We get contacted by individuals and companies who are new to the product development and manufacturing process. For those who are just getting started, here is a checklist to determine if you’re ready to go:
1. If your product is made of hard materials such as metal, plastic, or wood, have you had engineer’s drawings made? Engineer’s drawings include all dimensions, tolerances, material, and finish requirements.
Here is an example:
Patent drawings; which are made for the patent application process, do not include the level of detail a factory in China would need to produce a part. We can refer you to a company that can do the engineering and prototype work for you if you need one.
Not all products require this level of detail or engineer’s drawings. For example, for some items such as a belt, shirts, or scarves, a sample may be enough.
- Have you created a prototype from your drawings? You don’t want to send new drawings to China for a quote until they’ve been tested by creating a prototype. In most cases after a prototype is made, further adjustments are needed, either in the overall appearance or the fit of the parts.
- Have you shown your prototype to as many of your potential customers as possible? True market research is asking as many of your prospective customers as possible for their feedback, especially, if they’d be willing to pay for it and how much. Many entrepreneurs are convinced that their product will sell simply because they’re in love with the idea. Going off your perceptions alone could be a costly mistake.
- Have you researched your competition? Do you know what their products features and prices are, and why your product can successfully compete with them?
- What is the WOW in your product that will get people’s attention? Can you articulate it? Why should your customers care about what you have to offer?
- Do you have a business and marketing plan? Do you know who your ideal customer is and the best way to reach them with your message? Will you market to your ideal customer by a website, social media, email marketing, face to face sales calls, phone calls, ads, trade show, or some other way? How much money do you need to have to market your product? You don’t want to move forward unless you have a thorough business and marketing plan.
- Have you considered the resources you will need in the way of office and warehouse equipment and manpower?
- If your product is unique, have you consulted a patent attorney? If they think your product is unique, they will need to run a patent search and begin the patent filling process in your behalf. 9. Do you have: A brand name for your product? A logo designed for brand recognition? A package design? Have you considered whether you should register a trademark for your product’s name?
- Do you have the financial resources to engineer, prototype, manufacture, and, especially, market your product? Depending on the complexity of your product, here are some rough numbers you could be looking at:
Create engineers drawings and prototype: $2,000.00 – $10,000.00+.
Manufacture your order in China, including all import costs: $15,000.00
Marketing and promotion: $5,000.00+
Patent application: $4,000.00-5000.00+
In general you could be looking at an investment of at least $25,000.00 to get started; possibly more depending on the product development costs, minimum order requirements from the factory in China, and your marketing budget. This doesn’t include other expenses… like paying yourself or employees.
If you’ve done all of the above, you’re ready to launch your product line!