Developing and launching a new product requires research, resources, and a determination to follow through despite roadblocks and setbacks. If you have a product idea, how can you better ensure your development effort goes smoothly, and the end result is a win for you and your company?
While product development comes with varying levels of complexity that depend on the type of product you plan to create, several key ingredients for success remain universal.
Focus on what your market needs.
Ask your current and prospective customers what their needs are and what features and functionality would make your product attractive to them. Also research what influences their buying decisions, what price points they will bear, and how they prefer to buy products. Considerate all of this as you flesh out your product’s design.
As you work through the development process, share your early stage plans and prototypes with your existing and potential customers. Invite them to tell you whether the product’s attributes will meet their needs and expectations. Be sure to discuss the product’s aesthetic aspects, too. What will it look like? Will that appeal to them?
Learn what your competition is doing right… and wrong.
Explore in what ways your competitors’ products are satisfying customers’ needs and in what ways they’re falling short. This will help you determine what your product should offer to add value to the customer and stand out in the marketplace.
Create a sound product strategy.
This requires going beyond identifying the features and functionality your product needs. Developing a strategy involves painting a picture of what you want to achieve, setting goals, and creating a roadmap for fulfilling your objectives.
A few of the questions you’ll want to answer as you form your strategy will include:
- What are your sales goals?
- How will you market your product?
- What distribution channels will you focus on?
Preparing to Launch
Besides these high-level steps in the product development process, you will have to address many other considerations before launching your product. If you need help with product development, there are firms and consultants that you can hire to assist you.
Another option is requesting free guidance from a volunteer business mentor. SCORE mentors have experience in a wide variety of industries and in all aspects of starting and growing a business.
To find a mentor in Kitsap County, visit the kitsapscore.org website to find a volunteer business mentor near you. SCORE volunteers have experience in all aspects of starting and running a business. Fill out a mentoring request and meet with someone who would like to help you.
If you need experience or skill levels that we don’t have locally, we will help you find the right volunteers who are willing and able to mentor by email, telephone or live, online connections.