6 Ways to Launch a Business

What’s the best way to tell the world that your company exists and is open for business? Six entrepreneurs share their strategies and stories.

3 min read

This story appears in the
June 2019

issue of
Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

1. Target influencers.

“After years designing graphic tees for large retailers, I decided to strike out on my own. I produced a small run of shirts and proposed a trade with local fashion bloggers: If they’d serve as the models for my T-shirt website, I’d provide my professional photography services to their blogs for free. It worked wonders! They’d often post about my brand and recommend me to other bloggers, too.” — Danielle Nagel, founder, Dazey LA 

2. Test your concept.

“We launched Floyd in 2014 on Kickstarter with a set of table legs — customers could turn virtually any surface into a table. We wanted to solve a problem around the disposability of furniture and to see if it was a pain point for more people than just us. The goal was to presell $18,000 worth of product; we did $250,000. It was a boot camp for scaling and getting our model together. It gave us a foundation and the capital to get rolling.” — Kyle Hoff, cofounder, Floyd

Related: 7 Powerful Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Talks Speakers

3. Meet your customers.

“We opened the first Hummus & Pita Co. before social media hit its peak, so our launch tactics were very grassroots. We shared samples on the street, put big signs in the windows to tease the launch and get neighbors excited, and went door-to-door to local businesses and schools to hand out coupons. It was all about the local community.” — Dave Pesso, cofounder, Hummus & Pita Co. 

Related: Use These Strategies to Carve a Path to Your Dream Job

4. Generate buzz.

“We launched shortly after Donald Trump was elected and Republicans in Congress were going after Planned Parenthood. As a female-founded sexual health company, we took a stand with a creative PR stunt. Vibes for Congress let customers send a vibrator to a congressional member of their choice, with profits going to Planned Parenthood. We thought maybe 100 people would participate, but thousands did. The press was insane — more than 40 publications wrote about us within a week.” — Polly Rodriguez, cofounder and CEO, Unbound 

5Win over tastemakers.

“Before launching to the public, it was essential that consumers, press, and the food community understood not only the benefits of our indoor-­farming operation but also the flavor of our produce. We shared products with potential chefs and retail partners, creating a foundation with what became our first customers, Foragers and Whole Foods. It’s also how we connected with chef Tom Colicchio, who became an investor and adviser.” — Irving Fain, cofounder and CEO, Bowery Farming

Related: These Are the 20 Best Cities to Start a Business

6. Activate your network.

“We did a private launch to 100 friends and asked each one to share the emails of two other friends they thought would like our men’s grooming products. We then asked the same thing of those friends. We reached thousands from our starting point of 100.” — Brian Jeong, cofounder and CEO, Hawthorne  


more recommended stories

  • 10 Entrepreneurs Who Are Showing Why Blockchain Is Here to Stay

    Thinking of jumping into this new.

  • There’s Growing Evidence Cannabis Helps Older Adults Keep Their Jobs for Years Longer

    Adults 65 and older are embracing.

  • The Fed Gave the Stock Market What It Expected, but Not What President Trump Wanted

    Plus, Adobe Inc. is up big.

  • The Number One Reason Women Entrepreneurs Should Look to Support Each Other

    The CEO of this fertility coverage.

  • Investors Optimistic for President Trump and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping’s Meeting Next Week

    NVIDIA Corp. soars on hopes for.

  • How Illinois Became the Only State to Legalize Weed Sales Without a Referendum

    Illinois lawmakers managed to pass a.

  • How Industrial-Scale Extraction Will Make CBD Accessible to Everyone Who Needs It

    A Kentucky company is working on.

  • Elon Musk Says He’s Through With Twitter, as Facebook and Tesla Drive Entrepreneur Index Higher

    Facebook is getting a rousing welcome.

  • 7 Ways to Deal with Anxiety on the Job

    If you’re seriously stressed at work,.

  • Helping Dads Discover Medical Cannabis This Father’s Day

    Many seniors, maybe including your own.

  • Diversify Your Marketing Portfolio With These Digital Assets

    Choose from curated fonts, graphics, templates,.

  • 5 Keys to Successfully Leading a Family Business

    Family businesses aren’t always easy, but.

  • No One Knows It But These 3 Industries Now Depend on AI

    AI is revolutionizing industries across the.

  • Being an Influencer is Not a Job

    Here’s how influencers have evolved to.

  • Why Mood-Based Cannabis Products Are About to Blowup

    Cannabis can be consumed to achieve.

  • Facebook Stock Rises as Company Prepares to Unveil Its Cryptocurrency

    The tech giant’s cryptocurrency reportedly has.

  • ‘I’m Fighting for Paternity Leave — So Should You’

    Supporting men as caregivers is a.

  • Cannabis Companies Embrace Pride Month

    In a month to celebrate diversity,.

  • Oil Tanker Attacks Lift Energy Stocks as Market Ends Two-Day Slide

    Two tankers were attacked in the.

  • Tesla’s June Rebound Hits a Speed Bump

    Plus, technology stocks fall on trade.

  • More Than 150,000 U.S. Small-Business Websites Could Be Infected With Malware at Any Given Moment. Here’s How to Protect Yours.

    Small-business victims were involved in 43.

  • How These Influencers Launched an Event to Combat Procrastination

    The creators of a Bali retreat.

  • Tesla Stock Continues June Rebound as Shares Rise Again

    The broader stock market was flat..

  • What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Creator Account

    Tnis new option may look good.

  • 3 Reasons Most Businesses Don’t Reach 6 Figures

    June 10, 2019 3 min read.

  • Stocks Bounce Back After President Trump Calls Off Mexican Tariffs

    Plus, Analog Devices jumps on a.

  • ‘One Email From Whole Foods Launched My Entire Business,’ Says the Co-Founder of a Gluten Free Frozen Food Brand

    Former restaurateur Vanessa Phillips pursued her.

  • Celebrity Jeweler Alex Todd Gets Saucey

    His clients include Jay Z and.

  • Get Salesforce Certified and Raise Your Earning Potential

    This course bundle will make the.

  • Here’s What Entrepreneurs Must Know About the Booming VPN Industry

    The future of the VPN industry.

  • How to Become a Better Digital Marketer in 2019

    Master SEO, social media marketing, copywriting.

  • The Best Employees Have These ’31 Flavors’

    When hiring or managing employees, it.