Sometimes, coming up with an idea for a product is the easy bit. Perhaps it’s something that’s been in your head for years, or perhaps you’ve been struck by divine inspiration and had a ‘Eureka!’ moment.
However, actually getting that product to market can be tricky, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it, as each product is inherently different.
Firstly, it’s a good idea to research how others with similar products have taken their products to market and see what you can learn from them, what went well and what didn’t.
You should also spend some time getting your head around things such as sell sheets, intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrights and the potential market for the product. (Many people assume that getting a patent for their product is the be all and end all, but getting a patent is no guarantee that your product will make it to market.)
You should also remember that there are other types of intellectual property protection other than patents, such as trademarks, and that you might not even need a patent at all to bring the product to market (see this article for more information on whether you need one or not).
When it comes to the time to create a prototype, this doesn’t necessarily need to be an exact replica of the final product, but it should be the best representation you can get with the resources available to you.
Even if you have plenty of money to invest into the project, without a solid plan and knowledge of where you want to take it, it will fall apart quickly, so we recommend spending plenty of time on a business plan.
This is important because It’s at this stage where you might realise that your budget might not stretch as far as you would have thought, when you take into account the costs of design, prototyping, manufacturing and marketing the new product.
While each product is different, here are six of the main steps to taking a product to market:
- Conduct market research. Find some similar products to your own and note what sort of places they are being sold at.
- Head to uk and search for similar products to your own to see if they have been patented already.
- Develop a prototype, whether it be a simple diagram or a fully functioning replica of the product.
- Connect with other entrepreneurs/inventors in your local area to share advice and resources.
- Draft out a business plan which covers all the basics. For more information on this check out this post from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Remember, getting a product to market is never an easy road, so be sceptical of anyone who claims to be able to be able to give you any unique access and ability to help you cut corners.
For a handy step by step guide, check out this infographic from Cambridge Design Technology.