Risks and opportunities of a new product launch

What’s your big idea? What product or service is driving your entrepreneurial spirit? Why do you believe that it is going to be the next ‘big thing’? Be honest – is it just another ‘me too’ idea, or is it something completely new and different, something that is going off piste to disrupt the existing way of ding things.

Going “off piste” in business essentially means deviating from the traditional or expected path. In short, the increased risks could also lead to increased opportunities, but be aware of the additional costs you will probably have to bear in terms of research and development, and ensuing production costs.

How to track potential increase in costs

There are certain areas that you need to account for those increased costs.

Research and development – before being in a position to launch onto the open market, you are going to have to test, test and test again. Is the product fit for purpose? Does it fulfil a particular issue in the marketplace which has up to now been unaddressed? To ensure that your launch is successful, you need to put the product through a large number of processes and stress tests.

Production – production of your new product may need specially calibrated machines that are going to cost more than the ‘off the shelf’ equipment that many industrial machine suppliers sell. Yes, you are going to be able to order bespoke machinery, but by its very nature it is going to be considerably more expensive.

Transportation – similarly, your product may not be suitable for a UK standard pallet size. Again, talk to the pallet manufacturers for costs of a bespoke range, but make sure you account for the potential increase in costs.

Marketing – You may need to educate your target market a bit more about why they need your product. Yes, the need may exist, but if they don’t know about it then you need to tell them. Launching a brand new product requires a much more prolonged marketing approach which will need to be tweaked and re-tweaked to make it as cost effective as possible.

Where to look for the increased opportunities

If you have put your flag into a particularly virgin corner of the market, your reputation as an innovator is going to grow exponentially. You’ll attract people to you who are equally disruptive, and the lessons that you will learn from them will give you that motivation and inspiration to continue driving your business.

This will also place you in the path of other new products and ideas, products that may solve a particular issue that you have been struggling with for some time.

Embracing expected and unexpected competitive advantage

Risk takers are a particular type of people, and although there are those who have the ideas, there are not many who have the courage to move forward with them. Being willing to take risks and explore new avenues can give your business a competitive edge. 

Most importantly, you need to keep a keen eye on your surroundings, and if need be adapt and pivot according to market needs. Venturing into new territories exposes your business to new knowledge and experiences. Even if certain endeavors fail, the lessons learned can be invaluable for future success.

Silence the doubters

Along this journey you will come across a myriad of doubters, those who try and put you off your path, whose own insecurities and jealousies force them to take a negative stance against your endeavors.  Encouraging a culture of innovation and risk-taking can foster creativity and entrepreneurship within your organization, but it can also create a climate of envy. Use this energy to drive your own efforts towards long-term growth and competitiveness.

Rylie Holt