Many Canadian people dream of starting their own business and becoming an entrepreneur. However, one of the biggest hurdles for aspiring business owners is making the vision of an original product a reality.
This is especially true for those who believe that their ecommerce businesses success stories will have the same hurdles and outcomes as other businesses. The truth is that the product development procedure can be mystifying at times and no two journeys are the same or linear. To remove the mystery from the process and ensure that you can roll with the punches, you will first need to learn the basic steps required to manufacture a product for sale.
To help you along, we teamed up with an expert, Michelle Thomas (view profile), to give you more information on the basic steps that need to be taken and what each of these will require. Keep reading to find out more.
Step One: Idea Generation
Most Canadian entrepreneurs begin their manufacturing process by brainstorming and unfortunately, this is where many of them quit. This is because many people are waiting for inspiration to strike or for a stroke of genius that will reveal the product they should be selling. To avoid throwing in the towel early, we recommend looking into products that you find useful and adapting them.
For the intent of this article, we will use an online casino as our example. Since there are hundreds of operators already on the market, an aspiring entrepreneur would need to think of how they can adjust or change the traditional concept to bring a fresh take on a beloved pastime.
Step Two: Research
The second step of the manufacturing process is to validate your idea. Choosing to skip this step could result in creating a product that nobody would spend their money on and could lead to a loss of time, money and effort. There are many ways that an idea can be validated and most of them are easy to do. Take a look below to see common validation practices:
- Discussing the idea with friends and family
- Create a crowdfunding campaign
- Conduct a survey
- Use forums for feedback
- Use google trends to find market demand
- Launch a website to gauge the level of interest
Step Three: Planning
Product development can get complicated very quickly and is why most businesses take the time to draw up a plan before they build their prototypes. Approaching developers, manufactures and suppliers without a clear idea of the desired design or outcome will likely set you a few steps back. Take the time to draw up a clear and concise plan or sketch of what your product will look or be like and keep your brand specifications in mind.
Step Four: Prototyping
The idea behind building a prototype is to create a finished product that will be used as a sample and is often used by aspiring business owners to secure funding for their business idea. This is also the ideal time to begin testing a MVP, or minimum viable product, which has enough functionality for earlier consumers to use and enjoy.
Using the online gambling site as an example, this would mean that you should be able to test free online slots and allow a small group of early users to try the service and provide feedback. Depending on the response, the product might need to be adjusted slightly.
Step Five: Sourcing
Once the prototype of the product is completed, the next step is sourcing or building a supply chain. This means that you will need to establish relationships with vendors, resources and even marketers to advertise your product or, in the case of our example, the online free slots. In other cases, vendors in Canada will need to be selected based on their prices for the raw materials that will be required to mass-produce the prototype product.
Step Six: Costing
Once planning, researching, prototyping and sourcing have been completed, a clearer picture on the cost of production will emerge. Costing is an important part of the business analysis procedure and will require that all information gathered be combined to determine the cost of production for the goods manufactured, the expected retail price and the potential gross margin.
Step Seven: Commercialization
By this time, you should have a successful and profitable product ready for sale. The final step in this process is to introduce the finished product to the market. This is done by handing the product over to the marketing team and scheduling a launch. If this is not possible, many start-up businesses make use of affiliate marketers, enable social media shopping and send out emails.
Regardless of whether you are looking to start an internet business, such as an online casino, or would like to sell a manufactured product, sticking to this methodology and enjoying the process could help you become the owner of a successful and lucrative business.