Bringing your product to market means nothing, if it’s too late to make an impact. Here’s how to beat your competitors to the punch.
from Inc.com Zine 12 Sept 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
1. The Risk. In today’s rapidly changing world, an aspiring entrepreneur may have a great idea, but wait. After all, within a year or two, the interests of consumers may have shifted, and technology may have rendered the idea for your product obsolete, or a competitor could get to the market first. While the speed at which products become obsolete is a huge issue that must be considered before someone invests in starting their own company, it should not be viewed as an impediment. Fact is, there is unprecedented opportunity for calculated risk takers and, as the old saying goes, “Fortune favors the fast”.
2. Idea + Speed = Success. According to CNBC, there are currently >2000 Billionaires in the world and every one of them not only had a great idea, but understood that getting to market quickly was critical. The ability to create a outstanding product in the shortest amount of time is what separates those that make it and those that beg their old boss for their job back. As the CEO at Axis, we design do-DIY home products for Millennials and understand the need to get to market quickly. Here are six tips to get your product to market before it is too late.
3. Identify a Need, based on your own Personal Experience. Ever encounter a problem and think that there could be a simple solution? As with most things, many others are likely experiencing the same thing. This is where the best ideas stem from, something that comes from your own personal experience. That way, there will be strong passion for the product that will carry you through the rocky waters and take you to the rainbow on the other side.
4. Be Forward Thinking; Take a Risk. When you read about a Hot Stock in the Wall Street Journal, it is often too late. The same law applies for developing a new product. Especially for the “David’s” going up against mega-mammoth “Goliaths.” Thinking ahead and resourcefully, is critical to success. Attending industry events, whether it is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or Toy Fair is recommended to see the latest industry trends, and may trigger an exciting idea in you. Start planning now, for what will be earth-shaking product several months from now, not today. That’ll give you a big jump on the market.
5. Engage in Rapid Product Development. The fundamental philosophy to get to market quickly, is to work on parallel paths. Our company experienced success doing this with AXIS Gear – a smart home device that motorizes existing window shades. The key is to have an aggressive strategy, then simultaneously execute in all key areas – such as product development, sales, marketing, digital & social media. An isolated step by step approach will not get it done. The company leader must mobilize the troops, to march in unison toward the same goal.
6. Set Deadlines, then cut the time in half. Make company deadlines unrealistic. If the goals are to have a prototype, website, marketing plan and sales channels solidified within X months, set a deadline for 1/2. Those that push the action with tight deadlines, will see exponential progress compared to their more conservative competitors.
7. Be Quick, but Don’t Hurry. Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden coined this phrase. This applies to entrepreneurs as much as it did to former star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. While time is of the essence, those who do a rush job, will develop a inferior product which will ultimately fail, once it hits the market. The key is to strike a balance between speed & excellence.
8. Monitor the Marketplace. External factors in each industry will dictate how fast one must move. If the trends are shifting, it may be necessary to tie up loose ends immediately, and go forward as things stand. If nobody is in the rear-view mirror, there may be time to rework & perfect, certain features. It is an art, as much as it is a science and the Founders’ ability to understand the marketplace and adapt on the fly, is essential.
Conclusion: While there will always be risk when launching a new company & product, these proven tips will help decrease risk and increase your chances for success – like so many successful entrepreneurs who have come before us.
Comments: Do you have any other ideas, of how to beat your Competition to the Market?