Women In Business

The 4 Ps of kickstarting an innovative product

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Becoming an entrepreneur means you have to tackle difficult situations daily because essentially, you are experiencing everything for the first time. I remember clearly how I became an entrepreneur — because it started with an incident that involved cutting my newborn son’s finger with conventional baby nail clippers. If that does not fuel your inner entrepreneur, then what would… right?

I like to refer to the various phases that helped me achieve the international success as ‘The 4 P’s of kick-starting an innovative product.

Problem solving

Becoming an entrepreneur means you are constantly searching for ways to improve your business and conducting extensive research to find the perfect solution to your customers’ problems. The best example I have for you my lady entrepreneur, is that often, in business, problem-solving means you need to find a specific niche in the market; a product or service that doesn’t quite exist. It is all about finding the pain point or gap. Once you determine what product and service is missing, you have laid the foundations to creating a successful product.  Be solution-driven and don’t be afraid to research existing products on the markets in order to pinpoint exactly what that product or service is missing.

Prototyping

While it’s always good to have an idea of what you want the final product to be, it is important to try different materials, create different models and test the product to ensure maximum results. Innovation is a process that takes time and patience. Prototyping rarely involves the creation of just one model but often leads to 2, 3, 4 or even more. Creating multiple prototypes leads to the best workable product, as each stage highlights one material or production process that will lead to the most suitable outcome – whether that be materials, size or shape.  You will know your prototype is the ‘real deal’ when you have combined all its best attributes into one design.

It may be a longer process but in the end, carefully choosing the right materials and design will take you further in the long run. Many current products on the market today have not been tested thoroughly. This can often lead to customers being disappointed in the product; the brand or even worse; the product could be harmful. You want to be able to exceed your customers’ expectations, not by making big promises only to under-deliver with a poorly tested and designed product. Before you launch your product, make sure your prototype is the best it can be and have several samples made and tested.

Promoting your brand

Recognition is fantastic but never been possible without a supportive community and fan base. A community must be curated, built and maintained over time in order for it to stand on its own. Just like a house, it needs a strong foundation. Building loyal relationships with your customers and with the general public is crucial.  Although, social media plays a large part in promoting your brand, you shouldn’t just rely it to do the networking for you. In order to promote your brand and yourself, you have to participate in and attend events such as expos, conferences and industry networking events that are relevant to your target audience. A lot can be said for making connections with other entrepreneurs, businesses and distributors as well.

In business it really is about who you know and all about making the right connection. You never know who in your network will provide you with the right business contacts. By putting your best foot forward, engaging with key target groups and using PR and media to highlight your product and brand you are on your way to position yourself and your product well. Whatever type of tactic you are using, make sure you are creating mutually beneficial relationships with your target community.

Personalising your services

It’s all about your customers’ needs and wants and listening to what they are requiring from you and your product. Try to understand their needs and wants by listening to what they require from you and your product.  One customer that loves your product, can and will be your biggest advocate, after all word of mouth advertising is the most powerful. As the customers’ needs and wants evolve, so must your products and services. If you are able to evolve and adapt to technological advances, changes in consumer behaviour and unpredictability, the customers will be on your side and buy from you. And remember, the customers also like to see the face behind the brand and to feel connected to you and your experiences.

Encouraging all fem-preneurs

It is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur and my journey has proven just how a woman’s intuition can create a ripple effect and lead to entrepreneurial success. There are many success stories out there just waiting to be heard, mine just being one of them. I hope that other fem-preneurs will share their insights with other businesswomen and men; and budding entrepreneurs, who just like me, find new solutions to common problems. I trust these tips are helpful in taking your product or brand to market.

About Julia Christie

Julia Christie has won multiple awards for her groundbreaking Nail Snail including the Australian Good Design Award, Big Innovation Award, AusMumpreneur Award for Product Innovation and nominations for the Australian Small Business Champion Award and the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award; and has seen her product placed in the hands of celebrity mums at the recent Golden Globe Awards in the USA. Just recently, Julia has been nominated as a finalist for the Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2019.

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