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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

7 Steps to convert ideas into products

Taking a product from idea to production can seem daunting. However, it need not be, as product development can be lean.
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But there’s no need to shy away from it thinking it is overly complicated and there’s no clear road map. Over the years – through trial and error – people have discovered that you can take your product from concept to reality by following a few simple steps.

Step 1: Come up with an Idea

Ideation is where it all begins – the journey to get your product manufactured. This is the step where creativity plays an important role to come up with sketches that capture your idea in the best light. Not only that, but it is also where you come up with a business model, identify your consumers and assess your resources, risks and opportunities.

Step 2: Conduct market research

Is there a demand for your product in your target market? Before you bring an idea to life, this question must be answered. And the only way to answer it is to analyze your competitors and speak with your target consumers to gather useful data. That way, if similar products exist in the market, you can find out how to make yours better and gain a competitive advantage.

Step 3: Design the product

After you finish your market research, you can now start designing a product that consumers will find useful. During product design, you need to make sure it addresses a few issues. Particularly, one needs to address the product’s utility in regard to both consumers and the company, quality, durability, reliability, cost of manufacturing and manufacturing feasibility.

You can come up with designs using computer-aided design (CAD) software, which helps you come up with a 3D model of your product. Using this software, you can identify problems inherent in the design and fix them before prototyping. That way, you ensure you come up with good product design.

Step 4: Create a prototype

With your design in hand, you can come up with a prototype. This helps you answer one of your biggest questions: how will the product function in the real world? At this point, you can easily go back to the design stage and make further improvements. If you discover problems like these after the product has already been manufactured, it can be extremely costly.

Step 5: Get the product manufactured

At this step, you are ready to produce the final product that will be ready for the market. Manufacturing costs will be directly related to the complexity of the product. This is where using standard components can be an advantage – standard components in manufacturing can bring down costs. Keeping manufacturing costs down is essential if you wish to enjoy a larger share of the profits.

Step 6: Test the product

Now that you have gotten your product manufactured, you need to test it before the big launch. You can consider this as a soft launch, which can also give you an opportunity to build up demand in the process. Even though you have what you consider the final product in your hands, it does not mean there is no room for further improvements. By listening to consumer feedback, you can make adjustments to make sure the product is line with consumer needs.

Step 7: Launch the product

You can’t test a product forever, meaning at some point, you have to launch it as soon as it is at the “good enough” stage. This is where all your marketing efforts start to pay off. Your goal should be to sell more of the product so that you can achieve growth and profitability. At the same time, it is prudent to still listen to what the market is telling you in regards to your product and re-visit the above-mentioned steps as needed.

As you can see, you can get your product manufactured in seven steps. While the process is not easy, it is not as hard as many people think. Great ideas can make for great products that can launch a business and ensure its continued existence. By following the steps outlined above, you can take your product idea from concept to reality.