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BUSINESS TIPS

The Product Development Process

Creating new products for a business, or even enhancing and improving upon older ones, is a timely process, albeit an important one. It’s necessary for businesses to put in the time and effort into the development process as this will help them ensure that they’re creating the best product they can, which would hopefully attract customers and drive a profit.

A lot more products fail than people think, and one reason for this is because the manufacturer or business behind it didn’t utilize the development process. Here is a streamlined step-by-step guide to how this process works so that your business can adopt it in a bid to make more financially successful items and products.

1.    Ideation

Ideation is when you create the idea for a new product. A lot of business get stuck on this step, because they’re unsure about what to do and may lack faith on what will be popular and desired by the public. One of the best ways to create a product is to iterate on an existing product and use what’s already in the market for inspiration.

The SCAMPER model is a great way of coming up with new ideas quickly as it prompts you to think about products that may be a substitute from an existing one. It combines two products together, adapts so that it overcomes a challenge, modifies it to make it better, and eliminates or reverses the process.

2.    Research

With businesses so keen to jump into creating what they believe to be a good idea, many individuals skip this step, which can prove to be costly. Researching the market ensures that your idea is validated, meaning you’re creating something that people actually want and you aren’t going to be wasting time, money and resources making something that won’t sell well.

There are many ways to validate your products with the best examples being:

  • Sending an online survey to get feedback.
  • Starting a crowdfunding campaign (if it gains no traction then you know it’s unwanted)
  • Researching online demand by using Google Trends

It’s also important to engage with competitor analysis. This involves seeing what your competitors do and understanding what they do right so that you can implement the same tactics as well as expand on them. It’s also a good idea to evaluate your products to make sure you can’t just adapt one of them to serve the function of the new idea. You can use product portfolio management tools to easily assess your products and make clearer judgment calls.

3.    Planning and Prototyping

As product development can easily become complicated, it’s important to create a plan on how you’re going to develop it. Think about timescales, deadlines, budgets and resources so that you can track your progress more easily and better manage the process, as well as initial designs of the product and your pricing, as this can help you figure out how to go about making it in a profitable manner. A more detailed plan is a better plan.

Once all that is done, you’re able to create prototypes. These are versions that serve as examples that can then be used for mass production. They also give you an opportunity to find issues and make adjustments so that it’s better quality. Prototyping usually involves experimenting with various different versions until you find one that works the best. Once that is done, you’re ready to manufacture your product and turn that good idea into a reality.

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