Joanna Marie, Negosentro | Whether you are starting a new business, or running a long-established company, there will be a time when you will be thinking about a new product you can launch into the marketplace. Even if you have already had success in the past, you will want to continue that growth and take advantage of your position in the overpopulated market. However, coming up with a new idea for a product isn’t easy. There are many factors which you will need to think about before you can get it into production. Below are a few handy tips that you can use to develop another successful product.
Identify a Need
The difference between a successful product and a failure is a need. If customers don’t want or need it, then, quite simply, it won’t sell. The problem is trying to identify a need that hasn’t already been developed by someone else. Try to keep a book for your ideas or thoughts because that way, when you think of something that could you could develop, you have it to hand. Another option is to create a variation of an existing product you have made. Perhaps you think that it can be changed to cater to a different market? Or perhaps there are new ideas that can make it better? Whichever it is, it has to fill a need in the crowded market.
Polling Your Customers
To many entrepreneurs, the idea of trying to poll their customers to see what they would like seems like a great idea. However, there is a lot of research that suggests this is not the case. The main reason is that customers often don’t know what they want. After all, if they did, they would most likely have invented it themselves! That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask them what they want, for example, you can ask them if one of your products could be improved. Be prepared that the replies you get might not be of that much help to you.
Get Help and Insight from Designers
When you have found your idea, you will need to think about how it will look. To do this, try to create some concept drawings to see how you want it to look. You don’t have to be a great artist or technical drawer; you just need to have a general concept. Once you have done that, you should think about collaborating with a designer who can transform your concept into a workable prototype. If you have the expertise, then you can do this part yourself, but if not, having a prototype design solves many problems. Firstly, you can iron out any issues with practicality. You need to be open to the fact that not all aspects of it will be feasible.
Think of More Than One Design Option
A good innovator will come up with one good idea; a great innovator will have three or four! When you think about the product, try to imagine it from many directions and see what other ways you can change or improve it. Don’t be satisfied with just one model in case it fails along the way – you will need an alternative. The design phase can take a long time, so you want to come up with a viable alternative in the end.
Source Your Materials
Part of the design process is how you are going to make the product. What machinery and materials will you need to mass produce this product? Start with the materials, speak to suppliers and manufacturers like those selling polymer industrial products. Ask them if they can supply the materials you need and if not, can they supply another alternative? Your suppliers are key to getting this product made, so you need to ensure they are aware and can handle the orders. You also need to look at your machinery, can it be adapted to do what you want to do, or will you need to buy additional equipment? The answer to this question could be the decider as to whether the project goes ahead or not.
Finding the Finance
One of the biggest obstacles to your product is funding, you might have an amazing idea, but without the money to make it happen, it will only be an idea. Financing your product can be done in many ways. For example, if you are making a lot of profits, you might be able to fund it yourself. However, if the cost runs over your budget, then this can be tricky. Another option is to find an investor or ask your existing investors to help you. They will need to see all the figures including your projected sales before they decide. One of the most popular options now is crowdfunding. If you are struggling to find funding in other ways, then crowdfunding can be a good option. All you need is to place your idea on a crowdfunding website and detail what it’s about and how it will solve a problem. If people like it, they will add funding to your total until you have all the money you need. In return, those that have funded it might get an early release of the product or perhaps a share of the profits.
If you are lucky enough to get the funding you need, then you will be able to create a prototype that you can use to test its design and practicality. Usually, these things are ironed out in the design phase, but you might still need to change something to make it better or more efficient. Once the prototype is made, you can start the testing phase. This is the time when you can see if this product will do the things you hoped it would. Try the product yourself and keep a journal to record any issues that you had. Aim to record the product in action to see if it works well and for future design examination.
Designing a new product is a long and challenging process, but, if you can do the right research and planning, then you can start to create something everyone will want.