7 Steps to Product Development

Developing and introducing a new product to the market can be scary, risky, demanding and can take you months, even years if not done correctly.

So you have come up with a brilliant idea but have no idea how to get this to market. I have listed a few steps that will spread some light on the path you are about to follow. Don’t let it overwhelm you, in the right management hands this process can be quicker and cheaper than you think.

Here are 7 steps to Product Development to ensure your success:

Step 1 – Market Research

Out of all the product development this is the most important one. Market Research needs to be done to make sure your invention is actually required. You can take a look at similar products out there and see if yours is an improvement. If it is then you need to try and determine if you can sell your product, where are how much for? If your invention is very similar to another out there then you may need to think twice about going through all this hard work and finding people prefer the competitions.

Step 2 – Patents

If your idea is novel and you want to go ahead with trying to make some money out of it then its important to get a Patent on your invention. The patent step is important because if done correctly you will find out if you idea infringes on another patent which is done through a patent search. If all lights are green and no one has a patent on your idea then filing a provisional is your next step. You can do this yourself or use a patent lawyer.

Step 3 – Design

Once you decide that you want to get a product designed you need to use a product designer. Finding the right designer that understands your product is important. Many people claim to be designers but designing is an art and skill can vary. Be sure to ask the designer for previous designs so you can see if they are up to the task.
Getting a product designed can be a costly exercise. Be sure to approach the designer with as much information, sketches or prototypes you may have which may even reduce the overall cost of the design.

Step 4 – Prototype

Getting a prototype done is highly recommended as it is a visual representation of your design and allows you to feel and play with it. The more useful aspect of getting a prototype made is to see if it works for fit and function. Making sure things like holes and mating parts line up is very important as its a very costly procedure when you need to make changes to tooling during manufacture.
Look through our prototype page to find out different ways prototypes can be made. Different prototype methods depends on size, shape, material and accuracy.
A prototype is ideal way to gain interest in your product when visiting potential customers. They can see how your product works and possible even place orders before your manufacturing has even started.

Step 5 – Product Development

This stage is the tooling and manufacturing stage of the product. Ensuring you choose the correct toolmakers and manufactures is very important. Most inventions are usually started manufactured in Asia due to the cost of tooling and manufacture. Don’t let dealing with them put you off, i have been dealing with Asian manufactures for 16 years and once you find the right one you tend to get more of a comfort feeling.

So much can go wrong during the Development stages. Most often than not a part may need to be changed slightly as to improve manufacturing methods. To do this you would need to get your designer to change areas of the design.

It is recommended that the designer deals with the design development side of things as they go hand in hand.

Step 6 – Packaging Development

Ensuring you stick out on the shelf it’s important to design your packaging to the best standard. It is recommended that you use professional graphic designers to do this as their experience and skill will definitely make the different to selling your product. If you packaging looks like a 5 year old made it then you are set to fail.

Step 7 – Approach the Market

Advertising is the most important part of getting your product sold. The more people that know about your product the better. Radio, TV, magazines, Newspapers and even internet marketing all work.

The use of Facebook, Twitter and Google + are also a good method to spread the word.

Remember persistence is the key

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