6 Tips for Affordably Bringing Your Product to Market

October 16, 2017

11:30 am

So you have a great idea for a new product, but you don’t have the money or skills necessary to realize your dream. A lack of money and experience can be an overwhelming obstacle for new entrepreneurs. Fortunately there are ways to push through these obstacles.

Check out these six critical tips to turn your idea into reality, even if you lack money and experience:

Settle In for the Long Haul

Without money or experience, you’ll have to wear many hats, and learn lots of new skills, in order to realize your goals. This means it’s going to take you much longer than someone that already has all of the necessary skills, or that has the cash to hire freelancers with those skills. The sooner you realize that, the more comfortable you’ll be bootstrapping your way to success.

Don’t Be Secretive

The hard truth is that your product idea has absolutely no value. The value of a product idea is all in the execution of that idea. So don’t be afraid to solicit feedback on your idea, and to share it with experts to get their feedback.

You should be telling everyone about your product, soliciting feedback, and building an audience of customers. Unfortunately most new entrepreneurs do just the opposite.

Find a Cofounder

One way to gain the necessary skills is to find a cofounder with skills that you lack. If you’re great at sales, but lack technical skills, then bring on a technical cofounder. It could be that simple!

On the other hand, if you’re good at learning complex, new technical skills, then search for a cofounder who excels at sales and marketing. The ideal founder team consists of at least one hacker and one hustler.

Learn New Skills

If you lack money to invest in your idea, you need to learn a lot of valuable skills related to product development and marketing. These skills can range from electronics design, to computer programing, to 3D computer modeling, to online marketing and beyond.

Create a Prototype

In order to find investors for your product, you’re going to need quite a bit of money. This is necessary to get your product and business plan far enough along that you can attract outside investors.

The ideal situation is for you to get your product to the point of having a production quality prototype before seeking investors. If you can’t afford to take development that far, then put together a Proof-of-Concept (POC) prototype using off-the-shelf components.

If the cost to develop even a POC prototype is more than you can handle, then your best option is to have a 3D computer animation created to demonstrate your product.

Use Other People’s Money

Eventually you’ll have to raise some level of capital if you can’t afford to bootstrap the company yourself until you reach profitability. Crowdfunding is one of the best ways to raise money, but it isn’t easy. You will need to at least have a digital 3D model of your product and accurate estimates for the necessary costs to get the product all the way to market.

You’ll also need to have a large audience of people interested in your product. So start building your audience from day one. In addition to providing money, your campaign is one way to “prove” your idea will sell before you develop anything. If strangers are willing to invest, chances are you have a winning idea.

Read more tips and tricks for startups on TechCo

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John Teel is an electronics design engineer, serial entrepreneur, and founder of Predictable Designs. He has developed products for tech companies that now sell in the millions of units. John now helps other entrepreneurs, startups, and small companies bring new electronic products to market. Download his FREE cheat sheet - 18 Steps to Market for Your New Electronic Product.

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