The new product development process is something that even the very largest of companies often don’t get right. They can afford to lose money especially in the early stages because they are taking bets on various products and services.
For a start-up or small business which wants to develop a new product or service a similar complex process will be faced. If it’s something simple that you are developing such as scented candles or low-sugar jam, you’ll have a relatively easy product development process ahead of you. But if it’s something that is more complex such as a special furniture items, software or food products for grocery stores, you will need to follow a more formal process for product development.
Product development can include designing the product, developing a prototype, implementing a critical path plan, conducting trials before full-scale production, assigning a project team, assessing risks and ways to control them, doing market research as well as developing strategy.
Most important of all will be knowing whether you have identified a known customer segment that will be willing and able to pay for your product or service. In-depth market research as well as customer psychographics and demographics are required before any large-scale implementation or introduction of a new product or service.
Even large companies such as Toyota which pumps products rapidly through it pipeline finds the new product development process challenging. Toyota has worked out clear objectives and plans for product development to ensure that products meet customer expectations and are made to the highest possible level of quality.
Although companies like Toyota provide inspiration because of their product development tools and clearly mapped out product development processes, their product development process is not easy for any company to replicate. Small businesses need to work out for themselves which product development process will work best for them.
Product development can be an exciting process as it signals the commitment you are making to bring your product or service idea to life. Yet before you go ahead and even make a prototype you need to evaluate your new business idea for its viability and estimated potential value in the marketplace. You don’t want to spend lots of time and money on a concept that is not going to have instant appeal or may cost too much to produce.
If you want a fast and easy way to make an initial assessment of your new business idea for a product or service, fill in your details below. I’ll send you a copy of the “The One-Page New Business Idea Accelerator Evaluation Tool” that will help you decide whether your product or service stands a fighting chance in the marketplace.
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