Step-by-step business product development (4)

  • We finish our series on product development step by step, and we do it in a big way: preparing for production. Take note!

  • Throughout this series, we wanted to accompany you from the generation of business ideas, delving into how to conduct market and product research, and then how to enter fully into the prototyping phase.
    At this point, we already have more than clear what we are going to sell, to whom, how, and we even have a projection of how it should work in terms of sales ... but we still do not have the product itself.
    It is the time to get serious about production!
  • Supply phase

  • Let's go back to the end of the last article of the series so far. By then, we will have created a version very faithful to the one to be marketed, that prototype already evolved and iterated with the result of the corresponding tests. Therefore, that is the reference that we will use as a mold for mass production.
    Now, it is time to start securing the supply of the materials needed to create the product and negotiate with suppliers (both goods and services) needed to start the supply chain.
    I understand you will be impatient to start manufacturing, but the best advice we can give you is to have a little more patience. It is not a matter of sticking with the first supplier that guarantees the minimum required quality, delivery times, logistics or price... you need to check several budgets.
  • In fact, I would recommend that, even if you opt for one, you always have another one as a back up or reserve. This can be a lifesaver in the event of an unforeseen peak in demand or an extraordinary circumstance such as those we have experienced with the pandemic or the invasion of Ukraine, which have so disrupted the normal course of the global supply chain.
  • Should I produce or buy?

  • If you have not done so before, it is probably when you are facing the sourcing phase of product development that you will consider whether it is worthwhile to manufacture or, on the contrary, it would make more sense to look for a supplier that sells B2B in your specific case.
  • The main advantages of creating your product from scratch are:

    • Maximum customization: nobody is going to have the exact same product (unless they copy it and, among other things, this is where the industrial and intellectual property law comes into play).
    • Adjustment to the needs of your customers to the millimeter.
    • Control over the final product and its quality.
    • You minimize the number of intermediaries, which guarantees better your stock and, in general, makes the margin higher.
  • On the contrary, if you bet on manufacturers that are already established and have a similar product to yours, the main advantages are:

    • It is going to be easier to find availability in the market.
    • You can start selling almost immediately.
    • You will probably find more suppliers that serve the same product, so you have that margin of negotiation.

    But of course, if you choose this second option, you will do it knowing that you are marketing a product that does not have the same exclusivity as if you were doing it ad hoc. However, you can always intervene on it by adding some extra value, modifying the packaging, creating bundles...

    It is a matter of weighing the pros and cons of each strategy.
  • Where can I find suppliers?

  • For those who are looking for people who can produce their designs, we always have the Internet. There are multiple directories for virtually any niche. It will not take you more than a couple of clicks to get your hands on a few of these sites.
    You can also go to in-person trade shows. It may sound a bit old-fashioned, but it is always better to do face-to-face business  (and you can find out more about the quality of their products, processes and techniques).
    Another option - and this also applies to those who buy finished products wholesale - is to go to wholesale marketplaces such as AliBaba or MSME. The difference is that some will use them to obtain the name (and contact address) of manufacturers in China or India, while others will buy from these suppliers directly.
  • What next?

  • We have reached the end of this step-by-step product development guide. Now, we only have to crunch the numbers to find out how much our business will cost and launch into the marketing part.
    For that marketing related part and the creation of online stores, you can find a lot of information on this blog. It is time to start selling.
  • What do you think of our step-by-step product development guide? Did it help you with your next best-selling product? Tell us about it on our social media and blog comments.

  • Images| Unsplash.

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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