creating a launch schedule

Right now someone's creating a plan for their next launch – making a launch schedule.

Hands down – one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs – especially new ones have is something that might surprise you…It's actually knowing what to do day in and day out in their business.

We have tons of ideas. We might even be able to attach tasks and dates to getting these ideas done, but in the actual moment of doing…things get stuck. Actually, what usually happens is you deciding what to do the day you actually have to do it instead of taking the time in advance…to make a plan and schedule.

Have you ever felt like you had NO IDEA what to do first? 

We've all been there.

If there’s one thing every entrepreneur needs to be able to do – it’s this…make a clear launch plan, schedule, or at the very least a rough launch timeline.

I know it sounds crazy, but you have to know at least the general flow of your launch, what needs to get done to make the flow happen, and even a general idea of what you want to happen during any given year.

I’m not saying you have to fill in all the blanks; in fact, creating a launch plan means you're creating a map that could change.

But you have to go in the direction of your vision. A map gives you that.

A map, a journey, plan…always starts when you understand what has to happen first, where you’re headed, some milestones to fill the space, and where you hope to end up.

You can always get help breaking your ideas down further so they become tasks and actions.

So, today, I’m here we’ll to help you embrace your inner hidden project manager…because if you’re just starting out, you might not realize that even if you hire one in the future, you’ll still need to be in this role to some extent!

In this post,  I’ll share:

  • Why creating your launch schedule is so hard & usually the last thing you want to do when you have something amazing you want to launch
  • 4 methods to plan out your launch–including the tools to use for each method and a handy downloadable launch template for my absolute favorite one
  • All my best “schedule-binge” in one handy list–podcasts, videos, posts–oh MY!
  • Plus my own go-to list of resources when I’m stuck in a planning cul-de-sac.

Ready? Let’s go.

Why Creating Your Launch Schedule Might Be So Hard

1) You’re “creative” and feel like you can’t be locked into a launch schedule.

I bet you can embrace being disciplined…because generally, that’s what it takes to become an expert at everything we care about.

Schedules make your skin crawl if you are used to creating on the fly, in the moment, and like to leave room for inspiration to strike. I get it.

But guess what? You can leave room in your schedule/plan for inspo to strike too!

Instead of looking at a launch schedule and thinking omg – how about looking at it as a roadmap. You’re on a road trip and you want to switch your route. Can you do it? Yes! But only if you’re already on the map, headed in the right direction.

2) When you see everything listed out or scheduled out – you get overwhelmed with a capital O.

Maybe you’ve planned things in the past that didn’t work out. Maybe you got it “wrong” and planned too much or felt like you missed some important things.

The great thing about schedules and planning is that you can a) discuss them with other people even if they aren’t in your business. b) get help managing that schedule simply by giving yourself smaller frequency goals — daily or weekly. c) if seeing everything really grinds your gears, you can have someone “feed” you tasks almost like courses in a meal…when a project manager is on board, they’ll see when you’re ready for the next set of tasks.

3) Sometimes scheduling is hard because there’s something truly complex or “new” in your project–something with a lot of unknowns.

Recently on a call for the Fearless Launching community, a member expressed her stress over a “complex” project she was planning. But it wasn’t the launch itself…it was the production and manufacturing that had her in a tizzy. Instead of scrapping the launch, she needed to focus on understanding the production process, the balance between the inventory she was ordering for sales she hadn’t made yet.

The same challenges can reveal themselves if you add any process to your launch–like say an affiliate program or even a webinar. Both are like launches within a launch. Not impossible, but the first or second time you do them, they will still be new and you’ll still be figuring things out!

If you’ve been avoiding making a schedule or think you just can’t stick to one…

Here are four ways to start LOVING planning…

  • List Lovers – Do you find yourself making checklists of things to get done? Even ideas that are listed out?

Important to note when looking at a list – you have to be able to update it, migrate tasks to new dates, and constantly make sure everything is accounted for. I personally think everyone should start with this method of planning out a launch and that's why I'll be breaking this down for you here on the blog in a few short weeks…mostly because it's what I use every single day!

