This wasn’t my idea so I won’t take credit, but what a great idea it was. In a world where everything is digital I think we sometimes forget the significance of actual real life contact. It’s unlikely I’d remember an email campaign about a launch for the rest of my life let alone the next week, but I’d almost definitely remember the first time I ever made my own scented moisturiser at a party. Yes, we did do that at my launch party! If there’s anything I’ve learned in my short business journey thus far; it’s important to be remembered.
- Make the party enjoyable. Maybe this is just me but I sometimes find that business related events are a little boring because they’re bound by this idea of being professional. You can definitely still be professional and have a good time at the same time. In fact, what even is professional? Polite? Respectful? Credible? Are those not things we should be anyway? We’re all still humans at the end of the day, and just because we’re attending for the purpose of business doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy participating, learning and having a laugh.
- “?#$*@&%! up time”. My mum coined this term in reference to the many flights I’ve missed in my lifetime and it’s useful to remember. Count up how much time you need for something, get as many things organised in advance as possible, try to be as comprehensive as possible, and then leave a great big open space on the day of your event. Worst case scenario; you fill it running around sorting all of those last minute things that fell apart or didn’t come through, because those things are almost inevitable no matter what. Best case scenario; you finish your event preparations early and have some time before it kicks off to relax, enjoy the milestone and get into a good place mentally. This point flows into #7 nicely.
- Get on the day emotional support. If you’re totally self-sufficient and level headed then ignore this, but for me, as my first ever event and first ever launch, I was losing my marbles under the self-imposed stress. I was lucky enough to have some of my family (blood related, elevator and princes trust) with me on the day to pep talk me and help organise my thoughts. It would have been a complete disaster without their input and I only know that in hindsight.
- Make some plan B’s in case stuff goes wrong. I didn’t do this but I’d do it for the next event. Make a little risk assessment of things that could potentially go wrong e.g. items you might forget to take or people who suddenly can’t attend that are fundamental to whatever. List out those potential hazards and make rough plan B’s that can be filled out on the day if needs be. If possible, try to make your plan B’s equipment-less.
- Smile and enjoy it. We’re social creatures and we are influenced by other people’s energy perhaps more than we realise. When someone smiles a very warm and inviting smile your way, it’s very difficult not to smile back, it’s instinctual. As the host of the party it’s your job to start that chain of smiles. Other people will enjoy themselves if they see you’re enjoying yourself, you give them permission to be open and they will reflect your energy. The same also applies if you’re closed off, so definitely don’t do that.
- Final rule that I’ll always include in anything like this – advice is so subjective and each of our experiences are so infinitely variable it is impossible to draw exact symmetries between our different experiences. Therefore, all advice is simply one person’s way of doing things and should be taken as just that. Be influenced by others, but make your own decisions so that right or wrong, when you look back, you can at least say they were true to your values.
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