Not everyone who has a startup idea has the dedication to bring their product to market. While it is possible to work with a manufacturer early in the product development stage, you need to have some groundwork laid to ensure you have the budget and plan to take you through. O.D. Engineering can be the perfect manufacturing partner to help you launch a startup idea when you have the proper steps in place.
Knowing when to seek out a partner will depend on the product development stage you’ve reached. It’s helpful to break the steps down into five key areas.
Define: At this stage, the product idea is just coming to life. The creator envisions it as a response to a problem. They are not yet ready to work with a partner, as the concept hasn’t been proven as one which is possible.
Research: Here, the creator completes due diligence to ensure they have a unique, desirable idea with a viable concept. While a manufacturer may answer questions, it’s still too early to partner.
Prototype: Working with an engineer, the creator completes an initial product design to prove their concept and gain investor interest. They will need a clear business plan, budget, and market strategy at this stage.
Test: This stage refines the establishment of the prototype and process. The concept testing stage works out any kinks before manufacturing so that the creators don’t build an unsafe or inefficient concept.
Launch: The product is manufactured and released to the public. Much of this step will involve marketing but collaborating with suppliers, distributors, and retailers will also take a prominent role.
It’s important to note these are just the startup product development steps and not the comprehensive instructions for starting a business.