10 Steps to Bring a Product to Market – Start Your Own Company
Before you move forward with starting your own buniess, you will need to create both a business plan and a market introduction plan.
Market Introduction Plans
Inventors almost always find that marketing their idea is much more difficult that creating it. Where do you start? Who do you sell to? Even if inventors know who they want to sell to, they rarely know how to get their foot in the door.
Marketing your product requires you to know the price structuring of different industries, what types of margins you will need, what type of distribution would be the most effective and profitable, and a myriad of other things.
In your market introduction plan you will need to: list who are your target customers, what strategy you will use to reach them (i.e. through retail stores, direct marketing, internet, etc.), the concrete steps you will take to realize your strategy and the pricing you will need to sell through your chosen sales channels.
The more specific the better. For instance, saying you will sell through retail stores is very vague. Through which stores? To reach those stores do you need to sell through a distributor, or will those stores buy directly from you? Selling through a distributor changes your pricing structure. For instance, you may sell your product to a distributor for $10. They in turn may sell it to a retail store for $14 who will sell it to consumers for $28. Will customers pay that much? That is why it is so important to know your pricing structure to see if your manufacturing price is at the right level for that sales channel. Every sales channel has different a pricing structure.
Business plans are more general than market introduction plans. Business plans list the goals of the business as a whole, not just how to bring a product to market. You must also list how you plan on achieving those goals and the background and experience of your management team.
Business plans are a vital aspect to every business venture. Not only are they necessary to raise money, but business plans also communicate the company’s strategy, assuring that employees and owners have the same vision and direction for the company; they give you a standard of evaluation, allowing investors and owners to have the same criteria to measure the company’s progress; and they also set a plan for spending financial, personnel, and equipment resources, which will help you allocate the necessary assets to the crucial areas of your business.
You can often get low cost help with Market Introduction Plans and Business Plans from SCORE, www.score.org, which are a group of retired executives located in almost every big city, and the Small Business development Centers which you can locate at www.sbdc.org.