So you’ve opened your online software venture with a shareware program offering, aimed at attracting parents worldwide who are interested in assisting their children expand their vocabulary. Sales have been adding up quickly, but after the third quarter, you discover that your profits have flattened out and are showing signs of potentially decreasing.
You launch another marketing campaign but the fourth quarter doesn’t show significant improvement. After some thought, you devise a plan to add to your product catalog to generate new sales, but unfortunately your expertise lies in marketing and not R&D. What do you do?
Steps to success – How to get the competitive edge with your product
There are many variations on what NDP or new product development actually means, so you should be aware of what options are available to you.
- Product augmentation. By adding a new language to your existing vocabulary program to extend your market reach.
- Core product revision. You may consider having your software interface redesigned for a new look and new options.
- Creating new product lines. There is also the option of creating a vocabulary program based on your original source code that caters to the scientific community.
- Repositioning. You may also consider changing your market strategy by offering deals to schools for classroom use.
- New Product Development. You may decide it’s time to create a program that assists children in learning math.
Guidelines for new product development
The act of new product development runs on some universal guidelines, no matter what you may be selling.
Idea generation. This is where you poll such entities such as existing customers, employees, competitors and focus groups to determine a the need that your business can cater to.
Market viability. Screen your idea by asking such questions as to who will be your intended target demographic, and who will appreciate and benefit from the creation of this new product?
Production viability. Will you be able to handle the creation of this product both physically and financially?
Profit viability. Will the product, once manufactured, still garner the desired profit when sold for the target price?
Once you’ve determined the results of your research, you can begin beta testing. Beta testing is achieved through building a prototype of your new product to test your manufacturing, packaging and delivering procedures. It is also at this point, through customer feedback and in-house testing, you can determine flaws in your product and its presentation, and makes changes accordingly. Be aware that this stage can take an extended period if you need to re-test more than once.
Taking your new product to the marketing stage
Now that you’ve had a successful beta run, it’s time to kick into gear and begin the marketing and sale of your new product. If you’ve managed to complete the previous steps carefully, your new product launch has more chance for success and can ultimately carry you to the next level of operations.
New product development does take a lot of hard work and a little R&D can go a long way if you research and plan effectively.
Getting the capital you need for R &D for your business can be achieved simply and quickly through business cash advances. This isn’t a loan and doesn’t leave the small business owner in debt. With a small business cash advance, you can move forward, capture new markets and achieve business success without incurring long-term repayments that have to be paid back with interest.