Have an Awesome Product Idea?
So you have a great product idea… Awesome!.... A good product idea can make a very profitable business for you.
You can make a rewarding career and life for yourself and many generations to come. All you need is 1 good Idea! If you are at this point, start your research, get to know your product, get to know your market environment, niche, competitors and every step of your product development. Search for trademarks and previous inventions. Calculate your margins and make sure you have the desirable profits…
We can go on and on about the invention game, but I cannot express enough, the first step, coming up with the idea is the most important step. Do not dismiss any ideas. You might have noticed that throughout our lives, we always come up with ideas. While we are working on a project, we often come up with improvement ideas on functionality of the tools we use for the project. That idea right there could be your ticket out…
Value your ideas, research them and develop them!... read more below and let us know how we can help you in wonderful journey of bringing your product idea to: LIFE!
Have an Idea, Now What?
- Product Development in Few Steps
- Product & Niche Validation
- Survey Your Target Market
- Presell on Social Media
- Create a Crowdfunding Campaign
• Step 1: Document It. Simply having an "idea" is worthless--you need to have proof of when you came up with the invention ideas. ... • Step 2: Research It. You will need to research your idea from a legal and business standpoint. ... • Step 3: Make a Prototype. ... • Step 4: File a Patent. ... • Step 5: Market Your Invention
I bet, so far, you’ve used secondary research (data already available online) to evaluate your idea. Now it's time to validate your idea with first hand, primary research using your specific product, chosen niche and target market. Validating your idea will give you much greater clarity into the potential of your product idea. Although there's plenty of different ways to validate your idea, the purpose is the same, to get a clear signal as to the actual buyer interest in your product and niche selection. In next tabs, we're going to explore some of the most common methods of product validation that you can use and apply to your product ideas immediately. You shouldn't feel compelled to utilize every tactic listed here, however, carefully choosing one or two of the outlined methods can significantly increase your understanding of the demand for your product and niche selection. By the end of this chapter you should have enough confidence to proceed with your product idea and begin looking for a supplier, or know whether you should go back to the drawing board.
After gathering secondary research, it's time to gather your own based on your exact product, niche selection, as well as target demographic. The quickest and cheapest way is to create a survey using a simple survey tool like Survey Expression, eSurveysPro, Survey Gizmo or QuestionPro. To write a good product validation survey and get the most from it, you should touch on each of the following elements in your survey questions: • Target Audience Verification: You'll want to start by asking key questions to validate your audience. Asking the wrong people about your product idea is completely pointless. Not all answers are created equal. • Initial Interest: Next, you'll need to determine if people fundamentally like your product idea, what they like about it and what they don’t like about it. • Purchase Intent: Finally, you'll want to ask some questions to gauge purchase intent. Many people, especially if you know them, will be overly positive so it's important to put people to the test a little bit to find out if they would actually purchase your product. Not to worry if you don't know anyone in your target market. There are several paid services available that can help like Google Customer Surveys or Survata. These services will allow you to create surveys and then distribute the surveys to people in your defined target audience on your behalf for a small fee.
Depending on your product and niche selection, contacts on your social networks and in your email contact list might be a great fit for testing your product idea with. Nothing beats actually making sales before sinking a lot of time and money into a business. Noah Kagan from SumoMe did just that when he was trying to validate his idea of a subscription beef jerky service. Using his social accounts and personal email contacts, Noah contacted friends and acquaintances he thought would be interested in his new potential service and asked them if they wanted to purchase (all before even having any product to sell). He first sent out an email to his contacts: After, he posted on his personal Facebook to get some feedback as well: Finally, he used Facebook's Search Graph to find and reach out to people that he was friends with that currently like beef jerky or followed the paleo diet. His call to action to test his idea was clear, send the money to his PayPal account. The results? $3,030 in total revenue all in a 24 hour period of time. Considering this a successful product validation, he went on to begin SumoJerky.
One of the most popular methods of product validation over the last few years is to set up a crowdfunding campaign on sites like Indigogo or Kickstarter. Setting up a crowdfunding campaign not only helps you to validate your product but allows you to collect money upfront to fund the business and initial inventory. Crowdfunding campaigns are usually reserved for new, interesting or innovative products so simply re-selling another brands products or items you've imported from overseas won’t quite make the cut. Crowdfunding your idea as a product validation step also requires quite a bit of work and is more involved than the previous methods discussed. Most crowdfunding sites will require you to have some type of prototype before creating your campaign.
