As I write this, I have nine people going through the beta version of my online course. I absolutely love seeing ideas turn into reality, so this is super exciting (to me). However, if I think back and put myself in their shoes, I know that back when this was me, I was terrified. I didn’t have the benefit of someone to help me and I was investing time, money, energy and emotion into an idea – with absolutely no idea if it’d pay off. Luckily, my students are in a much better place than that!
I’ve done posts before about things I wish I knew. This one is a little more personal, as it’s things that I’d like my beta testers, and anyone else starting out in their product creation journey, to know right now.
It’s great you’re getting started on your journey to making your product real. I know it’s both exciting and daunting.
I want to start by acknowledging how great it is that you’re doing this. Many people have dreams and the fact you’re taking steps to make them real is amazing. Not everyone does this.
I really admire your energy and commitment. It might not be easy, but I really do believe that the first step is always the hardest.
I still remember how it feels to be just starting out. It actually wasn’t that long ago. My journey was slow, as I had no real idea what I was doing and had to research every single step. There was so much conflicting information out there (there still is!) that I found it hard to know who to trust and what to listen to. Somehow I muddled on through!
Validating your idea
One thing I wish I’d done, right at the start, is spend more time on validating my idea before going ahead. Don’t get me wrong, my products do sell well, but I wonder if they could have been even better if I’d just done a little more research beforehand.
Back then, I was in a mindset that you might identify with. I was so worried that if I told people my idea then someone would steal it! What I’ve learnt since then, is that very few people actually go ahead with making their (or others!) ideas a reality. It happens so rarely, that this doesn’t occur to me now.
Part of the problem was that I’m naturally shy – and online research, sitting alone at my desk, suited me much better than going out and talking to actual real-life people!
I think there was also a bit of fear around someone telling me my idea was rubbish.
Ask the right people
Which, while that would have been hard to hear, I think if you’re asking the right people (i.e. potential customers) and they do have constructive feedback (which I hope they deliver in a nice way) it is worth listening.
Investing time and money into something that nobody but you wants to buy isn’t a great idea.
I did actually share the potential logos for Tiny Chipmunk, as I couldn’t decide and wanted help choosing. (I used 99designs and this is a feature they offer.) I’m glad I involved my friends and family in that – it was fun! (In fact, at the bottom of this post, you can see a few of the designs that didn’t make the cut!)
For my second product (my towels) I was much braver. I guess I had the relative success of my first product to boost me a little and I felt much more confident about telling people about it. I even went as far as to go into some independent retailers to show them and see what they thought. It didn’t result in them being stocked, but feedback was positive and that really helped.
Honestly, the more (relevant) people you can tell about your product and ask for their input, the better. I use the word relevant, as you need to be asking your ideal customers – not just everyone you know.
I say this, as when I spoke to friends about my towel, and specifically what they’d pay for it, answers varied wildly. Interestingly, my friends who were parents put a much higher price on them than my friends who weren’t. Given that my target market is parents (and Mums in particular), I shouldn’t have actually been asking everyone – just the people I was attempting to sell them to!
Feel confident about the work you’ve done
I also wish I had spent less time worrying about whether my stock would turn up, once I’d placed and paid for the order. It may seem like an obvious (and perhaps understandable) thing to worry about, but this was an area where I did so much research and was so vigilant. I really feel I did all I could to validate my chosen supplier – and worrying wouldn’t do much, other than give me less sleep than I was already getting with a baby and a toddler in the house!
Providing you do your research, please try not to worry the moment you place your order. That should be such an exciting moment for you! Plus, it’s the time you need to start thinking about photography, product descriptions and all the other things you need to have in place so you can start selling your product when it arrives. Definitely don’t spend that precious time worrying!
Don’t get too specific right now
There’s obviously so much that goes into creating your product. These are just a few small things I want you to think about right now.
While I do suggest you spend some time now thinking about where you might sell your product and how you might market it, right now your goal should be to create the very best product that you can The specifics can come later, once your product is ordered and you have some time on your hands as it’s being produced.
And, if you’re working with me, you can be sure we’ll cover all of this.
Wherever you are in your journey, I truly wish you the best of luck.
Do let me know if I can help you.
With love and kindness
P.S. If you want to think more about validating your idea (before you spend any money on it), you might like my free guide.