Getting a product to the market isn’t always an easy process, and any mistakes that you make along the way could impact your finances for years to come. Without the proper research, you could find yourself dealing with a wide variety of issues ranging from manufacturing delays to unsatisfied customers. In some cases, you might even face a lawsuit from other companies or entrepreneurs. Here is a quick look at the steps you need to take to turn your basic idea into a viable product.
Conduct Market Research
If you want your product to be successful, then you need to spend plenty of time on your market research. During this stage, you are going to study competing products, competing manufacturers, the state of the industry, and the viability of your product. Once you have done that, you will then need to apply for the preliminary patents and trademarks in order to legally protect your ideas. All of the information that you gather during your research will need to be turned into an official business plan if you are going to require outside investments at a later time.
Test and Prototype
This step is heavily dependent on what type of product you plan on selling. Entrepreneurs who are designing electronics will need to work with an experienced manufacturer who uses printed circuit boards, like those from streamline Circuits, and can help them design and produce whatever item they are looking to make. This is another important step if you need outside financial support, and many investors won’t even consider offering a loan until they see a well-designed prototype. The information that you gather while prototyping must be included in the official business plan as well.
Explore Your Financing Options
There are dozens of different ways to finance a new product or company. Most entrepreneurs should consider applying for a business loan through a traditional bank or credit union. With a business loan, you will have almost full control over the product and the direction of your company. Those who don’t qualify for a business loan might need to explore additional options like crowdfunding or working directly with investors. Once you have the finances squared away, you then need to show your product to the world.
Marketing is more affordable than ever, but it can also be quite difficult if you are unsure of where to start. The most inexpensive way to market is to conduct an online campaign with a website and through social media. More traditional advertising mediums such as billboards and radio spots can be very effective, but they are also expensive. No matter what type of marketing you choose, you should start as early as possible and stay consistent.
During this process, entrepreneurs and inventors need to remember that there are potential pitfalls around every corner. Spending more time the on market research and testing will minimize your risks and increase your chances of success.