Well done! You have financing and a polished pitch. It is now time to start working on your product.
Whether you’re starting a business from scratch or want to take an existing product to the next level, making money is always the goal.
So how do you turn your product into a business?
Here are some tips to get you started.
1- Figure out your target market
Who is your product for?
Demographics like gender, age, location, and income are important factors to consider.
Once you know who your target market is, you can better understand their needs and wants.
For example, if you are selling a women’s fashion line, you’ll want to gear your marketing towards females instead of targeting everyone.
Understanding your target market can help you fine-tune your branding and messaging, and make it easier to connect with potential customers.
2- Research what products are in your category
What similar products are on the market?
What features does your product have that make it unique?
How do those products compare in price?
What can you do to make sure your product stands?
The early research carried out before to funding is typically insufficient for your product’s genuine positioning and placement in the market.
Even if you are confident that your product will appeal to a market that needs it, you should still spend money on competition analysis, branding, and positioning.
I’ve seen a number of businesses fail because they believed they understood the market thoroughly, only to discover after they launched that they had failed because their products weren’t matched with the right markets.
You should pick a market research firm that focuses on the industry in which your product operates so that it may take use of its established relationships, websites, and users.
Never undervalue the importance of these established connections.
If the researchers are prepared, study can begin right once; but, if locations need to be put up, it may take months.
Things will move more quickly because of their knowledge and experience in this field, and time to market is crucial.
3- Start developing prototypes
You want to start creating prototypes once you’ve identified your brand’s position and target audience.
These should be more robust than the ones you make in your garage (unless you have quite the machine shop in your garage, that is).
You want these prototypes to look and feel as close to the manufactured part as they can, so your target users can really get a feel for how they’ll look, function, and be used.
You want to start with the end in mind.
Ideally, how will your product be manufactured?
What is your cost of goods sold (COGS) target?
What materials will you make your product out of that can meet your customer needs?
Prototyping is expensive, but with these refinements you’re getting closer to your COGS target every day.
Get these prototypes to a certain point that you’re happy with and then move on to the next step.
“Scale is the holy grail of the entrepreneurial journey.” -Kevin Harrington
4- Create a business plan
Most people don’t have time to read a 90-page explanation of your plan.
Give them a quick highlight reel and include key items such as:
-What’s the problem?
-What’s the solution
-What’s the industry?
-Progress to date?
-What are you looking for?
If you can boil this down to 1-2 pages, the person reading it knows you, not only can communicate efficiently, but have clarity on your own plan.
5- Develop a marketing and advertising plan
Here’s where the rubber meets the road.
What techniques are you’re going to use to get customers in the door to sell the product?
Are you going to use TV?
Are you going to use radio?
Are you going to use social media?
Are you going to use influencers, digital marketing, Facebook, Instagram?
Where are you going to spend the money on marketing?
Don’t rely on the investor to figure the logistics out for you.
Be specific down to the dollars and cents of where the money’s going to be spent.
Figuring out how to advertise and market your product can be a daunting task.
But it’s important to remember that you, the entrepreneur, are the one who knows your product best.
You know what makes it unique, and you know how to talk about it in a way that will interest potential customers.
So don’t be afraid to put together a plan and get started marketing your product.
6- Set up an online shop or sell through other retailers
When you have a product to sell, there are a number of ways to go about it.
You have three main options for how to go about it:
- selling through your own website
- setting up an online shop on a platform like eBay or Amazon
- selling through other retailers
Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh them all carefully before making a decision.
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7- Offer customer support
As a business owner, you know the importance of customer support.
When someone buys your product, they’re not just purchasing a physical good or service – they’re entrusting you with their satisfaction and loyalty.
That’s why it’s so important to provide excellent customer support for your product.
Here are some tips to get you started.
1) Respond quickly to customer inquiries. Nothing frustrates customers more than waiting long periods of time for a response to their question. Make sure you have adequate staff on hand to handle customer inquiries in a timely manner.
2) Be courteous and polite. Always address customers with respect, and be polite even when responding to negative feedback. No one likes dealing with an angry customer service.
So, there you have it – the essential steps to turning your product into a business.
By following this guide, you’ll be on your way to developing a successful enterprise that meets the needs of your target market.
Remember to take things one step at a time and to focus on creating an excellent product and customer experience.