If you’ve been considering getting into the production and manufacturing business for some time, this may be the article for you.
With a sweeping overview of some of the things you should consider when setting out to create your very own product, this short guide takes a look at how you conceptualize your product, how you can prototype it, how you’ll be able to produce it, and how you can sell it to a global audience of hungry consumers. Below, you’ll see a step-by-step guide, replete with the tips you need to make your product.
As always, product design has to start at the very start. You need to sketch out what you have in mind in very general terms, and slowly make that sketch into something you’re confident could be translated into a 3D product without too much difficulty. You should consider when you’re sketching up your concept, some of the following tips:
- The dimensions of your product – how big would you like it to be?
- The materials that you make your product out of – and how durable they are
- How your product will interact with the physical world when it’s rendered in 3D
- The specificities of joins, stitches, or the places where materials will be affixed
Designing your product is one of the most exciting and creative parts of the production process – and you should use your skills in imagination and creativity to make your product as fine as possible on paper before you progress to the next stage. Think hard about what you can achieve in 2D before progressing to the 3D stage of your concept.
Now It’s time to start making the product you’ve imagined on paper for so long. This exercise can be frustrating, and you’ll certainly need to do multiple prototypes before you find the ideal setup for your product. Many people choose to make a paper or cardboard version of their 2D sketches before actually buying the necessary materials to make their 3D prototype – and you can learn how to make a 3D paper or card representation of your product by following tutorials online.
Once you have a 3D paper structure to work to, you can buy the materials you’d plan to use, and you can start making your prototype just as you’d wish for it to look if you were to sell it in a store. Remember that:
- Your product needs to be as simple as possible if it’s to be mass-produced
- Materials can be expensive – so try a range of them before deciding on the most cost-effective ones for your product
- The durability of your product will be a huge part of its appeal – so build robustness into its design
With these tips in mind, you’ll make the prototype that you need to prove that your product is worthy of production on a larger scale. The prototype is what you’ll take to investors and manufacturers to get the funding and the green light to mass-produce.
Now, you have a remarkable prototype. It’s time to think about ways in which you can get from this stage into the selling stage. There’s a lot to organize at this point – and you’re going to want to think clearly and astutely about how you can get your prototype seen and invested in across the next few weeks and months. Some ideas to scale up from your prototype include:
- Going straight to a manufacturer and asking them if they are interested in creating your product, for a fee
- Heading to an investor and funding group to pitch your ideas and your product to those with the cash and expertise to invest in it
- Talking to retailers who may be likely to sell your product, and asking them if they’d like to buy your concept and make your product
- Finding the cash from personal and business loans to go it alone
- Keeping your enterprise in-house by making only bespoke and hand-made products to sell online
Whatever you choose, getting the funding and the backing to up-scale your product is the most important phase in your product creation journey. It’s where you’ll be able to see a solid and exciting future for whatever you have conceptualized.
Getting Your Product to Market
Now it is the really exciting part. If you’ve found yourself a manufacturer, then you’ll have the backing of experienced and knowledgeable producers to hold your hand and help you through the final stages to the point at which you’ll sell your product to the mass market. Remember that the packaging of your product, at the very end of its production process, is as important as the product itself. Packaging, provided by experts such as C. L. Smith – who also deal in hazardous material packaging – can help you sell your product and keep it safe while in transit.
So, to get your product to market, you need to be in touch with retailers. That’s if you don’t plan on taking the sales and marketing journey on your own, which necessitates many other skills beyond the scope of this article to explain. It’s far easier to get the backing of a retailer or retailers and to sell your product directly to them. From that point, your product will be out of your hands, on shelves, and ready to sell directly to consumers.
A quick extra note on selling your product online, which will be your right, unless contractual obligations on behalf of your partnered retailer stipulate that you cannot do so. It’s worth setting up a store, making a brand name, and leaving your products on an online platform, for interested consumers to see what you’ve made, and to trade with you should they be interested in buying, owning, and using your product. It’s here that you may be able to drum up a great deal of business, and you’ll also be able to share your future products, should you want to start this process again, from scratch, with an entirely new product.
There you have it – the stages you’ll need to go through to produce a product and take it to market in the year 2020 and the decade that’ll follow it.