You can read the entire blog post here – it goes into lots more detail around online research.
Before spending any money on creating or sourcing your product, I would suggest doing some validation to see whether your product has the potential to make a profit.
It doesn’t matter how much (or little) it costs to create your product if you’ll never see a penny of it again. Doing this work can help you feel more confident about investing the money in the first place.
Remember, I’ve been there!
My number one solution to finding out if someone will buy your product, is to find your ideal customer and ask them!
In episode 5 we covered:
- Finding out who’s your ideal customer
- Who your product is for (and who will buy it)
- A few other ways to get input and carry out research online
A few other things you can do:
- Share prototypes or samples of your product and ask some good questions
- Get some pre-orders and make money before even creating anything. (Only actually take money if you’re confident you’ll have something to sell – or be prepared to pay back every penny you take.)
A note on price:
I always recommend working out your selling price before you find out what it will cost to produce it. By all means ask potential customers for input here. That way, you can make an unbiased decision – rather than setting the price to cover the costs – which could prove to be a costly mistake if you price yourself too high.
You’ve taken a huge step and hopefully feel much more confident about spending the money on producing your product.
How (and why) to validate your product ideasINTRO (:
Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. He is your host Vicki Weinberg.Vicki Weinberg (:this in the middle of March,:Vicki Weinberg (:
Of course, this does take a little bit of time and energy today, but I think it's money well spent. If it prevents you from making a costly mistake, something that people regularly asked me is, well, how much it costs to launch a physical product. I can't actually tell you that because that really will vary depending on the kind of product you want to create, what is going to go into the development or how many you need to order our way, or you're sourcing it from all that there were all kinds of variables. But what I can tell you is that however much that an issue money is going to be that initial investment. It's a lot less scary where, or at least a bit less scary spending it. If you know, you've got a product that will sell where, you know, you can make a profit and you know that there are people out there that will buy it.Vicki Weinberg (:
If you have no way to, it's a huge, huge gamble. And I, that's not what I wanted it for you. I want you to feel really confident that when you put the time and energy into creating a product, you're going to be able to sell it, and you're going to be able to make some money from it. So I did cover this a bit in our last episode, where we talked about a few ways, you can do some really simple validation, but I wanted to also record this episode because I wanted to talk a bit more about why its so important. And just to make sure that you're really clear because I know that, that it might seem a bit of a paying, you know, you might be wanting a scope off and start creating a product, developing a new product. So I just want to talk a little bit more about why I think it's important to do this work and then also go a bit deeper into the How and talk about a few more ways that you can validate your idea that before we get going, then we're two things I wanted to mention the first day.Vicki Weinberg (:
I actually have an online course, which is all about speaking out and validating your Product ideas. So doing a lot of work into figuring out exactly what your product looks like, feels like what it consists of and then doing the validation to make sure that there's people out there that want to buy it and there will be profitable. So
exactly what we're talking about in this episode. I also have a free guide and just set them free ways to validate your product ideas. And I'm going to link to both of these in the show notes. Okay. So let's get on with the Episode. So as I say, Before spending any money. I was just doing some validation to see whether your product has, you know, has potential.Vicki Weinberg (:
It really doesn't matter how much or how little it cost to create it. If you're never going to see any of that money again, because nobody's going to buy it. So if you have an idea of whether it is a product, people will buy how much they'll pay, what they're looking for in a product, but essentially you can create the best products you possibly can do. You can feel confident we've done that because you've done a lot of research. And in turn, I think that'll help you feel more confident about investing the money and the time in the first place. So I just wanna start this person and, you know, remember I'd been there so a few years ago when I launched my first product, I really remember how scary it is, especially the part when you have to pay some money.Vicki Weinberg:
And I was, you know, I was terrified when I placed my initial wards. And I'll be honest with you to this day. I still feel a little bit anxious every time I put down the deposit for a new awards or even if it's an existing product, even if it's something you know, that I already have, I already know sales. And I think maybe that's just how I'm wired. However, I will say that every time, you know, I still, yes. Yeah. Do you still feel that a little twinge, but I mean, I think that it's just me, but every time that I, you know, launching new products or reorder or an existing product, it gets a little bit easier because you know, you have the confidence in the fact that, okay, this is, this is a good idea of looking at an investment is there and that makes it so much easier.Vicki Weinberg (:
