This article provides some practical tips to Take Your Product From Concept to Reality.
Define your Idea
Questionnaire to help you Take Your Product From Concept to Reality:
1. What is the market opportunity?
- Use Google to find out how many people are searching to solve the same problem that your product will solve.
- Find out who is your competition. How do you stand out from them? Define your USP.
- All said and done, ensure you have a fairly LARGE market opportunity.
2. What value does it add to the mass?
- List down the benefits of your product. E.g.: Does it help people; how? Does it help companies – small, medium, large; how?
3. What should be your revenue model?
- Find out how you will reap the monetary benefits – sooner or later.
- Study the market and list things that will attract your target audience – free membership?, free trials? economy packages? Keep in mind, you are “starting up” with a product idea.
- Draft a revenue model and forecast your projections. E.g.: Let’s say you decide to have a per user subscription at $20. If you have 100 users at the end of the quarter, you have made $2000. Now, what could be the projected number of users at the end of 6 months, a year, 2 years, 3 years? What would be your earnings? Increasing number of users is only one parameter, there could be others like the paid services that you would offer to a single user. This will then help to define your revenue growth and your projections.
- Check if charging some minimal setup fees applicable for your product?
4. Plan a budget
- Whatever it could be, you need to have a clear idea on the amount that you are willing to allocate to this venture of yours!
- Make a list of all the costs. Design, development, marketing, after-sales.
- Generally you want the manufacturing cost to be one-fifth of the retail price.
5. What’s the best way to prototype?
- Instead of raw wireframes, develop visuals.
- Hire an affordable designer if you are tech-savvy yourself. At this point of time, find someone who would be cost-effective and yet quick.
- Else, hire an affordable software vendor with the required man power to analyse, map your requirement to the latest technology, provide you a customer-centric engagement model, develop, test and maintain.
- Prototyping is a good way to get some market intelligence.
6. At what point can you start looking out for VCs?
- Get the prototypes/visuals first.
- Try to get the product funded. If you can get it funded at this stage then this in itself is a good validator.
- Figure out a fairly fast way to deliver the commitments made.
7. How do you decide whether to produce in-house or outsource?
- Do you have technical expertise and bandwidth to develop in-house?
- If not, have the software development company do it for you. There are many software companies, but hiring the right one is a challenge undoubtedly, especially when you need software tailored to meet your product requirements.
- Some tips before you engage with a Software Vendor:
- Ensure your software development company will use the latest technologies and do not have them to code your product meant only to get cornered soon.
- Ask them on the engagement models during development and maintenance?
- Ask them for their client references and contact them to get a feedback on the vendor’s services.
- Ask them about some demonstrations of their existing work. This will give you a clear insight about their expertise with User Interface Designs. Remember you need User-centric designs.
- Enquire about the free warranty period that they offer.
- Enquire on what they can do to accelerate go-to-market strategy.
- Ensure that they provision you with a project schedule and clearly defined milestone & delivery dates, so that you can plan your demonstrations accordingly.
- One more insider tip for you: Ask them about the flexibility that they would be willing to offer you. You are start-up, and based on the visuals that you carry to the market as your first cut, you may have evolving requirements. Will the vendor be flexible enough to accommodate such requirements? What are their business terms?
Well nice to know that you’ve still been reading!
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