  • Excel Junkies – Have you always loved spreadsheets because they organize your thoughts, ideas, tasks, and dates in a simple easy-to-view place?
    • Tools: Google sheets, excel spreadsheet, OneDrive also has tools you can use
    • Perfect if you like an organized list, having the list organized into categories
    • You'll find my spreadsheet template inside this Plan Your Next Launch course.

Important to know about spreadsheets…they don't update automatically. They don't email you when things are due. You have to do it yourself and you have to be good at updating it every single day. And updating it means ongoing attention to it! If you love spreadsheets though…you'll likely have it open on your computer at all times!

  • Post-it Freak – Are you hands-on? Like to move things around with your hands? Write on dry erase boards? Do you love post-it notes?
    • Tools: post-it notes, whiteboard or any flat surface, markers, pencils, digital – Trello
    • Watch the video that I did for the first steps and perhaps I’ll do a video showing the white-board setup> show the sprint set up.
    • Would you like to see my whiteboard tutorial you can use during your launch? Click here and tell me!
  • Tried & True Basic Calendar – Do you like just a regular ‘ole calendar? Maybe you like to see things visually laid out over time? Grab a calendar and some post-its!

Binge On These Launch Schedule + Planning Resources

Sometimes you need to get into the scheduling mindset…and I get what that means…you want to read, consume, listen and get into the mindset of creating this schedule.

This list should get you started! Most are on my site but some will take you over to YouTube!

How To Manage Your Launch With Evernote
Fearless Launching
The Fearless Launching Guide To Planning Your Online Launch
Planning A Year of Launches
Can You Create A Promotion Plan For Your New Product or Launch Using “Old” Content?
https://www.annesamoilov.com/make-planning-more-fun-and-useful/
https://www.annesamoilov.com/super-simple-project-planning-process/
https://www.annesamoilov.com/how-to-start-planning-your-next-launch-workbook/
https://www.annesamoilov.com/planning-for-success/
What to do BEFORE you plan your successful product launch {All-New Behind The Scenes Look}
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfu8RLZQa5o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-osK1jtavzA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVc5EYRRBkw

Where I Go For Good Swift Kicks When I Need Them

Even if this is not your first launch schedule or a self-proclaimed “planner girl”, I always suggest getting another set of eyes to look at your schedule…or another set of ears to help you talk through your launch!

Quite often, I have my list of people and resources that I run to when I’m putting together a plan for a new project or want a second eye on my work.

Here are a few places, I’ve nerded out online and offline recently when I need extra help planning:

Online
https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/
http://www.strangecharmed.com/productivity/my-business-planning-inserts/
http://www.strangecharmed.com/filofax/how-to-project-planning-goal-tracking-with-a-filofax/
http://karensergeant.com/using-trello-manage-course-creation-project/
https://trello.com/inspiration/business
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCctXZhXmG-kf3tlIXgVZUlw

Books + Notebooks

http://amzn.to/1oyOpbk
http://amzn.to/1SybkeM
http://amzn.to/1PRREAy

What To Do Right Now

Discipline and habit are what you need to build first for yourself. That way, you don’t end up only looking at a calendar or a project plan right before a launch. Make planning a part of your weekly practices that ground you in choosing what you are doing that week in your business.

Regular check-ins start with you, and make you stronger for the day you hire or expand your team.

  1. Set aside 30 minutes sometime in the next 7 days.
  2. Pop it into your calendar, planner, or as a reminder on your smartphone. You get overwhelmed easily by schedules & task lists
  3. Set aside weekly time: 10-15 minutes to review your schedule (even if you aren’t in launch mode)
  4. Extra Credit: Set daily Top 3 tasks or things you want to tackle for the day. Try to get those top3 done before anything else. Tag me (@annesamoilov everywhere) if you share your top 3 on social media.

This episode is brought to you by:

In my free masterclass: The 4-Part Framework For Your Profitable & Life-Changing Launch, I will walk you through 4 phases you must complete in order to have a successful launch of your online course or coaching program. Save your spot here.

create your launch schedule