Idea

4 Steps To Take Before You Turn Your Idea Into a Product

Have you been dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur for a while? You have numerous ideas yet you don’t quite know how to get started and turn your idea into a product?

In March 2020 there were 800 000 companies in the US that were less than 1 year old, according to Statista. So if others can do it, why can’t you? With a great idea, a can-do attitude, and commitment, you can achieve anything.

In this article, you will find information on how to take the first steps to make your dream a reality, to draft up a viable business plan, and create a sustainable product out of it.

Source:pexels

Chasing a dream

Most likely you have come up with an idea that will solve one problem or another. And this is the very core of every product and service – you are not just providing a solution, you are solving a problem.

And this is exactly how success stories begin. Let’s take AirBnB’s journey to success for an example:

  1. The problem: Not being able to pay rent in San Francisco.
  2. The opportunity: Big design conference held in the city, hotel rooms being booked out months in advance.
  3. The solution: Offering a place in their apartment for overnight stay and earning a few extra bucks.

Just like that, an idea for a multi billion company started to take shape. And the rest is history.

The road of problem solving via innovation

Once one problem is solved with a new and innovative idea, it can create a fertile ground for new ideas to grow.

E-commerce used to be expensive and inconvenient. Then Amazon came and changed our attitude towards e-commerce and today, there’s hardly anyone who hasn’t made an online purchase at least once.

When e-commerce became a new trend, it made merchants face many new problems that required solutions. In fact, as everything is becoming digitised then no matter which business you are in, the following aspects that came up with e-commerce will be relevant for your business too:

  • How to ensure people find the information they need and make a purchase? What is required for providing a great customer service online? Click here to find out about providing good customer service without ever meeting your customers.
  • How will products be delivered to customers? Should your products/services be available overseas?
  • How to stay in personal contact with customers?

As you can see, the road of innovation can be endless. Where one solution is offered, another problem or question arises. There’s always a way to streamline the process and perhaps you are the one who has got the solution for it.

But of course, an idea by itself will not be fruitful. Polishing your product or service and getting it ready to be out on the market, requires a lot of creative thinking and persistent efforts over a long period of time.

So without further ado, let’s get started and turn your idea into a product.

Source:pexels

1.   Understand the demand

Inspiration can strike because we have been faced with a problem and feel that our idea could change the world. No matter how great the idea is, conducting thorough research is necessary to understand who your competitors are and where you would fit in the market.

It’s quite likely that someone is already providing a similar solution. This, however, doesn’t eliminate you from the game.

In the world of innovation, success is defined by getting the timing right. Seeing that other people are thinking along the same lines should give you reassurance that this is the perfect time for taking your product from concept to market.

  • Who are your competitors who they are targeting?
  • Are they successful? Why or why not?
  • How does your product differ from theirs? What additional value does it bring?

However, if you cannot find anything similar to your invention, it might indicate that the market is not yet ready for it. This doesn’t mean that your product is inevitably on the road to failure, you will just have to take into account that it might take more effort to get your product out there.

  • What current demand is there for your idea?
  • If your innovation is a product, who will buy it?
  • If your innovation is a service, who will use it?

One of the simplest ways to answer all these questions and figure out what it will take to get your product out there is to perform a SWOT analysis. This way you will clearly see what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with launching your idea.

Source:pexels

2.   Research the market

So naturally, the next step is to figure out if your product has a market. Will people be willing to pay for your product or service?

Some steps you can take to understand if your idea is what people are looking for:

  • Consult your family and friends. However, keep in mind that their opinion might be biased because they want the best for you. They might not even be the right target group for your product, yet it will still be good to know what they’re thinking.
  • Have informal interviews with stores and customers. You could try conducting a survey to further understand the need for your product/service.
  • Talk to people with expertise in your product market. Find out what are the newest innovations in the area and what struggles you might face.

Even in the early steps of product invention, marketing should always be in the back of your mind. Without having a marketing plan that can be executed, the public will never be aware of your product.

Thinking of marketing along the way will help you save a lot of time and headache in the future.

Source:pexels

3.   Don’t try to go solo

You might have come up with something extraordinary and are afraid to share it with anyone. What if someone steals your idea? This you can avoid by filing a patent. But trying to achieve everything on your will be a struggle.

Even if you are a multi-tasker, having someone else on board with a different set of skills than you will give you an advantage. So find someone who is passionate about turning your idea into a product.

Benefits of having a business partner:

  • Opportunity for brainstorming. Sharing ideas and perfecting together will have more results.
  • Possibility to work on multiple things at once. Even doing market research will be more thorough with a second view on everything.
  • Motivational support. Everyone feels like giving up at some point. Having someone by your side won’t let you give in to that feeling so easily.
  • Financial support. Starting a business will have its costs and it’s always good to have a little backup.

You should also consider joining an accelerator or incubator to get your idea forward. You will get valuable information on funding, start building an entrepreneur network, have a mentor and receive many more benefits.

