When people think about starting a business, they usually think of starting one that’s small in scope. After all, they are the easiest ones to get underway. Selling some products, running a cafe, providing some services to other companies: these businesses are challenging, but the framework for success does, at least, exist.
Other businesses are a bit more difficult. Take bringing an electronic hardware product to market, for instance. This journey is much longer than other types of businesses. However, if you can find success, then you might end up extremely successful. Plus, while it’s difficult, it should also be noted that it can be pretty fun, too. It’s an exciting and challenging business to run.
In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the key steps you’ll have to incorporate into your plan. Take them all on board, and you’ll be more likely to end up with a product that people love!
Develop The Idea
You’ll begin with a relatively vague idea of what your product will be. This could be a new product or an improvement upon an existing product. Regardless, you’ll need to think deeply about what it is that you’re trying to create. Only the most thought-out products can be successful! By the time you commit to the product, you should have a relatively clear idea of what the product does and why it’s better than what already exists. You should be able to clearly explain the concept to other people.
Market research is key for any developing business. When you’re developing a hardware product, it’s vital. After all, you’ll need to spend a lot of capital to bring your product to market, and if you haven’t conducted your market research, then you’ll run the risk of failure. So what information should you have? First, you’ll need to find your competition. Don’t be put off if there are others doing the same thing as you. In fact, you should hope that others are doing the same because it means the market for the product exists. From there, you’ll need to figure out your place in the market. What type of people are likely to buy your product? How much will they be happy to spend?
Simplify As Much As Possible
We can’t stress this enough. Some entrepreneurs think that their products need to have all the bells and whistles. But this isn’t the case. In reality, you’ll just be making more work for yourself. Let’s say, for example, you were developing headphones that had Bluetooth integration, stop/play buttons, a whistle, radio connectivity, and so on. Are all those things necessary? It’s a misconception that people want their products to do everything. In reality, they just want them to do the thing that they bought the technology to do. Every addition will add time and money to the project, so it’s best to keep things as simple as possible.
Proof Of Concept
Once you’ve figured out the majority of the product, then you’ll want to develop a proof of concept prototype. With this, you’ll essentially build the product using non-custom pieces. This is just to show you how the product will work and whether it’ll work as well as you hope. It’s relatively cheap to build POC prototypes. You can think of them as “draft one” of the product that you’ll eventually bring to market.
Work With a Design Company
The true measure of a product’s value is how it performs in relation to the job that it was bought to do. However, there’s no avoiding the fact that the design of the product is also key. Appearances matter! Would the iPhone have been as successful if it didn’t have a beautifully sleek design? Probably not. The design is often what draws consumers in the first place. Even high functioning products can sell poorly if the design isn’t right! Unless you have a background in product design, it’s recommended that you work with a design company. They’ll be able to come up with various designs for you to use.
Building the Project
You’re not going to build the product by yourself, not at scale anyway. Even if you have the skills to make a product, it’ll be too time-consuming and expensive to do it on your own. In order to launch a successful product, you’ll need to work with others. Indeed, there are a fair few companies that you’ll need to partner with. You’ll have to partner with an electronics company, so you can get the parts that you need. You may also need freelance engineers or to work with a development firm. Depending on what you’re building, you may also find that it’s beneficial to partner with an existing manufacturer.
Find the Price Point
It’s not cheap to develop a product. But you can hope that it’ll eventually bring in plenty of revenue. For that to happen, you’ll need to figure out your price point. Indeed, you’ll need to have a pretty firm grip on everything relating to your business and money. The biggest calculation will be to determine the cost of producing each unit; from here, you’ll be able to figure out your sale price.
Electronic products are highly regulated. In order to sell your product, you’ll need to have it certified. What exactly you need to certify will depend on where you’re planning to sell your products. In general, however, you’ll need to cover information about the recycling process, the safety, whether it has Bluetooth and other technologies, things like that.
Once you have your product, you’ll be able to begin selling! This, alas, is not something that can be called ‘the easy part.’ Quite the opposite. Fortunately, there are plenty of places where you can sell your products in this day and age. The most important factor will be the quality of your marketing. Make sure that you’re dedicating decent amounts of money to this aspect of your operation; it can be the difference between success and failure.