Is it crazy to launch a new product or business right now?

You’ve been thinking about launching that new product or business for years. You prepare your business plan and your marketing strategy…and then a global pandemic hits. Would you be crazy to launch something new right now?

Instead of shrinking in fear, invest in your time and your mindset. Don’t let the fear paralyse you into retreat mode and into not taking action. Leaders are created in challenging times. That time is now! So if you have an idea for a business, step up to the occasion, get out there, and make it happen.

Find the advantages in the crisis

Uber, Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack and Lyft were all formed during or around the Global Financial Crisis and were able to take advantage of reduced competition, cheaper office space and partners more open to signing a quick deal. Amazon’s sales grew by 28 per cent between 2007-2009, thanks to the launch of the Kindle in 2007.

They were all smart enough to see the advantage in the crisis and made the right moves at the right time. It’s not about taking advantage of anyone, it’s about taking a negative situation and turning it on its head.

In order to have the guts to push out your own product, have a think about the biggest issues that the pandemic is throwing up. Then, flip them on their head and figure out how to turn them into an advantage.

If I could offer business leaders one piece of advice for launching a product during a pandemic, it would be to come back to the idea of turning a “nice to have” offering into a “must-have”.

It all boils down to whether they’re selling candy, vitamins or painkillers. Candy is a nice-to-have that people enjoy but doesn’t solve a burning problem. Vitamins generally have a positive impact over time, but they’re not “urgently needed”. Painkillers offer an immediate solution to a critically important and pressing problem that needs to be alleviated pronto. In times like these, you don’t want to position your offer as anything other than a painkiller.

Finding those painkiller problems is simple, take a look at Google Trends data. Type in the three to four keywords that have something to do with your industry, and simply have a look at what’s happening to the search data. Property investment, guitar lessons…a lot of industries that you wouldn’t necessarily predict are getting unprecedented amounts of traffic.

Where’s the traffic?

Look at the last 12 months, look at the last 30 days, and see what’s happening to the traffic. If there has been a huge surge in traffic, Google Ads is going to be a fantastic channel for you to get out there and start acquiring leads and customers.

Facebook Ads are another great way to push the right message at the right time, and to create content that’s incredibly relevant to what people are going through right now. Not only is Facebook traffic up, but the cost to reach people is very, very cheap.

Despite what the news might want you to think, now is not the time to contract. It’s not the time to sit back, hoping and praying that this thing is going to blow over quickly. Whether there’s a pandemic or not, that problem of how to get customers using your product still exists. The only thing that changes is the way you frame the problem.

Sabri Suby, Founder, King Kong Digital Marketing Agency