Examine your overall plan and break down how much time each step may require. Some examples of questions to consider:
- How much needs assessment will you do before establishing your service, and how long will that take?
- Do you have money in your budget to start right away?
- If you need to work with partners/helpers, how much time will they require to make their contributions?
- At what pace can you expect staff training to move?
- Do your staff or partners have any other major projects or commitments coming up that might draw time away from planning and implementation?
- Is there a natural time to start a new service, such as in between terms, after a break, at the start of a new fiscal year, etc.?
- If you want to have your staff ease into virtual reference, you might consider starting the service during a slower time or doing a “soft launch”, where you offer the service for a period of time without marketing it heavily.
- Do you want to plan for some post-launch check-in points to evaluate how things are going in the first few weeks or months?