New Product Development: Bringing your Idea to Market

New Product Development: Bringing your Idea to Market

February 22, 2019

Ever wonder how to take your "aha" product idea and turn it into a marketable product? Today I'm going to show you how to take a concept or an idea and turn it into a product that you can bring to market to sell. Bringing your vision to life is something that many people dream of but don’t know how to do, so I’m going to walk you through the steps that you can take today if you have a product idea but don’t know what to do to get started.

New product development consists of several steps and we are going to go from idea to market by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Idea

What is it that you want to sell or create?

Is it something that you are re-purposing or finding a new use for?

Are you modifying a current product that is already on the market to make it better?

Are you re-arranging something to make it more useful to consumers?

Maybe you’re substituting or adopting or modifying a product that’s already out there. No matter what your idea is, you need to go ahead and take your idea and make it a real concept. Get out your computer or pen and paper and go ahead and describe what you want to create.

Still don't have an idea? Check out Shopify's blog post: 

The 17 Best Places ECommerce Entrepreneurs Go To Find Product Ideas

2. Research

Research is very important because you don’t want to spend a whole lot of time and money creating a product that nobody wants to purchase. It is important to ask people what they think about your product idea. How can you do this? 

First, ask your friends and your family about your idea. What do they think?

You can ask complete strangers what they think...maybe try this at a Starbucks?

You can search Google Trends to see if your product or something similar to your product is trending. 

You can ask your friends on social media what they think of your product idea and ask for feedback. 

Sharing your idea and asking peoples opinion helps you validate that your product is actually something that people would purchase. It's a great way to reach out and get opinions from others on your product before you spend a lot of money bringinig your product to market.

3. Planning

Planning is very important because you are eventually going to be connecting with manufactures to get them to create your product, so you need to have a be able to express and show what your product idea is.  You can start with a simple sketch of your idea. I remember my first sketches of children’s clothing, I am not an artist, so if I can do it you can do it too.  Simply get out a piece of paper and a pencil and start to sketch. If you don’t feel comfortable sketching your idea you can hire a freelancer to do that for you. There are plenty of websites like Fiverr or Upwork and try to connect with somebody who can draw your idea for you.

4. Prototype

Prototype is just a fancy word for getting your product to actually look like it will look for mass production. I know it sounds complicated but it can be quite simple. In my previous business, I would do this by going to a store and purchasing or finding the product that I liked and then making the modifications to that product. I would then take pictures of the modified product along with notes to send to a manufacture. It will depend on what you’re creating as to how complicated it will be my suggestion would be not to get overwhelmed or stuck at this point. Keep it simple, use what you have and don’t spend a whole lot of money trying to come up with a Prototype when you can use the resources you have around you. Some people have used 3-D printers to come up with prototypes for certain products. I was creating children’s clothing and trying to fill a void in the market for products that were not available. I could really easily find things that I wanted to modify, maybe it was a pair of pants and I wanted it to have ruffles at the bottom.  I would  purchase those pants, I could take the measurements and then I can make the modifications by adding the ruffles and taking more measurements to send to the manufacture to show the look of the product that I wanted to create. This would also allow me to look into the price point and see how much it would cost to create something like this. You don’t want to spend a whole lot of money planning a product that is going to cost you an arm and a leg to produce if you are not going to be able to sell the product at a reasonable price. 


5. Sourcing

Sourcing is an important part of the process of creating a product and bringing it to market. You may find that you will go through several different manufactures until you find the right fit. You can either go to trade shows or you can reach out through Alibaba to find sourcing options. You can also find manufactures simply by doing research on Google and reaching out to them to see if your product is something that they could produce for you. When looking for suppliers online or in person you want to make sure that you choose people that you can trust. You want to make sure that you can see products that they produced in the past and you want to make sure if you’re dealing with overseas production that they have a solid reputation. You can go to Alibaba, for example, and find listings for similar products to what you’re wanting to create and then you can contact those factories to see if they can create your product. You really have the world at your fingertips when you look online to source products. It’s important to keep it simple and make sure that you keep your options open when looking for manufacturers. You will want to send your idea to several factories to get samples made. This will give you an idea of pricing to compare and to check quality. You may not want to put all of your eggs in one basket, so keep your options open. 

6. Costs

So, what are you going to sell your product for? First you have to see how much it really costs to make it. To figure out what your cost of goods sold is going to be you have to think about things such as the cost of your raw materials, the factory set up cost manufacturing, shipping cost. Basically, all of the costs that go into creating your product including importing it and getting it from you to your customers final hands. You can create a spreadsheet if that makes it easier for you to be able to determine what your price point needs to be for your product. Don't overlook this important step. 

Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to making your dream a reality.  

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