You have a great idea, even a brilliant one. A new product or technology that hasn’t been seen before in your market, so it should be a done deal right?
Our world of commerce today has never been so complex, and with such a cluttered market of products, technology, and the digital realm it can be pretty confusing to navigate as a business owner or entrepreneur. So does this mean you should pack up and go home? Absolutely not, there are still amazing opportunities ready for the taking, but you do need to have a greater level of strategy and you need to have some trusted advisors to help fill any of your knowledge gaps.
So here are our top tips for launching a great product and getting all the other elements right!
1. Collaborate with customers
More than ever customers want an opportunity to have a say. They want to be able to provide insight and input into what you are developing. So let them!
Allowing customers to be part of the journey provides two key opportunities.
- Firstly, you are building a tribe. Along the way, as you are developing, before you have even tried to sell a unit you have a tribe of people that are interested in your product and buying into the process. This group of people whether they are an email list or social media followers are the group of people that you will ‘launch’ the product to and will be your first sales to get you off the ground.
- Secondly, by collaborating with customers you will be able to tweak and adjust the product, whether it is the product functionality or even the packaging and marketing to meet the needs that the customers have already told you. It will give you a certain amount of confidence entering the market knowing that you are providing what customers have asked for rather than what you think they want or need.
2. Don’t forget the end customers
Particularly in technology development you might be building a product that will be used by your customer to service their customer. What this means is that you need to demonstrate that you understand this and that your product not only satisfies the needs of your direct customer, but will also help their end customer.
3. Big picture view
Many tech companies are a flash in the pan, and dissolve as quickly as they form. Even those with great ideas and products can find themselves in hot water quickly. You need to have a big picture, long term view to ensure that what you are building for today will also have the longevity that you require for the business. A trusted advisor can help you with your startup to ensure that you are having a longer term and big picture view of the business. Having someone who’s role it is to focus on the numbers and give you guidance can sometimes be the difference between start up success and failure.
So while product design and development is important, sometimes it can be in vain if you don’t have the right support for you and your business.