What Is a Ramp Up Period?
A “ramp-up” period happens in business when the demand for a product or service is expected to surge. This could be before a product launch, before a major buying season (like summertime, back-to-school or holidays), or prior to a rebranding period or special promotional event. A ramp-up period typically requires a large amount of preparation, from product manufacturing to communications to marketing.
During a ramp-up period in your business, you will likely need to increase your production efforts in order to satisfy the increased demand for your products. For instance, if your business has announced that you’ll be releasing a new and improved vacuum cleaner in two months, you will need to coordinate your manufacturing efforts to ensure you’ll have the supply you need to keep your waiting customers happy. Make sure you have solid production and shipment calendars in place, especially if your business has several locations.
A ramp-up period is the time to communicate with your employees, your customers and your investors (if applicable). Good communication is key to generating enthusiasm for your new product launch or other promotion. Make sure your sales teams are fully acquainted with the product or service that will be highlighted throughout the campaign. If possible, give these teams prototypes or actual product so that they can build their own sales strategies around the features. Communicate with other employees – like customer service, HR and accounting – to prepare them for the increased workload ahead.
If your company is unprepared for a surge in business from a manpower standpoint, the ramp-up period is a good time to hire the support staff you need and train them up. Many retail outlets “ramp up” for the busy holiday season by hiring a number of seasonal sales people. Because of the increased business, however, you may need to increase the number of employees in departments other than sales as well. These needs might include customer service, shipping and accounting. Part of the challenge of adding employees is ensuring that all are trained and ready to go when your product hits the market or you launch your campaign. The ramp-up period gives you time to make sure proper training is covered.
The ramp-up period is a time when your marketing department can generate awareness, buzz and excitement about your new product, brand or seasonal surge in business. Depending on the nature of your business, it’s a good idea to start advertising a new product or service several weeks (or even months) prior to releasing it. Making sure your website is updated with the latest news and information. Leveraging this in online discussions via social media is also important during the ramp-up period. The non-marketing efforts you’re making during the ramp-up period are dependent on your company winning a surge in business, so these ramp-up marketing tactics are crucial.