A little more knowledge
- Create a Landing Page
- Open a Test Store
- Acquire The Product
- Handmade Products
- Manufacture Your Product and Alibaba
- Wholesale Purchase
Another simple and popular method to better understanding interest and demand is to set up a one page landing page with your value proposition and an email collection box. By driving traffic to this site and collecting emails, you can start getting a better sense of true interest in your product as well as begin building a relationship with potential customers. You can use Shopify's prelaunch page and embed an email sign up form from a email provider like MailChimp or Aweber. Alternatively, you could also use a full featured landing page creator from one of the following services: • LaunchRock • Strikingly • Unbounce • Kickofflabs • QuickMVP
Finally, one of the best and thorough ways to test and validate demand for your idea is by setting up a test store. This popular method, which has been discussed in books like The 4 Hour Work Week, involves setting up a store with your product and driving traffic to it over a period of time to test consumer interest and demand for your product. Note: Keep in mind that according to laws in some countries, states and provinces, when selling items as a pre-order, you're not supposed to capture the payment immediately. It's usually alright to authorize it, but you're only supposed to capture it just before, or soon after, shipping. Spaces is one of the best ways to validate and build a new business. They allow you to very quickly create a store that you can collect payments with. Because Spaces is so lightweight, you could have a store running in under 5 minutes, either pre-selling your product or, if you're so inclined, you could sell your samples to get some real world feedback.
Coming up with, evaluating and validating a product idea is just the beginning of a long but exciting journey to building your online business. The next step is to determine how you’re going to acquire the products you want to sell. There are several options when it comes to acquiring your new products, and each option has its advantages, disadvantages, as well as unique challenges. The four most common methods of acquiring your products and inventory are: • Make • Manufacture • Wholesale • Dropship It’s important to understand each of these methods in order to make the right choice for your business. There are pros and cons to each of the methods, and depending on you product, market, and niche, one may be more suitable for you and your business than the others
Making your product is a common approach for many hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers. Whether it be jewellery, fashion or natural beauty products, making products yourself allows for the most control over quality and the brand, however, this control comes at a cost. Making products yourself ties you deeply into the business and can present challenges when it comes to the amount of time it takes you to produce each product as well as being able to scale your business as it grows. The primary costs associated with making your own products includes the purchasing of raw materials, storage of inventory and labor time involved in producing your product. The most important thing to note is that not all products can be made by hand. Your product choices are limited to your skills and your available resources. Who's It For: This option is best suited for the do-it-yourselfer, someone that has their own unique ideas, can physically produce the goods themselves and has the resources available to do so. Making your own products is also for people that want to maintain full control over the product quality and their brand along with the desire to keep startup inventory costs relatively low. Pros: • Relatively Low Startup Costs - When you make your own products, you generally don’t have to produce a large upfront number of units like you would have to purchase if you were manufacturing or wholesaling. This allows you to enjoy relatively low production costs, which for many ecommerce businesses, makes up the bulk of their startup costs. • Brand Control - Making your own product means you can create any brand you wish with no limitations. • Price Control - Going hand in hand with brand control is the ability to price your products as you see fit. Through your brand, you can position and charge what you like for your product. • Quality Control - When making your own products, you can closely control the quality of your products, ensuring they live up to your expectations as well as your customers. • Agility - Making your own products can give you the greatest level of agility for your business, allowing you to adjust quality, features and even the entire product on the fly. Cons: • High Time Input - Depending on your exact product choice, making your own products can be a time consuming process, leaving you less time to focus on actually building and marketing your business. • Scalability - Making products yourself can pose an issue if and when your business takes off. Although you have the option to look to a manufacturer for help as you scale up, this might not be easy or possible if being handmade is built into your brand. • Limited Product Choices - Your choices of potential products are limited to your skills and the resources you have available to you. This will vary from person to person. Margins: Margin potential is usually on the higher side versus the other three models when you make the product yourself because you have more control over your costs as well as pricing. However, you should carefully factor in your time to produce the goods, as this can cause a dramatic dip in your profit if your products are time consuming to produce. Risks: Typically, making products yourself is generally a low-risk option financially. Because you're making the products yourself, there are no minimum orders like you would find if you were manufacturing your product or purchasing inventory wholesale. You may even be able to produce the products as you receive orders, allowing you to easily get the business up and running and proving your concept before investing too much time, energy and money into it.
