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How to Develop a Solid Foundation for Your Business

Have you been struggling to run your business but keep getting overwhelmed? Have you systemized your processes using process development to make running your business easier?

If you haven’t done so then this should be at the top of your to-do list!

Processes have been proven to improve productivity and to help you get  better results faster.

A process is a repeatable set of steps put in place in order to accomplish a goal.

Many people, especially managers or entrepreneurs, perceive processes as inefficient, overbearing, and burdensome. And in some cases, they could be correct.

But then every flawed process, as well as the results they generate, can be significantly improved.

In the same vein, bringing your vision for an authentic product to life is one of the biggest and most challenging hurdles for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Process Development Steps

The journey from ideation to finished product very rarely resembles a straight line.

However, if you want your business to be a success, you need to follow the 5-step process development outlined below:

1. Ideation

Many aspiring entrepreneurs usually get stuck on ideation. And it is because they sit and wait for that light bulb moment that reveals the perfect product they could sell.

Although building something new is creatively fulfilling, most of the best ideas out there are often the results of iterating upon existing products.

You can ask yourself the following questions about existing products:

  • Is it possible to substitute an existing product?
  • Can I combine two products?
  • Is there a way I can adapt an existing product?
  • How about modifying that pair of pants or toothbrush?
  • Does it make sense to use an existing product for something else?
  • Is it possible to eliminate the middleman and make some savings?
  • Can I reverse or rearrange an existing product?

Providing answers to these questions will help you develop novel methods of transforming existing ideas or adapting them for a brand-new target audience.

2. In-depth Research

The next step is to carry out in-depth research in order to validate your new idea.

Product validation has to do with creating a product that many people are willing to pay for. It will prevent you from wasting time, effort, and money on an idea that may not sell. You can validate product ideas by doing the following:

  • Share your idea with friends and family
  • Ask for feedback on forums like Reddit, etc.
  • Send out online surveys in order to generate feedback
  • Carry out research using Google Trends
  • Launch a crowdfunding campaign
  • Kickstart a ‘Coming Soon’ webpage in order to gauge your target audience’s interest via pre-orders or email opt-ins.

Irrespective of the method you choose to validate your idea, it is vitally important to generate tremendous feedback from an unbiased and substantial audience regarding whether or not they would purchase your product.

Therefore, be careful so that you don’t overvalue feedback from those who would buy the product if you created a theoretical one.

3. Careful Planning

Developing new products can become complicated, really quickly. Therefore, take time to plan before you start building your prototype.

This is because if you don’t have a concrete idea of your product’s design when you start looking for materials or approach manufacturers, you can get lost easily in subsequent steps.

Start by making a hand-drawn sketch of what you want your product to look like. Make sure the sketch is highly detailed with as many labels as possible that explain the numerous functions and features.

You don’t have to create a high-quality drawing since it is not yet ready to be submitted to a manufacturer. You can always hire illustrators on Upwork, Minty, or Dribble to help you create a more realistic-looking product.

Your diagram must have a list of different components you need to bring the product to life. It doesn’t have to be inclusive of all potential components, but it should be enough to allow you to start making plans with what you will need to create the product.

This is the stage where you plan or consider the packaging, labels, as well as overall quality of the materials.

This is crucial before you get to the sourcing and costing stage. These factors will profoundly affect how you market the product to your target audience, so take them seriously in the planning stage.

4. Prototyping

The primary goal of the prototyping phase is to create a finished product that will serve as a sample for mass production.

It is improbable to get to your finished product in just one attempt. In most cases, prototyping involves experimenting with numerous versions of your product. You start eliminating options slowly and making improvements until you are finally satisfied with the final sample.

5. Sourcing and Costing

When you are satisfied with the prototype, start gathering the materials and the partners you need for production.

This aspect is referred to as ‘building your supply chain.’ This includes vendors, activities, as well as resources you need to manufacture a product and get it into the hands of your customers.

This phase is where you consider storage, shipping, and warehousing.

By now, you should have a crystal-clear picture of what it will take or cost to create your product.

Costing involves gathering all the information you have obtained so far and adding up what the cost of your sold goods will be. This will enable you to determine a retail price as well as gross margin.

Create a spreadsheet with every additional cost broken out as a separate line item. This should include the following:

  • The raw materials
  • Factory set up costs
  • Manufacturing costs
  • Shipping costs

Factor in import fees, shipping, and any duties you will be expected to pay to get your finished product into your target customer’s hands.

This is because these fees could significantly impact the cost of goods sold, depending on where you are creating or manufacturing the products.

If you secured multiple quotes for different manufacturers or materials during the sourcing phase, add different columns for every line item that compare the cost.

You can also create another version of the spreadsheet in order to compare local production vs. overseas production.

As soon as you have successfully calculated your cost of goods sold, you can create a retail price for your product. Then, subtract the cost of goods sold from that price in order to get your potential profit or gross margin on every unit sold.

By following the 5-step process development tips for business success, you can easily break down the overwhelming tasks that bring a new product to market into highly digestible phases.

And this is how you set yourself up for a highly successful final product, leading up to business success.

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