So you've had a lightbulb moment. A great idea for a product which you just know will be fabulous. But how on earth do you make it into an actual real life product you can sell (and make some money in the process)?
Here at Sparke Club we specialise in helping and supporting small businesses bring their ideas to life via product development. We provide the practical steps that you need, no theories or fluffy stuff (OK, so maybe a bit of fluffy stuff 😉), just exactly what you need to do to get from idea to successful product.
Do you currently have an idea for a product? Here’s a few pointers on where you might like to start:
1. Take a Step Back:
Yes, of course your idea is the best thing since sliced bread. But maybe you could put the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the real finishing touch. You get the drift. By stepping back from your idea you can think about key elements and get some knowledge under your belt. So do your research, review your competitors, know your target customer and consider why your customers will choose YOUR product over someone else's. You need to know your vision, your customer and your USP. (Tip: Jenny’s Women Rocking Business ‘Perfecting Your Brand Message’ workshop will help you with this!)
2. Make a Plan:
Make a real and practical plan, which helps you to break down the development into easier to manage chunks. For example:
- Branding and Design. (Who will you use if you're not doing this yourself, what information will they need, create a mood board to communicate what you're thinking. Cue hours of Pinterest scrolling!)
- Packaging. (What type of packaging do you think would work? What materials could be good? Check out the eco credentials of the packaging you have in mind)
- The Product Itself. (Do you need to refine it? How exactly do you want it to look? Can you make a prototype?)
- Manufacturing. (You may make it yourself to begin with but think about if it sells like hot cakes what would you do? Could you outsource manufacturing? Would you take on some extra help?)
Reach out to your network for recommendations, make a plan and a proposed timeline (we find a Gantt chart or planner useful to log all the tasks and keep on track) and start to make it a reality.
3. Money, Money, Money!:
It sounds obvious but it's absolutely vital that you know your your costs and potential profit before launch. All too often we see fantastic small businesses creating the most wonderful products but failing to make enough money for it to be sustainable. Don't forget to factor in your very precious time to make sure that your passion can not only bring you joy but earn you a crust too.
4. Your Team:
Especially important if you're the sole person in your company is to create a virtual team around you. Your team are there to bounce ideas off, challenge, debate, create and ultimately be your greatest cheerleaders. Your designer, supplier, stockists, manufacturers, marketing whizz, family and friends can all form part of your team.
Wherever you're at in your new product journey, it's always worthwhile taking a moment to step back and think clearly about what steps you need to take to make your product come to life. If you're a bit stuck ask for help (drawing on the collective knowledge of a networking group like Women Rocking Business is a great place to start).
Creating a product is a huge undertaking and you can rarely be an expert in every element involved.
And most importantly, keep faith in your idea! There’s a reason why you're so passionate about it! When things get a bit tricky and it would be easy to give in, have a breather and remind yourself just why you think your product will work and visualise what your customers reactions will be. Then keep going!
About Sparke Club:
Based in Derby, in the East Midlands, Sparke Club came about after many years of us both (Hayley and Emma) itching to start our own business. We had a gazillion ideas before we eventually realised that NPD is not only what we're great at (and have over 35 years experience in) but also what we're passionate about.
We adore working as a team; we challenge each other, pick each other up, cheer each other on and most importantly have tons of fun together. We celebrate each tiny win and are genuinely so excited to work with such fantastic small businesses. We see ourselves as part of our clients virtual teams, we love collaborating with them and can be as involved as our clients wish us to be.
Since we both started our families it became clear to us that we wanted to champion other women and their passions. We want to help them make their products the best they can possibly be to give them every chance of success.
If you would like to have a chat with us to bounce some ideas around or to see if we could help you bring your product to life then don't hesitate to get in touch!
- Emma and Hayley xx
Visit us: www.sparkeclub.com (And see our fab Branding Photographs by Women Rocking Business too!)
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us: www.instagram.com/sparkeclub
Jenny Ryan is the Award Winning photographer behind Women Rocking Business and Indigo + Violet Photography.