Have you, or your company, got a great product idea that you want to get to market? Every day around the world hundreds of people have those ‘eureka’ moments when an idea clicks and a new product concept is born. Out of those entrepreneurs and businesses many will fail to get the product off the starting blocks, some get it to market but never reach the product’s full potential, and others see their product succeed and reap the rewards.
No doubt you would like to be in the latter category, so what do you need to do to be successful? Below we share five tips that could help you turn your new product idea into a triumph.
Product realisation – five tips for success
1. Understand what’s involved
Getting your product idea to market is not just about convincing consumers and end-users of your product’s strengths. Consumer demand will not get a product to market by itself. There are other factors and variables that will determine whether it’s feasible, and many friction points in the process that may be out of your control.
Understanding exactly what’s involved including market research, product design and engineering, manufacturing, legislation, supply chain, finance, product cost, distribution and marketing, is essential. This way you will have a head start on the challenges you might face to launch your product.
2. Get support early
Many entrepreneurs work alone on their product development until they feel confident it’s viable. While that’s understandable it can mean that important things are overlooked or opportunities missed.
In our experience of working with entrepreneurs and inventors using our product realisation service, those that come to us later in the process often need to need to backtrack and address issues that could have been resolved earlier on. This wastes your time and resources. No one is an expert in every area of product realisation; get support early to benefit from specialist expertise throughout the product journey.
3. Make a plan
Time is money and every delay in the process of getting your product to market is also delaying the expected return on investment. While there may be unexpected setbacks along the way, most delays occur because there is no documented timeline or plan. Things just slide…
By mapping out your product’s journey from the point you’re at now to launch day, you will have a much better chance of keeping to schedule. Be realistic about the time it will take and consult with 3rd parties to ensure you know how much time they need. Remember that a setback at one stage of the product journey could have knock on effect further down the line – for example if a supplier doesn’t have capacity because you’ve missed a deadline – so be realistic and build in some contingency.
4. Know your numbers
A common reason that products fail to reach market is because the financials have not been properly explored. Do you know how much it will cost to get your product to market? That’s not just the cost of manufacturing; it’s also the cost of running a business, marketing the product, selling to customers, and distribution.
Then there’s the cost of the product. Is your selling price realistic, is it priced with enough margin to allow some profits to be reinvested into the business? Is the market for the product sustainable? Be realistic and do the sums now so you know exactly what your spending is, sales targets and expected returns.
5. Don’t take your foot off the accelerator
Once you’ve launched your new product and it’s proven itself – well done – don’t be tempted to sit back. Now’s the time to innovate and stay ahead of the field. The electronics market is dynamic, entrepreneurs and electronic companies are constantly innovating, improving their products, and looking for new opportunities.
Make sure that you’re the one to take your product to the next level, not a competitor.
Phil Simmond is group managing director at EC Electronics