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?