Many of us have had grand ideas to change the world, or maybe just our lives. But it is often difficult to bring these ideas to life. While it definitely can be difficult, there are some simple ways to improve your chances and get your idea of the ground.
In this post we are going to outline 5 simple steps to bring your idea or product to life, and show you how to avoid some common mistakes. Keep reading to find out more about market research, validating your idea, coming up with a plan, prioritizing work/life balance, and more.
As always, if you need a little extra help, feel free to send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to discuss your idea with you - no matter what stage of the process you’re in!
Step 1: Come up with your idea and understand the market
It makes sense that the first step to bring your product to life is to actually think of it. If you already have an idea, feel free to skip to the next step. But if you haven’t, this is for you.
The first, and most important step is to make sure you do market research. Most people forget about this step and focus on the idea without thinking about how it will help their customers. This is normal, but the pros know that the most successful products serve a need in the market. As our market research article goes into more detail, we’ll keep this simple. Here is a basic market research strategy:
Understand your potential customers, clients, or users so you can make the best product for them.
Use qualitative research to understand the inner workings of your customers, including their fears and desires.
Use quantitative research to capture insights based on the facts and figures surrounding your market.
Use all the research you have done to create a persona (or ideal customer) for your idea.
Find out what's already been done. Look for inspiration using websites dedicated to sharing ideas, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.
Step 2: Validate your idea using people you know
After you’ve come up with an idea and have done some research about how it makes the world (or your life) better, it’s time to let other people know about it. No, I’m not talking about marketing or promotion. I’m talking about showing it to your friends and family to ask what they think about your idea.
Even though validating your idea with loved ones can be a great starting point, sometimes inventors need to be careful. Friends and family mean well but can often lead you down the wrong track by either not being critical enough, or by not knowing about your industry. Still get feedback from others, but don’t rely too heavily on your loved ones' opinions.
It is also a great idea to get advice from other entrepreneurs, and even your potential customers. Plenty of successful business people have their own podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs that you can learn a lot from.
Even if your idea is just for yourself, it’s still a good idea to get some advice or a second opinion. No matter whether this is your first time creating a product or your tenth, a fresh pair of eyes can often notice something you don’t. Of course, feel free to give us a call or send us an email if you need some advice on how to make your idea a reality.
Step 3: Come up with a development plan and get some advice from experts
There’s a lot that goes into creating a product including market research, design, prototyping, and manufacturing. But now that you have a strong idea, you’ve managed to get pretty far into the development process. The next thing you need is a minimal viable product or MVP.
A MVP can be made using 3D CAD, 3D printing, fabrication, sheet metal, or fiberglass. After an initial prototype or MVP is made, it is best to reflect on the idea and continually make it better.
To get your MVP up and running you can rely on companies such as Idea to Life. Our helpful team will walk you through all the steps and make sure things go as smoothly as possible. You can get in touch and our friendly staff will discuss your idea and how best to get your product made.
Don’t be scared to start with a minimal viable product and continually improve from there. It’s best to get started rather than overthink things and regret never “getting around to it.”
Step 4: Don’t forget to prioritize your work/life balance
Once you get started on a project, it can be hard to stop. Many of us have had experiences where we just can’t stop thinking about how to improve our ideas. However, it is super important that we do take some time just for us to relax, rest, and recuperate.
The best tip we can give is to block out specific times during the week just for relaxing and doing something you enjoy. As important as your idea or product is, you are just as important.
If you’re feeling guilty about taking time to yourself, you shouldn’t. Even if you’re someone that wants to be the most productive person in the world, you still need to take breaks. It’s important, and will make you more productive in the long run.
Step 5: Improve and optimize
Once you have a prototype and are feeling good, the next step is to improve and optimize your idea to make it the best it can be. This can take some reflection and discussion with your manufacturer. It is common that some improvements are needed to create the perfect product.
Like anything in life, it’s ok for the product not to be perfect in the very beginning. The next step is to speak to your manufacturer and they will collaborate with you to make the best possible product.
If you like the idea of a collaborative and friendly design/manufacturing partner, please feel free to get in touch via our contact form.
Define your goal.
What do you want to achieve with your project? Do you want to raise awareness? Create a product? Or maybe you just want to learn more about something. Whatever your goal is, think about how you will measure success.
Find a mentor.
A mentor is someone who has been through the process before and can help guide you along the way. They might even offer advice on how to improve your project.
Once you're ready to launch, ask people to give you honest feedback on your work. This helps you identify areas that need improvement and gives you ideas for new features.
Build a prototype.
If you're not familiar with prototyping, it's a method of building a model of your product or service using paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, or other materials. Prototypes allow you to test out different designs and see how users interact with your product.
Create a marketing persona based on your target audience.
Once you do some brainstorming and market research, it’s time to create one (or more) marketing personas. As described above, a marketing persona is a representation or profile of a fictional group of people.
For example, a marketing persona for a lollipop company would be children under a certain age who need a sugar hit to keep them going during the day. A marketing persona for coffee would be much the same, only older.