6 STEPS TO TURNING YOUR LIGHT BULB MOMENT INTO A THRIVING PRODUCT
If you spend anytime networking and sharing ideas with other business owners or entrepreneurs, you will likely be faced with a similar question or statement.
“I have this sensational idea but I have no idea how to get the product off the ground”.
These creative minds are filled with fantastic ideas from advanced technology devices to crazy children’s toys. There are hundreds of thousands of successful products on the market today with competition at every turn, and each one of these products evolved from a simple idea. What sets the successful products apart from the failed products is ensuring that the first steps to building your product are well thought out and effectively researched.
Building a new product can be a little overwhelming and this is due to several associated risks involved in the turning your idea into a fully launched creation. There are masses of would be entrepreneurs who have opted out because of such risks and lack of research, with some of the more common risks being financial viability and market competitors.
The road from concept to finished product can be a long one, and those who have travelled it often face numerous obstacles and setbacks along the way. But armed with the right information and resources, you can put yourself on the path to launching a unique and fruitful product.
Here’s some simple steps to get you started …
#1 DEFINE AND ENHANCE YOUR IDEA
Having a sensational idea is one thing, but truly being able to identify what your product is can be difficult and even intimidating.
You need to identify and articulate an accurate description of the product or idea you are planning on developing. Having a concrete understanding of what this product does and how it operates is imperative.
If your product definition is still a little hazy, try brain storming your product or idea with a trust friend or colleague, a local entrepreneur, or utilise the services of a business who is skilled in product development in your local area. This process will allow you to solidify your idea and ensure that each of the next steps are more focused and effective.
#2 RESEARCH YOUR MARKET AND EVOLVE
Market research is an essential step when developing any product. You may have a sensational idea, however if the current market does not have a need for your product your launch will be fraught with barriers. So, I would strongly recommend that you complete suitable pre-market research. Identifying products in the market, both online and in-stores that are similar to your product or concept, take the time to note which suppliers make them, where they are being sold and how they are advertised to the target consumer.
This research, provides you with the knowledge to enhance or evolve your launch strategy. These refinements can help in curbing risk, understanding your competition and can provide key elements to further elevate the success of your product.
Your market research should always include some of the basics like competitors, pricing, current advertising channels, trademark infringements, consumer profiles, patents and a SWOT analysis. This will identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential threats. Further pushing you to define and enrich your idea.
#3 TEST YOUR PRODUCT
Aside from trademark or patent research and other legalities involved with developing a new product, understanding how the product works and what marketing messages will work best are important. Does your target consumer understand the product, need the product, or even want the product.
Get a sample of your product into the hands of your potential customers, relevant sponsors, investors and other essential stakeholders and see what their reaction is. You could also use sampling techniques like a structured questionnaires, sample marketing materials and any other relevant evaluation methods to get their thoughts.
From this information and feedback, you can further understand the barriers that you need to overcome and identify if the product is a go.
Don’t forget that this step should be repeated as time goes on. Great products continue to succeed because they evolve with the market, tweak with the times and further grow their product to identify with the current market.
#4 BUILD A BUSINESS PLAN
A business plan is a street directory to your business or idea. They are also a fantastic resource should you need to obtain outside investment from a financial institution or investor. It has been said time and time again that one of the major reasons businesses or products fail is because they failed to facilitate good planning.
Developing your business plan does not have to be complicated. It is simply a tool you can use to understand your product (inside and out), understand the business environment you are entering and how you are planning to target your audience.
There are hundreds of sample business plan templates that you can find online, however in general they will include these attributes: Mission statement, executive summary, product or service offering, target market, marketing plan, competitive analysis, financial model and investment requirements.
#5 WORK ON YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH
Before you have a finished the product and are ready to sell, you need to start talking it up to your friends and professional contacts. You need to be confident in your pitch – your friends and colleges can provide you feedback in a relaxed and informal manner, that provides an opportunity for refinement.
“Imagine you are standing in an elevator…the elevator stops and the owner of a leading distributor walks in … the doors close and you have 20 seconds to grab their interest and hook them on your idea. Are you ready? 1,2,3…Go…What would you say?
Having a great elevator pitch can be your secret weapon when done right. This short, concise sales pitch should includes a hook, a value statement, statistics, your product’s uniqueness, and a call to action. This 20-30 second pitch can form the start of your word of mouth marketing strategy, and better still open a door for additional communication with a prospective supplier, networking contact, social influencer, media contact or leading distributor.
#6 DON’T GO IT ALONE
Avoid the temptation to take any too good to be true shortcuts. There are a lot of steps involved in the development and launch of a new product. It can be scary, overwhelming to do it all alone. I always recommend seeking out professional assistance for the areas that matter. Having the knowledge that certain elements of your product launch are in capable and experienced hands can be invaluable. For instance, you may want to invest in a specialised PR agency to get your idea in front of the right media editors, or need a content writer to provide call to action scripts for marketing outreach and consumer conversion.
Your product needs to make a splash from the get-go and remain consistent over time and by starting with these six simple steps you can get started on your pathway to success.
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT • DETERMINE YOUR PURPOSE • TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE