Work Smarter, Not Harder by Kaitlyn Rikkers

Our latest guest blog is from Hivery member Kaitlyn Rikkers, founder of 98ProofBrands. Kaitlyn led an informative June Entrepreneur’s Circle at The Hivery which was a huge hit and the catalyst for this article. Thank you Kaitlyn!


Work Smarter, Not Harder: The Step by Step Guide of Getting to Market

Many of my fellow Hivery members are starting new businesses or bringing their ideas, talents, and services to market. This go-to-market phase is a critical one for gaining momentum, leveraging your time and talent, and getting off to a great start. Below I outline four steps to launching; whether it’s a new business or a new product within an existing business.

The best way to take a new idea to market or launch a new company is to start at the beginning. Your concept or business likely involves a great idea that can be used to help others solve an existing problem, AND to, ahem, make yourself an income, too. Perfect. There’s a problem, you have a solution, and there’s value in you providing that solution.

So, now that we’ve agreed on that, let’s figure out how to best bring your idea to the people who need it. 

49% of the solution is data—the rigor and science that will get the job done
51% of the solution is your special sauce—the creative something that differentiates you from         everyone else

When I work with brands or teach students, we go through the following steps. To start, we hone the idea, research and select the ideal audience and evaluate the market, then we build upon the differentiators and create a plan. 

Let’s break down the four fundamental steps for creating your go-to-market strategy:

STEP ONE: Research
To start, it’s important to do some research on the market where you’d like to capture market share. Ask yourself: What consumer or business problems this market has been established to address? Which competitors have control of this market? Why?

STEP TWO: Who is it for?
Next, run some queries around your target audience. For example, what does the average person spend per year on a certain product or within a certain industry? Or how much return does a company see when they use a particular service or product? Questions like these will help you understand who to talk to and what your audience may be interested in hearing about. 

STEP THREE: What to say
Now that you’re armed with the data, 49% of our job is done! (Hooray!) The rest of the solution is a combination of your language, your voice, and what makes you different. Think about the impression you want to make on your audience and write your language around that. Your voice should reflect and resonate with your audience.

STEP FOUR: Make a plan
Lastly, make a plan—any type of plan that best suits you. The key is organizing all the information you’ve assembled in the first three steps, into a cohesive strategy that guides you toward your goal—providing a service or a solution + making an income doing it!

Someone once said, think big and act small. This is your time to dream about the future, but always remember the devil is truly in the details

Talent + Special Sauce + Data + Targeting + Messaging + Planning = You’re in business!

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.55.47 AM.png

For more information or further inquiries please visit or email us at