Another viable option for acquiring your product is to find a manufacturer to produce the product for you. When sourcing a manufacturer you have the option of sourcing domestically or from overseas. As you might expect, a domestic manufacturer in general will cost more than a manufacturer from overseas countries like China, Taiwan or India. If you're looking to source a manufacturer from overseas, you'll likely end up at some point on Alibaba. Alibaba is one of the largest business-to-business market places that connects (mostly) asian manufacturers to North American buyers. There are several other similar companies that operate in this space that are smaller and cater to different markets for manufacturers, like IndiaMart. Who's it For: Manufacturing your product is a good idea (and maybe the only option) for those that have a unique product idea or a variation of a current product that doesn't exist currently. It's also for people that have validated the market for their product and are very confident that their product will sell. A strong level of confidence before choosing manufacturing is important as manufacturing will require the greatest financial investment upfront for designing, prototyping and purchasing minimum quantities. Pros: • Lowest Cost Per Unit - It's not uncommon for manufacturing to be the best options for the lowest cost per unit, giving you the greatest margins on your product. • Brand Control - Having your product manufactured means you can build your own brand around your product and aren't constrained by another brands rules. • Price Control - Along with the ability to build your own brand comes the ability to set your own prices for your product. • Quality Control - Unlike dropshipping or purchasing wholesale, when you manufacture your own product you're in control of the quality of your final product. Cons: • Minimum Order Quantities - One of the biggest disadvantages of manufacturing your own product are the startup costs required for designing, prototyping and initial inventory orders. Depending on the costs of your product and the manufacturer, your inventory investment can reach thousands or tens of thousands of dollars quite easily. • Potential for Fraud from Overseas Manufacturers - If you don't properly protect yourself when you're dealing with overseas manufacturers, you run the risk of being scammed. This can happen a number of different ways, either for your money or, almost just as bad, the final product you receive won't be the expected or negotiated quality. • Time To Get Up and Running - Manufacturing your product will likely take you the longest amount of time from start to finish. Manufacturing can be a long process of prototyping, sampling, refining and production. The difficulty of this process can be amplified if you plan on using a overseas manufacturer where language, distance and cultural barriers can arise. Margins: When you manufacturer your product, your product margins can vary greatly based on the particular product, the manufacturer and order quantity. Usually however, manufacturing your own product gives you the greatest margin potential over other methods like purchasing wholesale and dropshipping. Risks: With great rewards comes great risk. This makes manufacturing the highest risk option in most cases. You must purchase (usually) larger amounts of inventory upfront with no guarantee it will sell. Manufacturers generally have a minimum order quantity (MOQ) so you may be starting out with thousands of units or more. Minimum orders will depend on the product and manufacturer so make sure you discuss early what the MOQ is but remember, minimum order quantities can usually be negotiated. As mentioned previously, risk also comes in the form of fraud if you're purchasing from a manufacture overseas, particularly from Asia. Business-to-business sourcing sites like Alibaba have safeguards in place to help prevent fraud, but fraud is still a very real issue with little recourse if something does go wrong.
Buying wholesale is a fairly simple and straight forward process. You're buying your product inventory (usually other brands) direct from the manufacturers or from a middleman supplier at a discounted wholesale rate, which you in-turn, resell at a higher price. Buying wholesale is a lower risk business model compared to manufacturing for multiple reasons. First, you're dealing with brands that are already established to some extent and validated in the market so you don't run the risk of developing a product no one wants. Also, you usually don't have to purchase nearly as high of a minimum order compared to manufacturing your own product. Minimum orders will depend on the manufacturer and product, however they're usually pretty reasonable and can even be as low as one unit per SKU if you're dealing with other smaller brands. Who's It For: Purchasing products wholesale is a good option if you want to get up and running quickly or if you want to sell a variety of products and brands. Wholesaling provides a wide range of opportunities as there are many products available for wholesale. Pros: • Selling Already Established Products - Because you're selling already established products helps to lessen the risk associated with purchasing inventory. • Brand Familiarity - Selling already established brands can help position your brand by creating an aura effect on your brand. Cons: • Selling Already Established Products - Selling already established products can work for you as well as against you. Because the products are available from multiple retailers, you will need to fight extra hard to differentiate yourself and convince consumers to purchase from you. • Price Control - Selling other brands means that to some extent you have to play by their rules. Some brands will enforce price controls to prevent you from discounting their products. This limits your ability to have certain sales and offers. • Inventory Management - When purchasing wholesale you'll likely have to purchase a minimum order of each product. The minimum order will depend on the product and manufacturer which will depend partially how big the brands are you plan on stocking. • Dealing With Supply Partners - If you're carrying an array of products, dealing with multiple supply partners can become difficult to manage. Requirements, contracts and rules will vary from supplier to supplier. Margins: The margins for wholesale are typically good compared to dropshipping, but not usually as profitable as manufacturing products yourself. This method can be considered a safe middle ground between manufacturing and dropshipping when it comes to margins. Although each case is unique, it’s typical to see a 50% margin on wholesale goods resold at retail pricing. Risks: Buying wholesale is a lower risk model versus manufacturing but still carries some risk. Wholesaling will require the purchase of inventory with no guarantee that you can sell it. Perhaps the greatest risk comes from figuring out how to differentiate yourself from the many other retailers selling the same products from the same brands. If you're planning on wholesaling, you'll need to consider how you can set yourself apart and add value that will convince customers to order from you.
Most products will fall into one of these four product acquisition models. Depending on your chosen product or niche, you may not have the option of which business model you choose. Much of it depends on the type of product you plan to sell. Some products will naturally fall under certain categories. For example: • If your product idea doesn't exist: Make or Manufacturer • If you have almost no money to get started: Dropship • If You want to sell other brands: Wholesale or Dropship • If you want to hand produce your product: Make • If you want the highest possible margins: Manufacture • If you want to take the least risk possible: Dropship • If you want to take the most risk possible: Manufacture • If you want to take some risk: Make/Wholesale The model you end up selling under will partially define and shape your entire business going forward. It's important to understand the advantages, as well as the disadvantages of each so you can make the right choice for your business.
Trust You have an awesome Idea• Step 1: Document It. Simply having an "idea" is worthless--you need to have proof of when you came up with the invention ideas
Research it• Step 2: Research It. You will need to research your idea from a legal and business standpoint.
Make a Sample• Step 3: Make a Prototype. ...
Patent it• Step 4: File a Patent. ...
Bring it to the market• Step 5: Market Your Invention