12 Steps to developing new products or services

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  1. Brainstorming new ideas

Focus groups can be a great way to brainstorm new ideas for developing new products. Other methods include customer surveys, market research, suggestions from employees, technical development, reviewing competition and innovations and identifying gaps in the market.

developing new products

  1. Assess your idea for practicality

It is important to ensure that your idea is commercially viable and will survive in the marketplace. Do you have the appropriate resources to make the launch of the product sustainable.  Also consider the development of your idea to the finished product and will it meet your customer’s needs.

  1. Market Research

    developing new products

Conducting market research will help you identify if your product meets the needs of consumers. Review the sales potential, look at similar products on the market and evaluate what will make your product different. A SWOT analysis can be a great way to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with your new product idea

  1. Competitor Analysis

Review the competition and compare your new ideas for products and services against those of your competitors. Are they selling similar products and how does your new products compare against what your competition are selling. Look at what they are doing well and learn from their successes and failures.

  1. Project Management

Set up a project management team to plan and implement the delivery of your products. Consider key areas such as product design, packaging, marketing, production, delivery, sales, purchasing, finance and brand management. Have a project management plan in place to cover the execution of each key area. Set budgets and timescales and ensure that progress is reviewed regular throughout the project to ensure plans are on schedule.

  1. Risk Management

Have a risk management plan in place to assess and review potential risks and hurdles to the project. Contingency plans will ensure that any issues and challenges can be overcome.

  1. Product Specification

Create your product specification outlining the key features and requirements of your product, unique selling points and product expectations.

  1. Setting pricing

This is a key part of developing a new product. What are the development and production costs? How much do you intend to sell the product for? What will be your profit margin? How many units do you need to sell to break even?

  1. Product Design

Product design will include production, packaging, branding, marketing and purchasing requirements.

  1. Test the market

Design a prototype to test the market. Trial your product on customers for a period of time so any technical or production issues can be dealt with. This will provide an overview of how successful the launch of your new product is likely to be and also provides an opportunity to make improvements before it is launched to the wider market

  1. Product Launch

Set up a product launch date and ensure all key areas are in place such as marketing, staffing and advertising.

  1. Monitoring success

Review the success of your new product reviewing sales performance and customer feedback. Record important data and identify opportunities to make improvements.

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