And that's what I want for you because I mean, I've said this a lot of times. I know, I hope I'm the over stress in the room point about creating a product, right? It is, you know, you put a lot into it, you put, you know, a lot of yourself into it. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of energy. It takes some commitment, say, you know, there is work to do in validating it, but there's also work to do, you know, be on that. And while it's something, you know, and I can certainly help you with how to do it. They've all got to be times when it feels like there's a lot to do. It might feel a bit overwhelming, but I feel like if you have the confidence at your product is going to sell, there is a market out there for it. I really think that will help you. And then, you know, looking back at what I've done, I also wish knowing what I know now that I hadn't been so secretive about my products in the beginning.Vicki Weinberg (:
And I had also a bit of input early on. So I felt a little bit of confident. So I was so scared that if I told someone that I was going to create a product, someone else who would take it and run with it, I think I mentioned this in my last Episode and I hear this over and over again, but now we know what, what I know
now that I'm not really sure why, because so few people will actually go through with getting their product to launch. And I can't stress that enough. So do not let that be a fair that keeps you from validating your idea. So as a reminder, in our last episode, which if you haven't listened to yet might be worth going back and listening to it before you go any further of this one, I spoke about how the best way to find out if someone will buy your product is to work out who your ideal customer is and go and ask him some questions.Vicki Weinberg (:
So I would link to that episode in the show notes, do you go back and listen, if you haven't already, but it was a really brief reminder. We talk about, we talked about working out who your ideal customer is. So this isn't necessarily the person that we'll use your product or that it is worth about it. Thinking about them too, its the person who actually be paying money and buying it. And we spoke about how building up a picture of who this customer is, will really help you both with developing your product and with your marketing. Once you get to launch, we then spoke about how now, you know who your ideal customers are. The next step is to find them and bring your ideas by them and get some feedback and input. And we spoke about the fact that it perhaps even if you don't want to necessarily share your ideas at this stage, you can also get lots of input by asking sort of more vague questions or asking them about existing products on the market.Vicki Weinberg (:
That's what I wanted to talk to you about now is some other ways that you can get input because perhaps you are not quite ready to get in front of people or maybe you're struggling to find your ideal customer. And there are some other things you can do. So for example, you can look online at a product similar to yours or the product you'd like to create and looking at the reviews and see what people say about them. Whenever I launch a new product, I tend to do this. I read all of the reviews. Sometimes that can mean hundreds, but it is really where I'd get in a sense of what people like. And don't like about the kind of product that you're looking to create. You can also do this by looking in four of them.Vicki Weinberg (:
So for example, if you're selling baby products, you want me to look somewhere, my mum's Nett and you can look for posts around the kind of products that you're looking to to create just by searching and reading what other people are talking about. So you can do all of this without actually posting anything, sharing anything. So asking anything just by having a look at what people are already talking about and what conversations already going on. And you can also look on sites, such as Amazon to see how well products are selling in the free guide. I mentioned earlier seven free ways to validate your product ideas. I do talk a bit more about how we can do this. Say there were a free tools out there online where you can look at the Amazon bestseller ranking for a product and then work out from there.Vicki Weinberg (:
How many of these products have been sold each month? And obviously this give you a really good idea of how popular they are. So if you're feeling a little bit nervous about going out and talking to people about your
Product, I think these are Ideas. These are quite good things. You can do it as a first step, but just to kind of dip your toe in the water, do a little bit of research quite quietly to find out whether your product's ID might be something that you know, that that could work. I do. However, think at some point you are going to have to a a hundred percent work out who your customer is and you aren't going to have to talk to people. And as I've mentioned, you can do this by sharing. You know, this is what I want to create. And what do you think all you can do it just by asking about existing products.Vicki Weinberg (:
And while we're on the subject to let you go ahead and talking to people, we have two more thoughts I have on this. So the first one is, if you have samples of similar products, yours that you can share with people, then why not do that? So if, for example, you, we're looking to launch a, let's say a, a, a baby blanket. If you could look for what the popular ones were online at the moment. So you could go on to Amazon, you could use the tools I've mentioned and you could find out, okay, these are the ones that the most, this is a free that are selling the most. These are the most popular. You can actually buy those. And then you could actually take them when you talk to people and you could say, OK, I'm looking to create a, a blanket. And it's something like this.Vicki Weinberg (:
