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Manufacturing New Products and Content - blog

Trying to Pick a Winner

Theres a fine line between making sure you have something fresh and new to offer your customers and spinning out endless new releases that don’t result in sales.  How do you decide which ideas are worth pursuing and which should just be shelved?  The obvious place to start is what you’re currently offering and what customers are buying from you.  Whatever type of product or service you offer, what is your best seller?  Do you know why?  What is your most profitable seller?  What do you offer that people just don’t seem interested in?  All of these questions can help propel you in the right direction for what should be next on your manufacturing schedule.

If, like me, coming up with new products or ideas is not the problem how do you shortlist it so that you’re not scattering your resources for things that people aren’t interested in.  Once you’ve asked (and answered!) the questions I asked above, you need to dig a little deeper.  Pick no more than three of the possible projects.  Can you do a quick cost analysis of the time and resources that would be needed to bring them each to the market?  Don’t forget to consider things like delivery methods, packaging, postage, advertising and sales campaigns. What are the customer benefits for each?  Do you already have a market for them? What sort of profit is reasonable for each one?  Don’t forget to also consider the timeline it will take for each one to be market ready.  What sort of sales can you predict.

If you find that new ideas are not bubbling up to the surface you can still think about those questions I first asked about what you’re already selling that successful.  Can you offer a variation on whats doing well?  What about offering other payment plans. Do you have content that can be repurposed?  For example, do you have a series of newsletters that could be expanded into a book or a course?  What about offering your current line in a new range of colours or themes?  Is there a new market segment that could benefit from your products or services?

Once you’ve decided what your next best bet is, make a detailed schedule for all of the steps you need to take to deliver it to the market.  Include sourcing raw materials, research, professional advice and assistance if you need it, and manufacture and testing of prototypes.  Once you have a timeline for the project get those dates in your diary.

Embarking on the development and release of new ideas can be scary and exciting.  Trying to ensure that you make good use of your time in developing things that will sell is not an exact science.  Only you can decide if the time and money you need to invest to incubate ideas to their end is worthwhile.  You wont always get it right.  The thing is, you wont always get it wrong either!

Till next time,

Sarah-Jane X

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