Having an idea for a product that you could manufacture and then sell might seem like an inspiring way to make money, but it’s more complicated than just making something and then profiting off it. From idea to product, the manufacturing process takes more work than just that. In fact, there are specific steps to a typical product lifecycle.
The Starting Concept
Don’t overthink your initial idea. You can’t do anything with a blank canvas except start, but a bad chapter can always be edited into something better. Next, see what similar products are currently doing on the market if they exist. What’s your value proposition where you can offer something different to consumers? Kicking around ideas does need some time just to be thorough. However, the time will come when you need to do an actual design to see how it does.
Finalize the Initial Design
Come up with a final concept that has at least touched on every concern or idea that you and your team have. Put it together so that you can have others outside your group test it.
While you probably did some initial testing to come up with the final design, you need to test that design by itself. Look for profit potential, consumer satisfaction, durability, and potential problems. Iterate on the original design. Don’t be afraid to change things!
CNC manufacturing can be a good choice here given its precision craftsmanship across manufacturing runs both large and small. You can make very minor changes to an existing product pattern to fine-tune your design or come back and adapt something you’ve already done all while enjoying the same cost-effectiveness and durability you had in earlier manufacturing.
Try to get a group together of potential consumers from your target demographic group. Have them try out the product and then give you feedback about whether or not they would actually buy it. With that feedback, there are times you will have to make major changes. Don’t fret. These lesions are valuable!
At some point, you have to be ready to say the product is good enough to launch. You should keep getting feedback so you can improve upon it in the future, but this time you want that feedback from consumers at large and not just focus groups.
Don’t let the number of steps in the manufacturing process discourage you. They’re laid out in this specific sequence to help you design and test a product that will prove durable, appealing, and useful to consumers so that you enjoy strong sales.