When starting a business, you must focus on how your product will bring more value into customers’ lives. That’s because the market is already oversaturated and filled with products people don’t really need. However, if you want your products to lead the industry, it’s important to devise a plan to make them valuable and perfect to fit into someone’s day-to-day life. Regardless of creating products for people or businesses, you need to have some product development steps that you never skip in order for the finished product to be excellent.  

sticky notes on corkboard

Start with the idea 

Brainstorming is essential regardless of the idea you want to transform. That’s because some concepts seem approachable at first, but when you get deeper into the industry, it might be that things are not so easy to address. That’s why you need to analyse your plan thoroughly and be very specific about what you want to do. What’s important is that you don’t give up on something only because it seems challenging to assess. Gather your team and polish your idea until you can put it into practice. 

You can get inspired by publications, market platforms, forums and SEO trends. See what others have done, but keep your originality when devising your plan. You still need to be able to pinpoint your target audience, what needs your product will satisfy, and the communication channel you’ll use to share the value of your business. 

After you have a few promising prototypes, you could conduct a SWOT analysis that will help you understand where your products stand:

  • Start by assessing the strengths of each model;
  • Continue with its weaknesses (and try to have an objective opinion);
  • Assess the opportunities of that product to lead the market;
  • End by stating the threats you may face when releasing the products;

Screen your idea 

After deciding what you’ll do next, it’s time to research and screen your idea. You need to get your plan through an objective filter by seeking feedback from your team. You may also work with a business consultant if your idea is more complicated to approach. At this point, you need to know your target market so that you can get to the next step and open up response channels. 

That means starting to communicate with your target audience and getting their best advice. You can do it through the following:

  • Sending online surveys;
  • Creating Q&As on social media;
  • Run targeted paid advertisements;
  • Host a product giveaway;

Another helpful idea is to analyse your competition. By getting a clear picture of the businesses you have to compete against, you may prepare yourself better for what’s to come. However, don’t be discouraged if the competition is better than you ―you’ll reach your goal despite it. 

Develop your concept 

At the end of the screening, you might be able to have a product that has potential. Now, you need a plan and blueprint before launching it. You’ll need to consider the costs of designing, manufacturing and packaging, as well as the distribution method that you can support. For example, if your product requires you to create shaped plastic components, you need to be wary of high-pressure injection moulding costs. This applies when you need smaller pieces to finish your product. A small business that is just entering the market needs to get proper concept 

development practices in order to maintain business. 

However, if you plan to do something more monumental, like creating a small factory in your local area (a candy maker, an olive oil producer or a shoemaker), you may need to analyse things at a larger scale. You may need more human and capital resources, but also third-party vendors to sustain your processes. Let’s take the previous example of developing plastic products to create larger products. You’ll need to work with plastic injection moulding and get an estimated cost for each prototype. 

Evaluate your product 

Creating an approximate prototype will take time. However, this is the last chance of getting it right, when you can either run a small-scale release or assemble a select group from your target audience. Or, if you’re developing an app or creating a website, you may need to run beta tests.

This is also when you get all your required certifications right, regardless of the product created. 

This is especially important when you open a restaurant and need certification for the products you’ll use in your meals. When you’re entering the food industry, you need to consider your customer’s health essential and try not to cut corners when it comes to the freshness of your foods. This can also apply if you’re only delivering food. 

Launch your product

This final step is also called commercialisation when your products officially enter the market. At first, your product will be labelled as MVP (minimum viable product) because you still don’t have the feedback required for future product development. It’ll take some time for customers to form an opinion about your product entirely. 

This is when you need to have all pricing and distribution in place so you can start the selling process immediately. At this point, you should be focused on when and how it’s best to promote your product. As it’s only the beginning, you can test a few marketing ideas and try different approaches on social media posts to see how your customers receive your launch and products. In time, you’ll figure out what sells best and adapt one single technique. You may try more communication channels to test how your target audience responds or just start with one website and one phone number to avoid confusing people on how to reach out to you.

Wrapping up 

Having one revolutionary business idea must be nurtured by many trials, failed approaches and development stages. However, there is a way to launch your product and business faster by proceeding to get through all five stages of product development. Even if it takes more time, your success is guaranteed.