Taking Your Product From Idea To Shelf

So you’ve got a great product idea that you think is going to make you a lot of money. Well, before you go off looking for a business loan to get you started, you need to think about the costs and process that’s going to turn that product from an idea, into a real money-maker. Below are the steps you need to follow to ensure that you know exactly what to expect, and most importantly, how to turn a profit with your idea.

The Design Process

First of all, you need to work on your design. It should be as detailed as possible and be to scale. If there are moving parts, you will need to include an exploded diagram to illustrate how they all function together. Your design should include front, side, and plan views. If you have no previous experience in designing a product, you should consult with a graphic designer who will be able to advise you, and ensure that your design has all the necessary information to move forward.


The Manufacturing

Now that you have a design you can move on to the manufacturing process. At this stage, you may encounter some difficulties. Perhaps your chosen manufacturing method does not allow for a design as complex as yours, or the costs of creating your product will cause it to be far too expensive. Research the different processes available to you, their pros and cons as well as their costs. Perhaps use an injection mold price calculate service to gain a more accurate idea of your manufacturing costs. As with the design process, you should consult with a manufacturing expert who will advise you if your design is feasible and cost-effective. Small changes to the aesthetics of the design could produce a marked decrease in the overall cost of manufacture. You will also have to factor in the numbers you will be manufacturing in. Batch production is more cost-effective than one-off production, but not as cost effective as mass production. You will need to forecast the need for your product and adjust your manufacturing costs depending on which production process will be most ideal for your application. You may need to hire or purchase specialised equipment if you want to take control of the production yourself, or else you should seek out a company who will be able to assist you with this aspect of your product’s journey.


The Packaging

To be a respected company with a strong standing in the community, it is a wise idea to have an environmentally friendly packaging design in place. You could consult with a professional in this area, or you could use one of the many online companies who will help you to create an eye-catching and cost-effective design. As little plastic as possible should be used, and all your materials should be widely, and easily recyclable. Keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum level, and showing that you care about the environment to your customers, will help to create a strong reputation of mindfulness and ethical practice. Not only does reduced packaging help the environment by allowing for less wastage and more products to fit into any given space for transportation, but it also helps boost your business’s profit margin by decreasing overall production costs.


The Marketing

This is make or break time for your product. After you have done all the other steps, you now have something you can truly start to market and sell. You may attempt to sell the product yourself from an online store, or you may look to work with local or national retailers to get your product onto more shelves. Either way, you will have to work hard to sell your product and its uses to as many people as possible. Be creative in your approach, try to grab people’s attention and get them talking to their friends and family about your design. Try to avoid marketing gimmicks, as these will rarely stand the test of time. Allow your product to stand on its own merit. Try to network and don’t be afraid to start small. You may begin by only selling a few units in a local independent retailer. However, if you continue to work hard and build on your successes, you could end up turning your simple idea into a nationally recognised brand.

This guide may make it seem simple to turn an idea into a selling product, but the design and manufacturing stages can take years to perfect before a product is ready for the shelves. Don’t be disheartened, and when the process becomes tough, remember why you began the journey in the first place.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who teaches women entrepreneurs how to monetize their message so they can make more money from their expertise. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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