5 Things to Remember When Launching a New Product
Do you have a new product idea? It may be one of the most exciting parts of being a business owner – introducing a new product to the market and watching it gain a wide customer base. But, as with any business venture or campaign, launching a new product entails a lot of planning, time, research, and hard work to guarantee success.
What do you need to successfully launch a new product? Here are five things to remember:
Find the right suppliers.
In business, you’ll always need partners to help you get the job done. When launching a product, you need to find suppliers who can commit to delivering your products at the right time and price. It’s also important to choose reputable suppliers who have quality standards and adhere to industry regulations. To identify which companies can meet your needs, here are some guidelines to consider:
· Know what you're looking for in a supplier. There are so many companies out there, and if you don't have any criteria to narrow it down, you’ll have a hard time finding the right ones for your business. First things first, create a list of requirements that potential suppliers need to meet so they can build a strong business relationship with you.
· Start a bidding process. Ask companies to send Requests for Proposals (RFP) indicating all the information that you need so you can make an informed decision. RFPs can include the availability of raw materials, processes to be used, and their added value or competitive advantage.
· Evaluate all RFPs. With your selection criteria in mind, assess and compare all the RFPs you've received. Identify the suppliers who you think are suitable for your business.
· Keep track of their performance. Make sure to monitor the performance of your suppliers. Of course, mistakes and accidents can happen, but you should set some guidelines to ensure that your business will not be greatly impacted if something goes wrong. It’s also essential to review their performance regularly so you can address any issues right away.
Manage the inventory.
There's no way you can launch a new product without managing inventory. Failing to keep track of your inventory will leave you with a slew of problems including, unnecessary expenses and a negative customer experience.
Inventory management comes in several types:
· Raw materials inventory - As the name suggests, this involves managing all raw materials used to create your products. For instance, if you are launching a new clothing line, the raw materials can include cloth, thread, buttons, etc.
· Works-in-progress inventory - This involves items that are well on their way to production but are not yet approved for sale.
· Finished products inventory - This refers to the process of managing all products that are ready to be sold.
Promote your product.
After finding the right suppliers and managing the inventory, it's time to introduce your new product to the market. But first, you need to know what you're up against. Identify your competitors who cover similar products. Check their strengths and weaknesses, and see what makes your business unique.
Aside from knowing the competition, make sure to know your potential customers. Understand their buying behavior. Knowing your customers will enable you to create your distinct value proposition. What can you offer that other businesses don't have? What will make your new product more appealing to your target market?
The next step is to determine the right sales and marketing strategy. If your potential customers prefer buying items online, establish a strong digital presence. You can also produce catalogs or flyers to inform people about your new product. Whatever channel or strategy you use, make sure to assess the results and see which works best for your business.
Launching a new product, or running a growing business in general, means you’ll likely need to update your insurance coverage. Make sure to revisit your coverage and see if crucial aspects of your operations are still covered. Here are some of the insurance products to consider when launching a new product:
· Product Liability insurance - Products can be recalled voluntarily or involuntarily for a number of reasons including, malicious tampering, defects, or contamination with harmful substances. This policy will help you manage the situation by covering the crisis management and other expenses associated with recalls.
· Cyber Liability insurance - If you accept online payments or maintain a database of customers' personal information, you should consider this policy. It is designed to protect your business against cyber-related claims such as data breach and identity theft. Hackers are getting more and more sophisticated when it comes to stealing data, making your business vulnerable. Carrying Cyber Liability insurance will provide extra security for you business.
Ask for feedback.
One way to know if your new product is effective is to get feedback from your customers. This will enable you to understand your customers better and improve your new product for further business growth. Consider:
· Transactional emails - These emails are sent to the customers right after buying your new product. Do they like your product? Would they recommend it?
· Phone calls - Service providers and other institutions usually employ this strategy. They call their customers to get feedback about a new product or service.
When asking for feedback, make sure that the form is brief, concise, and straightforward. You can ask questions with multiple choice answers. The feedback form can also involve a checklist or a rating system.
Launching a new product is an exciting but daunting time for any business. It’s a great opportunity to grow your business but with so much time and money invested in it, there’s also a lot at stake. But these five tips can help you get it off the ground successfully.
Author Bio: By Emily Lazration, CoverWallet
Emily is the Content Marketing Specialist at CoverWallet, a tech company that makes it easy for businesses to understand, buy and manage commercial insurance online. She has written for several outlets including Inc., Ooma, and Fundera covering small business news and advice.
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