What do you think of these ones? What'd you think about how it's packaged? What do you think about how it feels and just to actually have something for people to talk about it because you can get somebody to give feedback from them. People can actually say, Oh, this seems a bit small. And you know, people say it is a bit small when you measure it, you'll see how big it is. You make deals bigger. If someone says, or we don't really like the fabric, you can look into what a fabric it is and make a note, you know, perhaps you use something different. So that's just one other thing that you can do. So it kind of enhanced your research. And I do believe that is, you know, the more research you can do that better when you get farther down the line or something, we'll talk about it in a later episode is getting samples of your product that you'd like to create made up.Vicki Weinberg (:
And this is something, again you can do when you have, you know, your, your samples before you actually, you know, you get your sample and you, obviously you are going to take a good look at it and see what you think. But actually it's a really good idea to share it with people as well and get their input into, you know, what do they like? What do they like? Could it be improved in any way and also ask people what they'd pay for it? Yeah. So it's worth mentioning that. I think what would you pay for, this is a really useful question because I recommend working out your selling price before you work out what it would cost to produce a product, which I know might sound a bit backwards, but where I'm coming from is, is that I think you need to make an unbiased decision about how much do you price a product for us rather than setting the price high, to cover the cost of the product, which could prove to be a costly mistake.Vicki Weinberg (:
If you price, you'll see if, you know, if you price it too high. So what I mean by this is if you work out that your product is going to cost, I don't know, five lbs to produce. And you've seen that similar products are selling at six pounds, or you might go, actually, I need a price this at, I don't know, 10 pounds. So I'll make a decent profit for example. But the problem is you don't sell any because you've priced it to Hi. Whereas if you had at the beginning, worked out that actually this kind of product based on my spec, Oh, I could sell this for seven lbs. You get all of the costs. Do you work out? Actually, it's going to cost you five pounds per unit.Vicki Weinberg (:
At that point, you're, you know, you can go, well, actually that seems, you know, you know, I'm not going to make an offer of a prophet and maybe this idea isn't worth pursuing, or maybe I can do something forever to enhance the product. So is worth that a little bit more money or can you order more so to get the price down, you know, there are definitely things that you can do. I'm not saying that once you've got an idea of a selling price, if the costs that match up, you have to necessarily walk away and scrap the idea completely. I'm just saying it's worth working out a realistic selling price upfront talking to people. It was a great way to do that. Looking at what we're already selling is a great way of doing that. Because as well as knowing that you've got a market to sell your product to you, you also want to know that, you know, you're, you're going to be able to make a profit in a future episode, we we'll of course talk about costs and the kind of costs you going to want to consider when you're looking at creating your product.Vicki Weinberg (:
But I think that the fed before we even get on to that, it's a good idea to work out who your customer is and how we can create the best possible product for them. So it's something that they will want to buy from you. So I hope that you found this episode helpful. I definitely suggest going away. And you know, if you've got a new product idea in mind, starting to do a little bit of research, whether you are doing that using online tools or whether you're actually feeling ready to go out and speak to people and any work you can do to validate your idea, as I say, will really pay off. I know you probably going to hit me say this a lot. You have a possibly
gonna get really bored of hearing me say this, but I do think it's that important because I'm, you know, I, I really want you to succeed.Vicki Weinberg (:
And often when I see products that don't succeed or people who are struggling to launch and I was struggling to sell as many as they'd like is because the idea of perhaps wasn't very well fought through in the beginning and Actually, they could make it a bit, it made some, you know, really simple changes too. And then, you know, it's been a bit better with It or it's sometimes the case of it's a product that they've fought is, you know, a really a really good idea, but actually there's just no market for what you need. Nobody's interested in it. And this is such a shame that they didn't realize this before putting all the hard work into creating it. And that is definitely not what I want for you. So if you're interested in finding out more about validating your products, the idea, as I mentioned, I do have an online course, and you can find the link to
that.Vicki Weinberg (:
And the show notes. It's M it's a short course is all online. It's probably at nine to nine pounds and you also get access to every Facebook Creek way. You can get a little bit more support for myself and other students, or if you need it, I'm really hope you found this episode. USEFUL if you have any questions or any feedback, I would love to hear from you. It's Vicki at chip monk.com. Everything that I've mentioned today, and it was also, this will be linked in the shade eights. If you found this podcast useful and you have enjoyed it, please subscribe. Please tell your friends, please, either of you I'd really appreciate it. Thank you so much.