The most indispensable products we use every day, like the car or the smartphone, started out as an idea in their inventors’ mind. At the same time, every day millions of people across the globe believe they have an excellent idea for a new product. However, out of these millions of ideas, only a few are actually put into practice, and even fewer than them are successful.
But let us leave the realm of theory and move on to something practical: you and your product idea. Whether you already are an entrepreneur or a regular 9 to 5 employee does not matter. If your idea is truly innovative and can materialize into a useful and saleable product, you could be the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. Or simply a successful business owner – without the burden of fame attached to your enterprise.
So, you have a great product idea. What next?
The Journey from Idea to Product Launch – Complex and Full of Dangers.
The main issue with any business idea is that its author may be too optimistic about the way consumers will react to it. It is human nature to fall in love with your own idea and invention, but you need to leave your feelings aside and make sure that your product is something people would want to buy with their hard-earned dollars.
Here are, then, the first six steps to take after you have come up with a product idea.
1. Check Whether a Similar Product Already Exists on the Market
Many apparently brilliant product ideas are not as original as their inventors believe. A simple internet search shows them that their idea was already put in practice and patented by someone else some time ago.
It does not mean that the second “inventor” wanted to plagiarize – in each age of human development, a lot of people come up with similar ideas as a result of the general trend in industry and technology progress.
2. Perform a Thorough Market Research
If your product idea is truly an original invention, the next step is to find out whether there is a market for it. This is a very important step in your journey towards launching a business around this product idea. The product may be original, innovative and you may believe that it is helpful – but the important question is: would people actually use it? What’s more important: will they be willing to pay for it?
Also, you must consider how large your market niche will be and how sustainable in the future. Imagine that your product would satisfy the need of a person for one year. It means that you should find enough clients to sell your products to once per year to keep your business going.
What about the next 2, 5 or 10 years? Will your product still be relevant and useful to consumers? It does not make sense to launch a product which will become obsolete in a short time.
Of course, you cannot afford to hire a market research company. But you can start small – poll your family, friends and the local community. Search the internet for the problem that your product solves – how many people complain about this problem and wish there was a product to help them solve it?
3. If Applicable, Patent Your Product Idea
If you are confident that your product has a potential market share of sufficient size to sustain your business in time, the next step is to make sure that no one else copies your idea and launches a product before you get the chance to.
In order to do so, you must keep a clear track of the process of developing your product: drawings, product description, specifications, etc. Contact the United States Patent and Trademark Office and find out what type of patent you are eligible to apply for: regular patent application or provisional patent application.
4. Build a MVP
First of all, you need to understand the concept of MVP – minimum viable product. This means that you are able to manufacture a fully functional prototype of your product idea, under regular market conditions and the manufacturing process and price are not beyond the realm of practicality.
It is not as easy as you may believe. A successful product must be mass produced. This means that you cannot simply build it in your garage and say that you have a MVP. Instead, you must:
• Identify the raw materials needed for building the product
• Define the clear steps for building the product
• Include product testing information
Once you have your MVP, invite friends and relatives to test your product and give you an honest opinion: would they pay for this product? Knowing that you will invest time and money in this enterprise, even the closest persons to you will be straightforward and will not give you overly enthusiastic reviews for your product.
5. Prepare Your Elevator Pitch
The definition of the elevator pitch is this: you have only the time it takes a person to reach their desired floor in the elevator to convince them to invest in your business idea. An elevator pitch is a very brief and persuasive presentation of your product and the key reason why someone should trust you with their money.
Once you have this elevator pitch honed to perfection, learn it by heart and start looking for a potential investor to back your business idea.
6. Keep on Improving and Updating Your Product Idea
If no one thought about making the smartphone screen larger and the overall product slimmer, we would be handling uncomfortably shaped devices, which would not be practical for watching movies online or reading emails.
The brand new and innovative product of today will become the regular commodity of tomorrow. Your customers will expect you to come up with something better and more innovative. This is the only way of keeping your customer base loyal and attracting new clients.
The world keeps moving on, and people’s needs change continually. Successful product inventors are those who understand this philosophy and do not remain stuck in the past, too much in love with their original product idea to see the need to improve and upgrade it.
As you can see, creating and marketing a new product is not a simple journey, but it is an exciting one. Are you willing to make it, or will you let your product idea remain just an unfulfilled dream? Share your opinions with us!
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