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Bringing in the New Year is a time for inspiration and excitement for your business. But new ideas can also make you feel like you’re being pulled in different directions. There are so many things to get done and so many ways to do them (sigh). Luckily, we’ve put together a 4-step checklist for launching your business (with a free download) this January (and really… anytime).

Since we’re already halfway through January, we recommend that you set aside a chunk of time each day to work on your launch over the next 2 weeks. If you have a spare couple of days straight, even better. It’s a tall order, we know, but 2016 is the year you make real time for planning.

Sales can be slow through January but our data shows a clear pick-up in February, so it’s important to be ready for customers when the time inevitably comes.

Let’s get started!

2016 Selz January Launch Checklist
Products
Prep your products for sale. Check that digital files are ready for upload, physical goods are ready for shipping, and services are ready to be redeemed. If you’re selling physical goods, make sure you have packaging and postal goods sorted, too. If you’re selling digital files, make sure you’re ready for any questions that might arise about how to open or use the file you’re selling.
Images and videos for products. Make sure you have great, high-quality images that make your products shine. Buyers are much more likely to click on a beautiful image that clearly displays your product. It’s worth investing in a professional photographer to get the best out of your products, but if that’s not in your budget, check out our tips on how to do great DIY product photography. Video is another impactful way to garner even more interest in your products.
Product descriptions. Not only important for SEO, your product descriptions are some of the most important copy on your website. They’re your chance to hook into the emotional side of what your customer wants and also let them know about any factual information. Make sure you have a decent blend of both – too dreamy and you can devalue your products, too factual and you can cause them to lose their sparkle.

Read: 21 Things to do Before and After Publishing an Item for Sale

Automation
Abandoned cart. Don’t run the risk of losing sales to visitors that drop off during the checkout process. Make sure you install the Abandoned Cart app so that if they do leave the checkout halfway through, they’ll get a friendly email from you that invites them to come back and finish what they started.
Custom receipts. Post-purchase good vibes can be automated too, by using the Custom Receipt app. Set this one up for happier customers that are more likely to come back and purchase again.
Tax invoices. For a super professional touch, get set up with the Tax Invoices app. This is particularly handy if you’re a selling to other businesses (e.g. if you’re a business coach) that will need a tax invoice to be able to manage their expenses easily at tax time. You’ll automatically send them a professional invoice with your logo and business info after each purchase.
Grow your email list. We all know that growing your email list is absolute gold, so make sure that you’ve hooked up your Mailchimp, AWeber or Campaign Monitor account to your Selz account. This way you’ll be growing your list with every sale and increasing your opportunities for post purchase marketing.
Store functionality
Payments. Decide on the payment options that you’d like to offer. We recommend that you offer both Credit Cards and PayPal to increase your chances of converting a sale.
Shopping cart. If you’re selling more than one product, make sure you’ve enabled the shopping cart so that your buyers can purchase more than one item in a single transaction. Easy for them and more sales for you!
Discount codes. If you wanted to offer a special discount to celebrate the launch, or reward a special group of people, get your discount codes set up ahead of time and think about how you’re going to share your code with your visitors. Perhaps a marketing email dedicated to your promotion, or setting up high quality banner image that displays your code for new visitors. A discount code for a limited time only is always a great way to create a sense of urgency which can push sales too.

Read: Selling Online? Here are 7 Types of Discounts and Coupons To Use

Store design
Decide how and where you’ll be selling your products. Will you be setting up a store, or will you be adding Buy Now buttons on your existing site? Maybe both? Read: The 5 Most Effective Ways To Use Buy Now Buttons and Widgets
If you’ve decided on a store, choose your store theme. Which look suits your brand and products best? Play around with options by getting the Design and Pages app (or grab it as part of a value plan) and try out different looks for your store. Choose the theme that makes your brand and products look amazing. Take a look at the current themes.
Store content. Make sure you have a set of beautiful images to use as hero images in your store and on place like your “About” or other content pages. Also, think about anything that you need to write up for the homepage, the about page, and contact page.
Navigation. Set up the menus and categories for your store in a way that best presents your products to the buyer.
Social links. If you’ve got social accounts for your business, make sure you connect these to your store so buyers can follow you on social media, too. This is important for trust: people love to see that you’re an active and genuine seller, particularly if they’re coming to your site for the first time.

Get the printable list!
Get your January Launch Checklist by right-click and saving here or right-click and save the image below.

Onto you!

What else will you be doing for your launch? Is there anything else you would add? Leave us a comment below!

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About the author

Melissa Whidjaya

Melissa is the co-founder of Bloombox Co. Bloombox Co works to connect flower growers and flower buyers, creating a distribution system that reduces waste, improves profitability for growers, and removes barriers to consumption, providing flower lovers with a fresher, more sustainable product than ever before.