Product Development Tips For New Entrepreneurs
Starting a business is definitely not for the faint-hearted. New entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate, and, sometimes, it may be challenging to choose which part of the new business venture must be prioritized. The sad reality is that many startups fail a few years after their launch due to various issues. Problems, such as lack of market demand, limited business funding, and not having the right team, can cause a business to fold early on. However, apart from those, there are other important factors that must be dealt with properly by new entrepreneurs when running and growing a business.
Product development is a process that should never be overlooked by businesses, especially the ones that are just starting out in the industry. As a new entrepreneur, you should focus on developing products to keep your customers satisfied.
Importance Of Product Development
Here are the reasons why product development should never be neglected:
- Branding: Product development is at the forefront of brand creation. The products you develop are considered extensions of your brand and differentiate your business from its competitors.
- Value: Product development helps your business create solutions that are beneficial to society. To keep satisfying your customers, you should create products that add value to their lives.
- Growth: Product development is essential to business growth and success. A successful product keeps your business relevant in the industry in which it operates.
Every company, whether new or established, should invest in developing and testing new products. Just as you will spend on marketing and operations, you should remember to allot company resources for product development as well. Generating ideas for your product as a new entrepreneur is easy; bringing them to life is another story.
Tips For Product Development For New Entrepreneurs
The product development process typically starts even before a new business is launched. Here are simple but useful product development tips that budding entrepreneurs will find handy:
#1. Understand Your Target Market
The goal of every business is to provide a product or service that will improve the lives of their customers and clients. However, it is challenging to develop a product when you have no idea what market you want to serve. To ensure an effective product development process, know your target market first. You can start understanding your company’s target market by remembering these:
- Utilize market research to identify and recognize your target market. Market research helps businesses understand what their customers want, as well as learn more about their competitors. The goal of product development is to create better products and not merely replicate what is already in the market.
Startup businesses with limited budgets can still perform market research through online surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and field trials. The information collected can be used to analyze market behavior and industry trends. If your budget allows it, commission a professional firm to conduct market research for the company.
- Remember that you are not the customer. While there are startups that have become successful by creating a product based on their personal needs, remember that it is best to look at the needs and wants of target customers. For example, if you are launching skincare products for people with acne-prone skin, you have to understand what they are looking for. It will not matter if you are partial to scented products; many people suffering from acne also have sensitive skin, who are better off using unscented skincare products. Think about what your target customers’ preferences are when coming up with a new product.
#2. Create A Working Prototype
There is a lot of building and creation involved in product development. Trials and errors usually characterize this phase of the process. After all, many ideas look great as theories, but only when you create a working prototype will you be able to make an idea a reality. It may seem ambitious to aim for a perfect product. Still, it will be better to sort out the possible problems during product development than after product introduction in the market. Also, remember that during product creation, you should think like the buyer and not as a business owner.
#3. Get Feedback Through Product Testing
One of the most critical steps in product development is product testing. After creating a physical product, you ought to collect feedback through market testing. The minimum viable product should be tested through small-scale testing or by distributing samples to the intended customer base. Gather feedback from the respondents and use the insights to make changes to the product before launching it in the market.
Successful companies understand that one of the keys to business success is a great product. However, product development is more difficult for startups and budding entrepreneurs because of limited resources. Having said that, it would be best to hire and work with people who believe in your vision and goals. With the right amount of inspiration and determination, your business can survive the challenging product development stage.