3 Tips for Product Development Success
Developing and launching a new product requires research, resources, and a determination to follow through despite roadblocks and setbacks. If you have a product idea, how can you better ensure your development efforts goes smoothly and the end result is a win for your company?
While product development comes with varying levels of complexity depending on the type of product you plan to create, several key ingredients for success remain universal.
Focus on What Your Market Needs.
Ask your current and prospective customers what their needs are and what features and functionality would make your product attractive to them. Also research what influences their buying decisions, what price points they will bear, and how they prefer to buy products. Take all of this into consideration as you flesh out your product’s design.
As you work through the development process, share your early stage plans and prototypes with your existing and potential customers. Give them license to express whether the product’s attributes are meeting their needs and expectations. Not only discuss the functional component, but also the aesthetic aspects, too.
Learn What Your Competition is Doing Right—and Wrong.
Explore in what ways your competitors’ products are satisfying customers’ needs and in what ways they’re falling short. This will help you determine what your product could offer to add value to the customer and stand out in the marketplace.
Create a Sound Product Strategy.
This requires going beyond identifying the features and functionality your product needs. Developing a strategy involves painting a picture of what you want to achieve, setting goals, and creating a roadmap for fulfilling your objectives.
A few of the questions you’ll want to answer as you form your strategy will include:
- What are your sales goals?
- How will you market your product?
- What distribution channels will you focus on?
Besides these high-level steps in the product development process, you’ll have to address many other considerations before launching your product, too. If you need help with product development, there are firms and consultants that you can hire to assist you. Another option is requesting free guidance from a SCORE mentor. SCORE mentors have experience in a wide variety of industries and in all aspects of starting and growing a business.
Preparing to Launch
SCORE and leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer HSN are partnering to help entrepreneurs across the U.S. succeed in their product launch efforts. The partnership leverages HSN’s experience in finding and elevating talented entrepreneurs and SCORE’s success as a resource for mentoring, workshops and business tools. It provides business owners with entrepreneurial guidance, educational opportunities and the experience of exploring new business ventures.
According to SCORE’s CEO. W. Kenneth Yancey, Jr. “The collaboration allows our two organizations to share information, resources and business proficiency in new ways that will elevate and empower existing small businesses as well as budding entrepreneurs seeking professional guidance so they can go out on their own.”
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner, contact SCORE for more information about the services available to help you start and grow your business. With free mentoring, workshops, and programs like those in partnership with HSN, SCORE ensures you are not alone in your business journey.
Chapter Chair/President, SCORE in Houston
Since 1964, SCORE “Mentors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through mentoring and business workshops. More than 11,000 volunteer business mentors in over 320 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at www.score.org.