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The key stages of developing a winning product

The key stages of developing a winning product

Not every business owner needs to go through the process of developing a physical product. Some might consider how to put a service package together or decide which products they want to source for their customers. However, some businesses need to work on developing their own products. If you have a great product idea, whether you’re already a business owner or not, you’ll have to follow a process for developing your product. You can’t expect to develop a successful product in a day, so you need to be prepared to put in some hard work. Here are some of the stages you need to go through to develop your product.

Research

Before you do anything else, plenty of research is necessary to help you create your product. You need to find out all about the market, what’s already out there, and whether you really have a viable product idea. If you don’t do any research, you won’t get far. You could end up developing a product that will never work or that several other brands already do better. Your research doesn’t have to be expensive; there are plenty of resources that could help you. Even carrying out your own surveys and other research doesn’t have to cost a lot.

Developing a Prototype

Developing a prototype of your product gives you the first idea of what it will look like and how it will work. There are a few things that you might do during this stage, including creating virtual 3D models and creating working models of your product. It doesn’t have to be that close to the final product just yet. Your prototype will help you to start gathering feedback so that you can get a better idea of whether your product is going to work. Collecting feedback will help you to figure out how to market your new product.

Testing and Tweaking

You can change your prototype in accordance with any feedback you receive from the first one. It might be at this point when you start to experiment with different materials and where to source them from. You can explore whether PVC hose manufacturers could be useful for your drinks dispenser or if one type of plastic might be more affordable than another for your children’s toy. To market test your product on the market, you can do a small product release that will help you to see how well it might sell and gather more feedback.

Getting Ready for Launch

After creating a final product, you’ll need to prepare for manufacturing the first round. If you’ve settled on materials and suppliers, you might still be looking for the best manufacturer for the job. You’ll need to speak to different manufacturers and distributors to work out what’s best for you. You need to keep your costs within reasonable levels to match the price that you think your product should be selling for.

It can take years to develop a product that’s ready to sell. Don’t expect to do it overnight, even if you think you have an incredible idea.

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Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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