Imagine for a moment that you’re about to launch a new company. You’ve had the idea for a startup, and you know the niche in which you’re going to make an impact. You’re looking into hiring the right employees, securing funding, setting up product transportation and marketing, and so forth.
You might have some ideas regarding what products you’re going to produce, but you’re not entirely sure which ones you should go ahead and make and which ideas you should discard. It’s critical to figure out which ones are worth producing and which ones you should avoid. This decision might make or break your company in the early going because customer interest drives sales.
The question is, how can you figure out which products to make? Let’s talk about a few ways you can make those decisions.
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Regardless of whether your company is going to produce carbon fiber, children’s toys, automotive accessories, or just about anything else, you can’t afford to make a misstep, especially in the beginning when you’re getting your name out there. If you choose to manufacture the wrong products, that could cost you an untold amount of money that you’re flushing away.
You can conduct focus groups to get would-be customer opinions. When you assemble a focus group, you can make sure that it consists of potential customers who enjoy your niche and would likely shop in it. These individuals should be in the age group to which you’re likely to sell, and you’ll want to look at demographics as well, such as whether they’re married or single, economic status, etc.
You can take what the focus group says into account. If they all agree that they’re more interested in particular product ideas over others, that should put you on the proper track as you move further into development.
Hire and Consult with Industry Experts
You can also talk to industry experts about what you plan on manufacturing to see if they agree that you’re likely to be successful. There are individuals you can hire who can work for you in a consulting capacity.
You’re not hiring them full-time. Instead, you’re bringing them in because you know they have the industry expertise that you need.
You might find them on LinkedIn, or you can contact them via their blogs. If you know for a fact that these individuals know everything about the industry that you’re trying to enter, they can provide you with some valuable opinions.
Look at What Your Competitors Are Making
You can look at what your competitors are making. Regardless of the industry you are going to enter, you’re almost certainly going to have competition. You can see what similar companies are producing and decide whether you want to go in that same direction or deviate from it.
You’re not trying to copy what anyone else is doing. Instead, you’re using their business model as a jumping-off point.
You might know that your competitors tried certain products in the past which were not successful. You can learn from their mistakes without having to spend the same money that they did.
Conduct Website Surveys
As you’re getting ready to come out with your first few products or services, you’re going to need a company website. You can hire a web designer for that, and once it’s up and running, you can try to engage with some would-be customers there.
One thing you can do to help figure out which products to manufacture is to conduct website surveys. You can entice your site visitors to fill out a brief questionnaire by offering them discounts, swag, or other incentives. They’re not likely to spend their time answering questions unless you provide them a value proposition, so make sure you mention some benefit or gift that’s sure to get their attention.
Collect Social Media Feedback
Collecting social media feedback is one more thing that you can do. When you are getting your company off the ground, setting up social media accounts for it is one thing you’ll have to do. When you do that, you can ask your potential clients or customers some similar questions to what you asked on the website.
If you can start a conversation about what your customers would want to see and purchase, you’ll find that helpful. You have to make sure and get this right, or your potential customers might completely reject your initial products, which can prove disastrous for you.