woman making candles for small business

Had an idea for a product you’d like to launch?

Whether you’re launching a new brand of baby food or a new line of business software, there are certain steps that you’ll need to follow to make your product a success.

Below are these five steps outlined.

woman making candles for small business

Research

First, you need to conduct market research. This is important so that you can find out if there is a demand for your product—and if so how to tap into this demand. Consider surveying consumers and testing out a few competitor products.

On top of market research, you may want to research some of the legal requirements surrounding your product.

Understanding the costs is very important too—make sure that you have a clear idea as to how much your product will cost to launch and how to get funding if you need it. 

Design

Once you feel happy that you’ve done enough research, you can then start designing your product. This may include drawing up sketches or working out a recipe if you’re launching a food product.

Ideally, you want to come up with a few designs and then narrow these down to one single design that you love. Make sure to incorporate all your research findings into your design.

Testing

After settling on a design, you should then test it. This will typically involve building a prototype so that you have something physical to test. The idea of testing is to try and find as many faults as you can so that you can redesign your product without these faults.

Make sure that you’re not the only person to test your product—consider testing it on friends and family, and then try testing it on strangers. Focus groups are a popular way to test products.

Manufacture

Manufacturing a product can be expensive, so it’s important that you’ve tested and tweaked your product thoroughly until as many flaws as possible have been ironed out. You’ll need to then decide how to manufacture your product, and how many items you want to produce in your first batch.

There are three main ways to manufacture a product:

  1. handcraft it yourself
  2. manufacture it using your own machinery and
  3. outsource a manufacturer to produce your product for you

When it comes to software, it will be a case of developing it yourself or hiring a developer (and the testing stage will usually come afterwards). Work out what is the most affordable and efficient method for you.

Marketing

Once your product is manufactured, you need to find customers. This involves a strong marketing campaign. There are many promotional ideas that you can look into from social media contests to exclusive previews.

With products that don’t have a long shelf life, you may want to do some marketing before you manufacture your first batch so that you already have customers lined up to ship your products to.

Consider whether you want to sell directly to customers or sell to third-party retailers (the latter option could allow you to sell more easily in greater bulk). 

Ready to launch your own product?

Launching a product can be a lot of work and is something that could take weeks, months or even years to get off the ground. However, by taking these meticulous steps above, your product is much more likely to be a success.

As you will be running your own business, it could also be worth researching some general business tips (such as how to file taxes and license your business). This post offers a few general tips on starting a business