When you run a product business, you need to ensure that what you are creating makes a genuine difference to people’s lives, as well as ensuring that it is high quality enough to attract the number of sales that you are looking for. Before you roll out your ideas to a wider marketplace, it is certainly going to be worth starting off by making a prototype of your idea – especially if you are releasing an entirely new product range, you are upgrading what you have in place already, or you are launching an entirely new enterprise.
The following blog post will check out the idea of making prototypes and some of the specific advantages that this can bring to your business.
Give your ideas a sense of clarity
When you are designing a product on a computer screen or drawing it out, it is hard to know exactly what it will look and feel like once it is in your hands. When you have a prototype made, you can start to see if there are any specific problems that need to be addressed quickly. Not only this, but you can correct any major design flaws before you have a big run out of the products. Sometimes, you will realize that your idea is working well just as it is – albeit with a few tweaks.
On the other hand, you may find out that you need to go back to the drawing board entirely. While the latter option can be highly frustrating, it also leaves you in a position where you can do something about it without creating tens or hundreds of a product that then cannot be sold or have to be thrown away.
Easier to prototype with 3D printing
In the modern age, it is easier to prototype what you are doing with 3D printing, which means that your product can come to life a lot quicker and easier than it would have done in days gone by. If you need to get your product to market even quicker, you can certainly look into rapid prototyping as a useful option that is worth looking into. Ultimately, this also gives you the option of making more than one prototype if you need to make some tweaks and then check out how they appear. When you have prototyping at your fingertips, it certainly makes sense that you get your ideas right before you go too far down a path.
Win the investment of others
Sometimes, you have an idea for a product, but you are going to need investment in order to allow it to come to life. This is where a prototype can come into play as it will allow investors to see a real representation of what you are creating rather than just a digital rendering. Many people would prefer to actually get the product in their own two hands rather than just imagine how it would look. This is particularly important if you are trying to get an especially large investment, and the investor needs to get some kind of reassurance that what they are paying their money for is going to work out.
A better way to get feedback
On some occasions, you are going to want to attract some feedback to your products to see what people have to say about them. It is often easier to get this once you have a ‘real’ version of the product and how it would look and work. At this stage, you can start to collate the feedback into one place and decide what needs to be changed in the next prototyping stage. Alternatively, you may find out that everything is working out just fine, and you can get the reassurance that what you have created is going to be just fine.
Plan out your budget
Based on the amount of money that it costs to create your prototype, you can then start to better plan out your project and work out scaling it up. Of course, you are going to be able to reduce your costs when you are creating plenty of products in one go, but you can get a good general overview of what you will be spending at this prototype stage. You can also see if there are any elements that are especially expensive and need to be cut back on. Essentially, prototyping is useful from both the point of view of time and money.
Helps to instill confidence in a new idea
When you are creating new ideas, it can be difficult to know exactly how they are going to work out. Even if you think you are onto something at the design stage, it can be tricky to know for certain until you have gotten a prototype in your hands. For many product business owners, this can act as somewhat of a eureka moment – especially if there are many people who are all providing positive feedback at the same time.
On the other hand, it could be that you realize that the idea isn’t working out quite as well as you had initially hoped. At this stage, you will need to go back to the drawing board, but if you realize this sooner rather than later, it can save your business from going down entirely the wrong path when it does not need to.
Whenever you are creating a new product area, it makes good sense that you create some prototypes of the idea to see how they are working out. Essentially, this will ensure that what you are making is a feasible idea that has the best chance of turning a profit. You can also iron out any problems or difficulties at this early stage, ensuring that they do not spring up and cause further issues. On top of this, if you need to attract some investment in your idea, this is often much easier done if you have the product in people’s hands so they can see it and touch it for themselves.