Starting a business isn’t easy and developing an idea for a new product or service especially isn’t. As hard as it may seem, there’s no denying that generating a lucrative and ingenious idea and then taking it through the product conceptualization phase can reap phenomenal rewards, if done right.
In fact it’s important to start with a great idea to make your business a success. Besides the obvious financial rewards, taking an idea to fruition by developing it and then letting it grow can be immensely fulfilling for any founder, business owner, or manager.
The Journey from Product Service Ideation to Launch
How does one develop a product service idea in 2021? What does it take? Is there a step-by-step procedure? And what are the important points to keep in mind to avoid hiccups and pitfalls? Cobalt presents the low-down.
1. Idea Generation
The best conceivable ideas stem from meeting a need – no matter how big or small, complex or simple. They may also come from a hobby or activity you’re passionate about. In terms of fulfilling a need, answering important questions can help you get there. What gap can your new service bridge? Is it just a temporary need or does it hold long term promise?
Here are some noteworthy points to keep in mind regarding idea generation:
- Develop a product service idea that can be adapted to the social trends or causes
- Can you take advantage of new technologies? Technological advances have increased the breadth and scope of potential valuable services that can be offered to the end user
- Brainstorm with team members and friends to generate more ideas so you can pick the ones with the most potential
- Screening out impractical or less profitable ideas is also important
- Select a product service idea that hasn’t been put into practice
- Pick a business idea that you are knowledgeable about or include someone with expertise in the domain to assist you
2. Market Feasibility
Ask yourself important questions to better understand the needs of the market and target customers. To develop a product service idea that’s promising in 2021, consider the pressing needs of the market today. Given the social distancing norm and the need for contactless service which may be prevalent for a long time, online businesses or services may be the Holy Grail today. But of course one doesn’t have to be limited in the scope of idea generation. Your new service doesn’t have to be directly related to the demand or complexities directly driven by the pandemic.
- Conduct research to check the feasibility of your idea
- Assess the market for potential customers – would they pay for your service?
- Examine your idea’s future prospects. For instance if you decide to roll with a pandemic-related product service, think about its potential profitability, in the long term, much after the pandemic is no longer relevant.
- Are there barriers to entry?
- Will it face direct or indirect competition?
- Are there any regulations that your business or product would have to comply with?
3. Idea Development
Using a step-by-step approach to develop a product service idea can help you identify possible limitations, challenges, and in general its potential profitability. The various steps are: designing, prototyping, intellectual property protection, financing, operations, and marketing. Each of these steps would not only help you develop your idea but also evaluate it in terms of practicality. For instance, prototyping will offer a clearer and more rounded view of your service and its potential strengths and weaknesses. If your service idea is not viable from a technical point of view, it’d make sense to consider other ideas at this point. Also develop a product development plan before proceeding to the financing stage.
This stage can be a huge eye opener. It will help you determine whether or not it would be easy to raise the required capital or find investors. Finding sources of capital like venture capitalists or business angels is an important step that can determine the fate of your project. Don’t forget to consider all capital sources including alternative finance options such as, government grants, credit unions, or peer-to-peer loans. If you’re planning a loan at this point, it’s important to factor the total cost of borrowed capital including the application and processing fees and of course the total interest you would need to pay until the loan is repaid in full.
5. New Service Development
One of the most crucial stages of developing your product service idea, the new product development phase is where you will develop your service concept to its fullest potential. This includes strategic analysis and planning, concept development, customer service design based on the approved prototype, cost analysis and pricing, development of business plan, hiring and training, service channels and delivery, branding, or any other entity or function required to fully develop your service.
While testing is important throughout the prototype building and new service development process, it’s vital to have a distinct testing phase before product launch to ensure everything is finalized and in great working order. It’s considered good practice to have a group of target customers review the service and provide feedback in terms of what works and what doesn’t. When you make changes to any aspect of the service, retest it to detect all possible bottlenecks and issues at this stage.
7. Product Launch
Before the product launch, think of all the possible promotional strategies and ways to reach your target audience. Besides everything needed for the service launch would have to be completed in this stage. The launch phase is the culmination of all your efforts until this point and it’s important to do it right.
If you’re developing a product service idea, there is a need for a new product development system that can help you at every step. The Cobalt idea product platform or generation software is designed to guide you in every stage, right from ideation to real product or service development and launch including patent registration. It’s an extremely efficient and easy-to-use guided tool that lays out everything you need to do at every step along the way to developing and launching a new product or service successfully. Get an Invite for a free trial!