Before you invest any serious time and money
into developing a product, you need to do a bit of
"Pre-sales." You need to make sure some interested buyers would buy your new service or product.
Your product will need to beat out the competition, so you need to make sure you can solve a need that other products can't.
You have to assess the costs of developing this product or service.
How big of an investment is it going to be? Do you need to hire another employee with a
specific skill set to create this product? Do you need to promote someone to handle managing this new service?
Time and development creating this product or service is something you need to map out before you sit down and invest your company's money into a new idea.
Because our business model is recurring revenue, we were able to make some accurate budget predictions on how we could afford the cost of creating a new product.
Never settle for comfortable, instead continue pursuing new avenues, develop new products, and still, keep pushing to improve.
Your best option isn’t necessarily to make the cheapest product, even if it lowers manufacturing cost. Also, you need to make sure the product can grab someone’s attention quickly.
When you are ready to do product development and outsource some of the tasks make sure you:
Retain control of your product and learn constantly. If you leave the development up to someone else or another firm without supervision, you might not get the thing you envisioned.
Implement checks and balances to reduce your risk. If you only hire one freelance engineer, there’s a chance that no one will be able to check their work. If you go the freelance route, use multiple engineers so you don’t have to just take someone at their word.
Hire specialists, not generalists. Get people who are awesome at the exact thing you want, not a jack-of-all-trades type.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you don’t lose all of your progress if one freelancer leaves or if a contract falls through.
Manage product development to save money. Rates can vary for engineers depending on their specialties, so make sure you’re not paying an overqualified engineer when you could get the same end result for a much lower price.
To help you have peace of mind, start learning as much as you can about the production, so you can improve the process and your hiring decisions as time goes along.
This process will be very different for service-focused entrepreneurs, but no less important. You have several skills that people are willing to pay you for right now, but those skills can be hard to quantify. How can you establish yourself and your abilities? You might consider creating a portfolio of your work -- create a website to show your artwork if you’re an artist, writing if you’re a writer or design if you’re a designer.
Also, make sure you have the necessary certificates or educational requirements so that when someone inquires about your service, you’re ready to jump at a good opportunity.