Over the years Victorian Businesses have become more and more eager to innovate and develop market-leading products. Unfortunately, a sizable number of businesses aren’t successful at innovating and there are a few common product development mistakes that tend to let them down:
Lack of understanding:
Individuals and businesses tend to underestimate the amount of time, effort, and cost in bringing a quality product to market. Product development can be difficult, especially if you are pushing the boundaries of available technology. It takes a lot of planning and effort to develop great products and keep them within a budget – so an experienced team is a must. It is important to be realistic with your expectations on how long the process might take. A rushed release and high return rate can be fatal for a business, so sometimes its necessary to push back deadlines or wait to gain an extra bit of funding to make sure you get development right. Designing a product with manufacture in mind takes time – typically 9+ months from concept to manufacture.
Trying to do everything yourself:
Bringing a product to market isn’t an easy task. It requires a broad range of skills and a vast knowledge base. Some of these include: Industrial design, app development, embedded software, cloud services, hardware engineering, mechanical engineering, testing, compliance, tooling, manufacturing, procurement, product support, marketing, sales, the list goes on and on… To make matters more complicated, let’s not forget that the technology and regulatory landscape is continually changing. This is why it is always best to stick with what you’re good at and outsource the rest. There is no shame in playing to your strengths.
The “I want to do it all approach”
A lot of the time less is more. When it comes to developing a product, it’s key to focus on the important features first, these are the ones that really allow your product to do the function users require it to and that users really need it to. Create something that does the key things well, rather than something that does many things poorly. Remember, you have a limited budget and time to get to market. Be ruthless in your choices, the success of your product (and business) counts on it.
Funding and time pressures can be one of the reasons why businesses don’t create a proper foundation before launching into their product development. The key is to invest in planning at the beginning and understand whether your product is viable as early as possible. This may mean spending more than expected initially, however this will help set a solid foundation for your business and control costs when the unexpected occurs (Something always does). Programs like the Victorian Government Boost Your Business Vouchers can be a great way to secure funding for the beginning of a project. Check out our recent blog post here.
These smaller sums of funding can assist in feasibility testing, consulting with key professionals and market research.
There are many options to help with funding, from both government and private programs which can assist with dollars but also training to help you make good decisions for your business. To find a program that may be the right fit for your business check out the latest Innovation Programs for Victorian businesses here.