Entrepreneurs typically have great vision. They see the need in a market place and take the initiative to fill the void. The development of a new product or device often times seems daunting in the beginning, but having the perseverance to stick with an idea and see it through to the end can make all the difference. Just ask those behind TIMES Best 50 Inventions of 2018. No matter your background, there are certain considerations that need to be thought-out before starting on your journey. As a product development firm that has worked with entrepreneurs for over 20 years, here are five key things to keep in mind.
Know Your Product
The first thing any entrepreneur needs is a clear-cut idea of the device’s functionality. There are a lot of considerations with each new product and having a detailed requirements list, product specification and/or Patent is essential to guide designers and engineers towards developing the product style, performance, manufacturability and cost. Provide as many details and clarify all objectives to avoid setbacks, delays, and or miscommunications. Knowing the key design parameters upfront will assist the product development team with streamlining the process and achieving all project goals.
Identify your target market
An entrepreneur who has a thorough understanding of the target market for their product is ahead of the game. It will not only assure that the device will connect with your planned demographic but also assist the product development team with implementing appropriate features, branding, durability and ultimately production integration. Frequent product review meetings, internal verification testing and focus group meetings will also ensure that a product has been developed for the market intended.
What’s your Budget?
It is also important for an entrepreneur to establish target costs and create a comprehensive project budget with your product development team. Accurate quantity projections, manufacturing, distribution, and assembly costs should be determined as early as possible in the product development process and monitored throughout. These estimations will help to verify the final costs later on and that appropriate funding has been met. Doing this efficiently will help to optimize profitability and ultimately attain successful product implementation.
Understand the product development process is complex and realize that your initial concept will most likely have to undergo many adjustments to optimize functionality, performance, cost or all of the above. It will require a level of compromise, flexibility and concessions to hone in on a final design. Taking a rigid approach to product development might lead to unnecessary revisions, extended delays and ultimately increased costs. Having an open-mind when it comes to product iterations could help save your product and your wallet!
Have an End Game Strategy
Each Entrepreneur should know where they would like to exit the product development cycle. It can be done at various stages but should be planned for and coordinated upfront with the product development team. Design and development for a patent application or VC funding will obviously require much less time and commitment than a full product design and corresponding production release. It is essential to formulate a detailed strategy based on the particular project objectives.
Finding the right product development company can be overwhelming, but these firms will essentially become business partners in your venture. They will be responsible for turning your concept into a reality and so it is extremely important to pick one that cares as much about the success of your product as you do. Using design directories is helpful as the more established firms are typically listed for you to browse through. A few of the more distinguished product design and industrial design directories are Core77 and IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America). Working with a product development company you can rely on can make all of the difference and is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur will make along their journey.