Getting a product to market on time and budget can feel like trying to catch a unicorn. But it turns out that there are tried and true ways to help you reach this goal and get your product to market faster.
1.Make a plan. When it comes to product manufacturing and logistics, a little planning ahead of time goes a long way. The number one cause of business failure is a lack of capital, which can often be traced right back to a lack of planning. When developing your product workflow, anticipate issues related to a project going out of budget, and leave a good buffer between when the product should be completed and when you tell customers it will actually arrive. It’s always better to deliver a product early than late. This will also go a long way toward building customer goodwill, which will result in more sales.
2. Be flexible. The only constant in the business world is change. So when you encounter unexpected factors that alter your plan, such as a vendor that can’t deliver on time or a resource that’s no longer available, be flexible in how you come up with your solution. While your product plan should include time to deal with such delays, how you deal with them will be unique to every situation. Don’t become so rigid in your planning that you are unable to overcome a hurdle when it’s put in your path.
3. Get help. In today’s fast-paced world, we often forget to ask for help until we’re completely overwhelmed. Lining up help early can reduce the likelihood of order backlogs or a break in customer service responses. Many assembly, packaging, and fulfillment houses like Goodwill Industrial Services can step in to help with assembling products and getting them out the door during a busy season. Anticipate when your particular business will need help, and reach out accordingly.
4. Communicate early and often. While we often think of communication as being problematic in a larger organization, it turns out that small businesses are just as guilty. The smaller your business, the more likely you are to think that everyone just “knows” what’s going on. Whether you employ one person or ten, ensure that everyone is kept up to date on product deadlines and any shifting timelines. Also be sure to include information on how these changes will impact the day-to-day expectations for each employee. Telling everyone that a vendor has dropped out of the supply chain is good to know, but don’t expect that employees will automatically intuit that this means they should be looking for a new one or sending out a customer communication about a delay.
5. Collaborate. Successful product development and marketing is all about collaboration. If you’re looking for ways to get your product to market faster, there’s no better way to do it than to reach out and collaborate with others to do so. Networking with other small business owners and vendors may reveal specific ways for you to make your process more efficient.
If your small business is looking to get a product to market faster, contact us at Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries for a free tour of our facilities. We are the experts in assembly, kitting, packaging, and fulfillment services in the Greater Cincinnati area. When partnering with us, you are also supporting our mission to employ veterans and people with disabilities in our community. See what other small business owners are saying about working with Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries.