Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established business, launching a new product is both exciting and challenging. While your status in the marketplace, your standing as a business, and even your reasons for launching a new product may be different, the principles underpinning how to make a product successful are often the same.
When you have a new product idea that you’ve been mulling over for months or years — mentally designing it, tweaking concepts, playing with features and functions, and perfecting your vision — you’re ready to jump right into it when you make the entrepreneurial leap to making your product a reality. Working off all those built-up ideas — and passion — can be a big help in making your first product-development experience comparatively easy.
Product prototyping is a key component of the new product development process, but it’s much more than something that you just “should do.” It’s intended to move the manufacturing process forward, improve the product, and ensure that your concept meets its full potential. If you go through the prototyping process without gaining greater insight into your product and how best to manufacture it, it’s difficult to call that process “prototyping” at all. In that situation, it’s just a box to be checked off, at the expense of your valuable time and money, with no return on your investment.
The promise of virtual reality technology — long anticipated as the “wave of the future” — looks to finally be paying off. Consumer products like the Oculus Rift are combining ever-more-seamless virtual reality experiences with more accessible price points, and even video game consoles have been using motion-detection technology for several years to create an immersive, “you are there” experience.
As an entrepreneur exploring the possibilities for manufacturing your new product, you may run into unfamiliar phrases from time to time, and “turnkey manufacturing” might be one of them. That nomenclature hasn’t really crossed over into the non-manufacturing world, so you may be wondering what it’s all about. So what is turnkey manufacturing?
Manufacturing shouldn’t be intimidating for a budding startup — but it’s understandable that sometimes, it can be. The mysteries of the unfamiliar processes, terminology and methods that are revealed once you look closer into the “how” of taking your product to market can seem overwhelming. Manufacturing does, like any other aspect of your business plan, demand education and research. Fortunately, by investing the required time to learn some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid, the production step of your product can be solved and perfected, just like other areas like your marketing or distribution plans. You’ve found a good place to start: here are five of the biggest mistakes for a startup to avoid before selecting a manufacturer.
If you are looking to launch a scalable business, you may find the prospect daunting. Launching a startup or running a small business is a full-time job, and there is precious little time at the end of the day to think about ways to scale product or sales.
No matter how unique or groundbreaking your idea is, it isn’t always easy to find investors for startup companies, because there are thousands of ideas chasing a smaller pool of investors. Even if you are just starting, you probably know that banks and traditional sources of funds are not usually open to the idea of investing in a startup. It is highly probable that your best source of funds will be angel financing for entrepreneurs.
Whenever I begin a new project, I want to know all of the steps up front. I like research; I don’t like surprises.
And I’m like that even with something fairly low commitment, like an inexpensive craft project, so I understand the compulsion to over-research on bigger projects—such as taking on a new business venture.
If you decide to pursue your invention idea, you’ll need to know all the steps of manufacturing before you begin so you can avoid making any costly mistakes.
Do I really need a patent?
You might, but you also might not. A lot of this depends on your individual situation, and I definitely recommend consulting a patent lawyer with your concerns. There are a few questions you can ask yourself, though, before you give in and write a check to that attorney.