Once you’ve gone through all the brainstorming, planning and fine-tuning that comes in the infancy of a new product, you’ll need to take steps to test your new idea’s real-life functionality, as well as the appeal it’s going to have for your target market. In order to pin these important factors down, you’re going to need to create a prototype of your new product. Here’s some invaluable advice for getting this right.
Don’t Wing It!
Before you pick up the phone and talk to a manufacturer, you need to make sure that you can outline exactly what you want, getting down to the smallest details. You probably know a lot about the work that goes into building the product you’re developing, but even so it’s usually a good idea to teach yourself a bit about the process that’s happening on the other end. This will ensure that you get a clear idea of what the manufacturer is saying when they talk about their process. Manufacturing platforms like MacroFab can often make it easier to see that each little phase of the construction is going according to what you need. However, you can’t expect the manufacturer to fill in all the gaps in your idea, or spend a lot of their valuable time explaining every little phase of their process to you.
Do Some Detective Work
It’s probably going to take you a while to shortlist a few manufacturers who you want to buy from. Once you’re at this point, however, you’ll need to settle and make a decision. Have a look at the manufacturer’s portfolio, considering the kind of work they’ve done in the past, and the companies which they’ve done it for. By checking out the nature of these other brands’ products, and how successful they’ve been, you’ll be able to tell how well the manufacturer is going to be suited to your needs. If you’re trying to build a new, cutting-edge gadget, and all the manufacturer has ever made is simple smoke alarms, then you’re not going to get great results out of them! You should also think about the company’s design aesthetic, too. Although this is something that can wait, having a vague idea of what the product will look like can help with later decisions.
Get an Idea of the Time and Cost
When tackling the prototyping phase for the first time, every good business owner will obviously want to know what to expect when it comes to time and cost. This depends mainly on the product you’re hoping to bring to the market, and how established the manufacturer is. The company will set their rate by the hour, or a fixed price for the whole project depending on various factors. Also, the more complex the prototype is, the more the whole process is going to cost you. Here, we come back to the importance of communicating your specific needs in detail. The more handholding you need, the higher the overall price will be.
I hope that these prototyping tips help you in creating a great precursor to an even greater product!