Source:pexels

4.   Write a business plan

Drafting up your business plan will take you through each step of starting and running a business as well as help you attract investors. You can think of a business plan as a useful way for considering all the key elements necessary for getting your business off the ground.

According to SBA.gov, a business plan should include:

  1. Executive summary. An overview of what your business is and why it will be successful.
  2. Company description. Detailed description of what you do and what problems your business solves.
  3. Market analysis. Outline what other businesses are doing and what are their strengths and weaknesses. How can you outperform them?
  4. Organization and management. Show the team behind your business and everyone’s unique experience that contributes to your venture.
  5. Service or product line. Describe in detail what service or product your company offers and how it benefits your customer.
  6. Marketing and sales. Show how you will be able to attract and retain customers and nudge them to make a purchase.
  7. Funding request. This is important when you are looking for investors and funding. Cover how much funding is needed over the next 5 years and what it will be used for.
  8. Financial projections. Convince the reader that your business is stable and sustainable. Explain your projections and make sure they align with your funding request.

Once you have completed your business plan you are a one big step closer to turning your idea into a product.

A summary: taking a product from concept to market

These 4 steps covered in this article are only the very beginning that will help your idea to take shape in the form of a real life product. Building a sustainable business is a long road with no guarantee for success.

The best you can do is to adapt your idea on the go and see what works and what doesn’t. And don’t forget to remind yourself from time to time:

  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
  • Mistakes are part of the process
  • Just dive in and keep going
  • Fail often and fail early

It’s all a learning point and with persistence you will gain invaluable experience that one day will bring your idea to life.

The Importance And Purposes Of A Business Plan

Most of the times when you go through articles underscoring the importance of having a business plan. The usual norm is for people to only draft them when they intend to use them for sourcing funding. However, it is more than just a tool for sourcing funding. It also carries with it so many uses for you as an entrepreneur. In this article we discuss why it’s important to have a business plan plus the purposes for which it’s drafted.

The Importance Of A Business Plan

Source:blog.nationwide.com

Disciplined Thinking

Many times we are told that failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s quite true and even the bible points out one must count the cost before embarking on venture. According to Startupbiz Global, Drafting and subsequently adhering to a business plan forces you to think objectively and critically. The components are interconnected and feed into each other. For example, your market segmentation informs your marketing strategy and in turn feeds into your cash flow projections.

So, neglecting one area ignites a chain reaction to results in failure. Therefore, having a proper action plan is important in that it causes you to employ disciplined thinking in planning and executing your operations. You’re essentially seeing the end from the beginning when coming up with a business plan and that obviously requires extreme discipline in your thinking. It helps do away with assumptions by testing your hypotheses so as to establish facts.

Refining Your Idea

Source:excelldesign.co.uk

Usually, when an idea strikes your mind you get excited. This is actually good because all great ideas start out as just mere thoughts. However, thoughts aren’t always in sync with the material world and this can usually be revealed once you start refining the idea. For instance, your idea might seem potent in your mind but as you work out your marketing plan (which is a component of the plan), you might realize that there’s no market for it.

So going through the paces of drafting a plan helps you refine your idea by subjecting it to rigorous real-life scenarios. In the process, you might even realize that you’ve to reimagine your whole approach. In a sense a plan gives meaning and structure to your idea. Once you’re through with it, you would have refined your business into something that wields substantial prospects.

Gets You Started

The late Dr. Myles Munroe once said that the richest place on this earth is the cemetery. The point he was expressing was that many people end up dying without doing what they were called or meant to do. I believe one of the causes of this sad scenario is procrastination. Most people have excellent ideas locked up in their minds and are either hesitant or reluctant to get started. Several surveys have shown that people who write business plans are about 3 times more likely to start off than those who don’t draft plans. So it’s quite apparent the effort one puts into drafting will gear them up into action. It’s usually the case that when you commit something to paper along with the thought processes that occur as you do that you increasingly get hyped to act.

Purposes Of A Business Plan

Source:entrepreneur.com

Sourcing Funds

That was alluded to in the opening remarks how that most people write plans to source funds. Most prospective financiers require a comprehensive blueprint so as to make an informed decision on whether to fund your idea or not. Most financiers will have a keen interest in your product(s) or services offered, value proposition, marketing strategy and financial projections. The plan broadly addresses 2 issues namely, what you intend to achieve and how you’ll achieve it. So since financiers are mainly interested in those aspects they will need to see your plan which comprehensively covers those details. It’s almost impossible to get funding if you don’t have a good sketch. This is something every company must go through.

Detailing The Model

One of the most crucially important components of a business is its model. It lays out how material and immaterial resources will be used to generate revenue and earn ROIs (returns on investment). This is central to informing the financials which are usually very key in assessing viability. Issues such as scalability and sustainability can be easily judged by looking at a business model. So the plan is drafted in such a way that it goes at length to explain the model.

