When you’ve got a great new product idea in mind and you’re ready to start with the development and manufacturing, there are a few important actions to do first before jumping full in. I like to share 4 tips with you how to organise your product-based business.
You can also tune in if you like to listen to the podcast episode on this topic.
Organise your product documentation in a logical way
You want to make sure you can always find the documents relating to your new product idea quickly. Spending minutes searching for documents or for the latest version of a document is not how you want spend time. Especially in the beginning of your product development, documents will be shared, reviewed, and updated multiple times. This process should be done efficient and in a structured way, so everyone is working with the latest data.
A simple way of doing this is creating a folder structure in the cloud where you store the documentation of your new product development. You can set this up any way that makes sense to you and your team. Start with a main folder, usually the name or project name of your new product. Followed by several sub-folders under the main folder.
Examples of sub-folders are:
- Product design
- Packaging design
- Product Certification
- Sales & Marketing
- Social media
Save the documents in the relevant folder and you see in once glance where to look for it.
Who is your ideal customer?
Before spending money on your new product idea, make sure that you know well who your ideal customer is. During development you might need to make compromises and you can make better decisions if you know very well who your customers are. Create a separate document describing your ideal customers, your target market and how you want your products to be distributed to your customers. Are you going through retailers or Direct to Consumer (DTC)?
This document will contain important information for your sales, marketing, and social media plan. Save this document in the relevant folder, ‘Sales & Marketing’ for example.
Financial feasibility of your new product idea
Getting a clear understanding of all the costs you need to make before your new product is in the hands of your customer, is very important if you want to make a good profit and return on investment.
Often costs like shipment, warehousing, marketing, repair, swop, or certification are not included in the profitability calculation. If these costs are deducted from your margin later, you run the risk not to earn anything or just a little and this is not sustainable for your business in the longer run.
When you do the financial feasibility calculation make sure to include these costs as well in your spreadsheet. Save this document in the relevant folder, ‘Financials’ for example.
Don’t be afraid of details
Describing in detail the features, benefits, look and feel of your product idea is a good thing. The more detail in the specifications, the better your development and manufacturing partners understand what your product should look like, what the performance level should be. Your expectations on design and quality are crystal clear when you describe them in detail and in writing. Don’t leave room for misunderstanding as this will result in higher costs and delay if your product is not fulfilling the requirements you’ve set at the beginning of its development.
You can have a document called Product Specifications, save in the relevant folder ‘Product Design’ for example.
How to organise your business and documents as the backbone of your product-based business
When you have your documentation structure set-up, you’ve described your new product idea in detail and you’ve made a thorough financial calculation, it’s time to get started with the development of your new product idea. Whether you need to look for external development partners and suppliers or you’re doing everything in-house, organizing your business and documents is the backbone of efficiently running the daily challenges of a product-based business.
Free Guide 10 DECISIONS YOU NEED TO MAKE BEFORE DEVELOPING YOUR OWN PRODUCT
Next to knowing what resources you need to take into account in new product development.
Go and check out my free download on 10 decisions you must make before you start developing your own products. So’ll be well prepared to kick-off your development journey.
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