By: Beatrice Potter
Product development is arguably the most exciting part of a Startup business but it is also one of the most expensive. When a new product development process begins, new energy is breathed into the company. Nearly every element of a Startup’s team is involved somewhere within the run of a product development process. This creates a bond for the team, unity created by creating something new. However, it also creates costs on top of costs.
There are so many elements in need of finance; research, concept development, product design, prototypes, testing, production and more. As a Startup, it can be near impossible to free up money from the business to move elsewhere. Startups are generally run as a tight ship with a shoestring of funding to get by on until the big break. External funding of any kind can be slow to win with a multitude of competitors working against you. So, when your Startup is in need of a new product to stay relative in the market, just how do you keep product development costs down?
It Starts With Planning
The importance of thorough planning and research cannot be underestimated in product development. It is not the place to cut costs but it is a place to save money. Badly cultivated research, rushed research and no research can all lead to increased cost. It can be the difference between a massively successful, innovative, product and a product that bombs and has to be completely scrapped.
Planning is not everyone’s favorite part of product development, but again its value cannot be underestimated. Knowing every necessary stage in advance helps prevent vital steps from being missed out. Ones that could create costs rather than minimize them. “With rigorous planning and research, you can avoid million-dollar product failures like Pepsi A.M, the ‘breakfast cola drink’, Cosmopolitan’s foray into yogurt, and who could forget Netflix’s Quickster? Probably everyone because it was scrapped within a month of launching”, says Theo Fender, product developer at Courseworks and Essay Services.
Hire The Right Team
There is nothing cheap about having a team of staff relying on you. The wrong team can cost even more when things go wrong. When hiring, look past CVs and dazzling portfolios and get to know the person. Every member of your team must be a match for the Startup’s culture, way of working, and style of communicating. A new hire can tick all the boxes on experience and technical ability but be a complete miss-hire when it comes to fit.
A tougher necessity is evaluating if the team you have is the right team. Every business hires people who are not quite the right fit at some point. In some instances, team members and Startups outgrow each other. Making the decision to cut a team member is difficult but in the long run, could save you money and make space for a better fit.
Stick To Deadlines and Avoid Over Complicating Things
Once you have the right team, let the ideas flow. Idea generation, problem solving, and concept design are the most exciting parts of product development. “Create deadlines for every part of the process”, says Claude Fitz, tech blogger at Academized and Assignment Help, “Stick to them rigidly as running over deadlines ultimately means running over budget too”.
To a degree, the sky is the limit when it comes to concept creation in product development. To get the best ideas from your team, you need to loosen the reigns a little and let them innovate as only they can. Before proceeding from the ideas phase, there needs to be a checkpoint where you ask:
Does this idea meet the market need?
Is it actually what the consumers want?
Will they be able to use it, will they get it?
Can we afford this?
It can happen that in our enthused efforts to be the most innovative Startup in town, we lose sight of the problem we are solving and of the consumer we are serving. Stripping back on the unnecessary frills and whistles can benefit your Startup twofold. First, the simpler the product the less it is likely to cost. Secondly, anything that is stripped off can be revisited and could become an add-on for further revenue creation or a product of its own right down the line. Look closely and you may find that your team is accidentally developing more than one product at a time.
Take a Different Route
What do Nike, Sharp, and L’Oreal all have in common? They collaborate on product development. Partnering up with anther Startup to mesh the talent of your teams and create a beautiful product can as much as halve the development costs. Do your research, get to know your network and their teams really well and let the business-creation juices flow.
Alternatively, look closer to home. After you do your research and planning and before you start coming up with new ideas, look at what you already have inhouse. Chances are that, somewhere along the way, your Startup created a solution or partial solution to the problem you are now solving. Take a long hard look through your portfolio, your reject box, your successes. Get the whole team involved – fresh eyes on old ideas can spark innovation. Working from old and existing ideas can save time and money. Getting you closer to product launch without breaking the bank.
Developing a product is what keeps Startups relevant, helps them stay relevant. A great product can boost a business brand into the sights of potential funders, influencers, and future team members as well as consumers. Good product creates revenue for growth. Getting through the product development stage should never feel like a slog and it doesn’t have to drain all remaining funding from the business. It is OK to scale back and push back on ideas that your business can’t yet afford. It can be you saying no (not yet) that ultimately saves your Startup money.
Beatrice Potter frequently writes for and Best dissertation writing services reviews and Best custom writing services is Startup aficionado. She is a writer by day and a runner by night. When Beatrice is not writing and researching for startups, you will find her on the beach with her dog. Also, she is a tutor at Top assignment writing services in Australian Capital Territory.