The process of invention has been the driving factor behind today’s market. Every product that we use started out as an idea.

The basic idea behind each product is to solve the problems faced by consumers and make their lives easier. From conceptualisation to reality, a product goes through a number of stages until it is launched in the market and made accessible to consumers.

The roadmap to bring a product to the market is a long process and involves a host of risks. Let’s take a look at the steps involved to take a product from concept to reality.

Do Your Research

Once you have the idea of a product, the first step is to do a thorough research of the market opportunity for it. It is critical to evaluate the market demand and the existing competition. The research is a lengthy process. It involves the following steps:

  • Gauging the market size is an important step before investing time and money into the idea.
  • It is always beneficial to know who your competitors are. A simple keyword search can be helpful for this purpose.
  • Now is the time to determine who your target consumers are going to be. Their locations will also play a major role in making your product idea successful.
  • Additionally, you would also need to find out whether the product is already an existing one.

Based on the data you collect, you will be able to determine whether you can build a business around the product.

Create a Prototype

If the researched statistics ensure a positive market opportunity for the product, it is time to design the product. Every product starts out with an initial prototype. This helps in determining the viability of the product. The first prototype is a physical representation of the concept.

A prototype can be as basic as a drawing or as complex as the replica of the final product itself. Designing of the products starts with defining the requirements of the product.

With the boom in 3D printing technology, printing out three-dimensional prototypes has become the new norm. For this, a 3D digital model of the product needs to be created using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software.

“Before we called it 3D printing, it was called rapid prototyping,”, Greg Paulson, director of project engineering for a third party manufacturer, Xometry pointed out, “It used to be seen as a way to get close enough to a functional model.”

The prototype helps in identifying the problem areas of the products. As a result, you will be able to make the required tweaks to ensure that the final product is flawless. For this, you would need to develop a couple of batches of prototypes in which the changes have been implemented. Such iterative process may be repeated until the perfect prototype is obtained.

Should You Outsource Production?

One of the many concerns that entrepreneurs face is whether to outsource the production or complete the entire process in-house. If you can find suppliers who can manufacture the products to the exact specifications, outsourcing the production can be a good idea. Contractual agreements provide the benefit of short-term commitment and help you make the most of a variety of skill sets.

However, hiring multiple suppliers could create inconsistencies in the quality of the product. Outsourcing production could also mean a growing dependence on the supplier which can turn out to be a risk at a later stage.

The aligned interest of employees in in-house production could be a more effective solution than outsourcing owing to improved relevance. It can also help in maintaining costs of production.

Test the Products

The products may not be perfect the first time they are manufactured. Therefore, it is important to test the products before launching those in the market. You would need to find a unique selling differential for your product and allow customers to try the products to find out whether the benefits you think your product provides match their requirements.

Conducting surveys on focus groups post their usage of the products can help reveal more benefits of the products and identify a few issues with these. You can utilise this feedback to improve your product.

A thorough analysis will help you mitigate the risks involved considerably and would help in making your product a complete success.

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