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A Simple 20-Step Test That Will Confirm Whether or Not a Product Development Project Is Market-Ready

by: Geoff Ficke

A Simple 20-Step Test That Will Confirm Whether or Not a Product Development Project Is Market-Ready 

For almost four decades my Consulting firm has worked with entrepreneur’s to design, develop, package, Brand, Market and Sell a vast range of Consumer Products. Our job is to save clients time, money and mistakes. This goal is best achieved when we are involved in a nascent project from inception. Unfortunately this is not always the case.

Many prospective entrepreneurs decide to self-market their “alpha” product launch. This can certainly be done, though it requires a very high level of due diligence and trial and error. Unfortunately we are approached all too often by a rookie product developer who has exhausted their funds, mis-marketed the product or not been able to penetrate the target market at the most fundamental level. 

The following is a series of questions, a test, that can be used as a guide in deciding if you have the capacity to self-market a new product, service or business strategy. This test is general in nature and you can fine tune the questions to more closely apply to a specific product you are developing.

  1. Have you filed for Intellectual Property protection (patent, trademark, copy right, trade secret, etc.)?  Yes___  No___
  2. Do you have a detailed Gantt Chart? Yes___ No ___
  3. Have you chosen Engineer, Designer, Lab (depending on product type)  Yes___ No___
  4. Do you have Production Quality Prototypes (or formula, or recipe, etc. depending on product type)? Yes___  No___
  5. Have you conducted deep competitive product research (pricing, distribution, etc.)?  Yes___ No ___
  6. Have you researched and chosen source of mass production for the proposed product? Yes___ No ___
  7. Have you researched and chosen a Graphic Artist to produce art files for packaging, sales collateral, display, web-site, etc.? Yes___ No___
  8. Have you organized Point-of-Purchase display design? Yes___ No___
  9. Have you sourced and finalized packaging components? Yes___ No ___
  10.  Do you have a detailed Bill of Materials? Yes___ No___
  11. Do you know final, landed, dead-net Cost of Goods…CRUCIAL? Yes___ No__
  12.  Do you have a Sales Model, pricing structure? Yes___ No ___
  13.  Have you customized a Branding and Marketing Strategy? Yes___ No___
  14.  Have you tested the product (i.e. Focus group, clinical tests if needed, etc.)  Yes___ No ___
  15.  Have you begun or strategized a Public Relations Campaign? Yes___ No___
  16.  Is your Business Plan perfected? Yes___ No___
  17.  Do you have Product Liability Insurance organized? Yes___ No___
  18.   Production of Sales Brochures, Video, Web-site, Trade Show display, Point-of-Purchase display, Product Folio, etc. completed? Yes___ No___
  19.  Logistics organized (EDI, UPC, warehouse, inventory control, billing, etc.)?  Yes___ No ___
  20.  Trade shows researched and contracted for launch and Pre-Sell?  Yes__ No__

If you can objectively answer each of these questions positively you can probably be successful in self-launching a Consumer Product or Service. Remember, these are general questions and there many sub-issues related to each one. Use this as a Guide in deciding if you have the mettle to undertake this exciting new outlet for your creativity and competitiveness.

Birthing a New Business opportunity is both daunting and thrilling at the same time.