How to Start a Product Concept for Your Business
The product concept is the brainchild of an idea, not a business plan or an empty ritual. It’s not just something that you think up on a lark, but rather a business strategy to drive your product’s future. The sooner you start thinking of your company’s product as nothing but a business opportunity and not just a typical service provider, the sooner you can build your team, launch your offering and hit the ground running. If you own a small or medium-sized business, then it can be challenging to come up with new ideas for growth. How are you supposed to know if what works for your competitors isn’t also good for you? The best way to find out if your current strategies are working is by identifying your biggest blind spots so that you can focus on improving them. This article will help guide you through the process of creating a product concept for your business.
Define your core value proposition
A great way to begin your product concept is to think back to your core value proposition. What is the core value proposition of your business? Here’s a quick example: “We create financial planning products that help people save and earn more”. Here’s the thing about your core value proposition – it is the backbone of your business. What is it that you offer that your customers are interested in? Here are a few questions to help you think about your core value proposition: What is the overall goal of your customers? What is their pain point? What is your product’s solution for that pain point?
Build your product backlog
Now that you have a clear idea of what your core value proposition is, it’s time to start building out the rest of your product backlog. Start with the highest-level feature request or pain point that you think your customers might be interested in and build down the list. Once you’ve added all of the features and pain points you think customers might want, create a backlog of the lower-level features and pain points that would make your product complete. When building out your product backlog, make sure that you are prioritizing features and pain points that are essential to your business’ long-term success. It’s easy to add features and increase the size of your team that you think will help you grow and achieve your business’ core value proposition, but what about the people who are using your product? There are a few things to keep in mind about your product backlog. First, think about what your customers would expect if they had the option to buy your product now, as opposed to a future date. For example, if people were choosing between a free version of your product and a paid version, what would you expect the difference to be like?
Measure your market and userformance
Once you have a clear picture of what your core value proposition is, and a list of features and pain points that would be valuable to your customers, it’s time to start measuring your market and userformance. Don’t just focus on the number of customers you think you would need to make profit with your product, but also the revenue you think you would make. On average, small businesses lose 20% of their revenue during the first year of operations, which can be due to a number of factors, including market volatility, losing key customers, and an unsympathetic regulator. It’s also important to note that only 21% of revenue is generated during the first 12 months after a new product launches, so you want to make sure that you are successful before making any long-term strategic decisions.
Get feedback from your team
Once you have a clear picture of what your core value proposition is, and a list of features and pain points that would be valuable to your customers, it’s time to get feedback from your team. This is a crucial step in the product concept process, as this is what will help you understand what is working and what isn’t for your customers. One way to get feedback on your product concept is to hold meetings with your team. Have weekly meetings to discuss the progress of your projects and receive honest feedback from your team on the current state of your project. Make it a policy to give honest and constructive feedback, rather than just giving orders or feeling like you need to be right all the time. This is how you get your product concept moving in the right direction.
Create a white paper that explains your product concept
Once you have a few working prototypes of your product and have received feedback from both your team and your customers, it’s time to turn your attention to creating a white paper that explains your product concept. The majority of product concepts fail because the team doesn’t know where to start. Your product white paper should begin by laying out the problems your customers are experiencing, as well as the benefits of your product, and then give examples of how your product could solve those problems. Your white paper should be just as user-focused as your product concept, as the product journey is often just as user-friendly.
Keep your product concept moving forward
Once you have a few working prototypes of your product and have received feedback from both your team and your customers, it’s time to keep your product concept moving forward. It’s also a good idea to start pitching investors and other decision-makers, as they can often be helpful in the process of deciding what direction your product should go in. The biggest mistake that startups make is to put their heads in the sand and wait for the market to push their product in the right direction. Whether it’s a decision to pivot or not, every startup founder has the capability to make that move in their own business. All that is required is the will to take that first step.