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Taking an idea from the brainstorming stage to product development and into launch can be difficult. It is crucial to create a risk management plan for your small business.
The first thing you'll need to calculate is the cost to launch, including your marketing and sales plan. Solidifying concrete numbers will give you a solid foundation to work from.
Your business plan is your guide. It should be highly detailed with information on all aspects of the business, including an industry snapshot, go-to marketing strategies, finance, personnel and other various operating procedures.
To do this, ask yourself the following questions: What is the current state of the market for this type of product (think supply and demand)? What is our ideal customer profile? How do competitors fit into the landscape? How are we different? What is our profit margin and how do we plan to pay off debts? Do we have the proper contracts in place?
You do not need a huge collection; you need a pain point and a solution. According to research from CBInsights, startups fail most often due to two reasons: failure to verify market needs and not spending money wisely.
It can be easy to get caught up in size and scale, but consumers are looking for quality authenticity and a compelling brand story. Focus on these things first. A quick way to run your brand into the ground is sprinting too fast out of the gate with no clear direction. Find your place in the market and develop one really good product first, and the rest will follow.
Make sure your manufacturer has capabilities that fit your needs, from the size of the facility to quality and speed. You do not want your initial brand launch to turn out the way Jaclyn Cosmetics did in 2019 when its highly anticipated makeup products were found filled with mold, hair and bubbles.
The reason for this error? The fibers from the cleaning towels were left in a big tub where the lipsticks were mixed. Although this was not the fault of the brand, it took the hit and its reputation never recovered.
Gathering feedback on the performance of a product does not have to be expensive, nor does it have to be a huge undertaking. To gauge consumer interest, test your product on the market. This could look like doing a soft product launch on your website, or utilizing more general third-party selling platforms. Rather than purchasing 500 units, put 50 of each SKU and measure product performance based on key KPIs.
Once your product is out, pay close attention to customer reviews. Criticism is not necessarily fun but take it to heart and respond accordingly.
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Knowledge of risk factors and the ability to implement risk-management strategies is crucial before launching your brand.
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