Reference Document

Let’s suppose you’ve done your plan and you’ve gotten the necessary funding to start working. It will serve as a reference point for key decision-making and operational issues that might pop up along the way. Remember that your plan stipulates your intended results and how you’ll attain them. So the process of monitoring and evaluation will be very easy to conduct because you’ve goals, activities, responsibilities and KPIs (key performance indicators), amongst several other variables. Especially in cases where you would have shared your finished product with stakeholders and shareholders you’ll definitely have to stick to it to achieve promised outcomes. In a way, you can say a business plan is your compass as you navigate your way in materialising your ideas.

So the word of advice is that you must come up with a plan before starting out. Most people just venture into businesses based on assumptions or simply because others are doing them. Based on that background they then think it’s unnecessary to have a written way of doing things. Just as unique as fingerprints are so it is with businesses; no two businesses are exactly the same. So it’s important to have a  plan to help you define, make sense and structure your own pathway.

How To Invent A Product?

You have long worked to invent your product. And now you’re finally ready to launch it into space. Are you ready to release it and present it to everyone? Sure you are. However, there is always a question of how to do that. Where to start? What to do? How to launch an invention and get everyone’s attention? We will try to answer some of these questions.

You Have An Invention – Now What?

Launching a new invention is quite exciting for everyone! No matter if it’s a new and unique product or some new type of service – the air is full of anticipation and you’re dreaming of success. But whether you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner, whether your invention refers to the product or a service – it’s not enough to just keep your thumbs up and hope for the best. There are many things you need to do as part of a new product launch.

Having An Idea – You Need To Have The Launching Plan

Source:themarketingnutz.com

A successful invention is the same as all other products. Its launch comes down to a good strategy. You need to have a strategy in place before it even occurs to you what will come out of your idea. This includes everything – from patenting and verifying, through the evaluation, market research, target group and competition. It also involves devising and executing strategy and promotion – until the final launch and the accompanying success assessments.

Pre-Launch Estimates

It is not possible to precisely predict people’s reaction to some invention, product or service. Even successful companies who are experienced swimmers in these waters – had their ups and downs when it comes to new ideas and their presentation to the world. That’s why, before launching your idea – you should take some time and make some necessary assessments related to your business and the development of your new product. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to assess how much your business is ready to launch your new product:

Patent Your Idea Or Product

Have a great idea or have you designed a new invention? The first thing you need to do is patent your product. Each patent is very important because it is the trademark of your product but also a protection of the effort you put into designing it. However, the rules regarding this type of legal protection are often very complex, and you cannot exercise such rights unless you meet some of the strict criteria. In short, not all inventions can be patented.

To find your way to patent but also expert advice in this area as well as marketing – you need the help of specialized companies like InventHelp. Companies like this will also help you on your way to distributing your idea or product to other companies interested in manufacturing. It sounds almost unreal, but it’s true. From an idea that was only on paper until yesterday – soon, you may also realize mass production.

Make A Good Strategy

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If you have successfully patented your idea – it’s time to focus on strategy. When it comes to planning to launch a new invention on the market, the promotion of that idea or invention must begin BEFORE it is released in public or for sale. The purpose of pre-distribution promotion is to announce your invented-product and arouse interest in it. Only if you do so people will want to buy it as soon as it comes out. Depending on the type of invention, promotion can begin one month, six months or even a year before launching new products. Increase your chances of successfully launching and marketing your idea – by promoting it across multiple marketing platforms. By combining traditional advertising and promotion through social networks, you will get yourself a colourful audience interested in buying or using your product or invention.

1. Website

Try to see your website as the face of your business. Therefore, try to make this “face” beautiful. Your site should be:

  • well-organized
  • interestingly designed
  • SEO optimized

You should complete all texts on your site, say, 6 weeks before you launch your invented-product. You should also complete all web pages at least 2 weeks before you present your invention to the public. A couple of weeks before launching – you should start picking out visual content to entice visitors.

2. Blog

This is an easy and effective method to reach potential customers. Use your blog to keep people regularly informed of the progress of your new idea. Try to show them everything that’s posted about it, and to point them to events that have to do with that product, your brand, or your business. Make sure you regularly leave posts like “Coming soon”, etc. – to make people get interested.

3. Social Networks

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Running social network pages like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a great way to connect with your audience and keep them informed about everything related to your product or brand.

4. Media / Press

About 6 weeks before you introduce the public and market with your new invention, make sure that the media knows that. You should inform them and tell them about your invented-product, its features and explain to them how it differs from other similar inventions. Try not to make it difficult for them and give them all the important info on a silver plate. Point to the things that set your invention apart from others and keep in mind your target audience and your competition as well. Therefore, try to develop a profitable, multi-faceted marketing campaign based on those facts.

About The Launch Of Your New Idea

Source:forbes.com

Preparations for patenting, launching, and marketing a new idea or a new-invention-product can be both incredibly exciting and incredibly tedious. Don’t even try to do everything yourself. Hire professionals and marketing professionals as well as patent and distribution experts. They will help you successfully launch your idea, new invention or product. The fact is that it also takes a lot of money. However, investing in “preparing” the market for your arrival is the best thing you can spend money on.