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Becoming an entrepreneur can seem like a daunting step for good reason. Half of all companies fail in the first five years. While the internet is full of guides, tips, and tricks to help you make your idea a success, all you have to do is create a great product.
No amount of spin, marketing, or financial magic will replicate the success of a great product. The key to entrepreneurship is making something that people want to use. Here's how to do it.
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1. Focus on a solid design goal
The last thing anyone wants is something aimlessly designed. Before you even begin the design process, you should establish clear rules for the design of your product.
Former Apple Product Manager Jonathan Ive has a number of famous design commandments that are a great place to start for any first-time entrepreneur. However, you need to set your own goals. It is not enough to focus on size, color and dimensions. What exactly should your product achieve? What is it supposed to do to the user? Questions like these can help you refine your design to the essentials.
2. Think like your buyer
Even the best products are not used by everyone. Who do you envision to deal with your business? What do they like and how can your designs pique their interest? It is important to always keep the needs of your potential buyers in mind as they will determine whether or not your product will be successful.
For example, Gabb Wireless' mission is to make a phone safe for children so that they have kid-friendly features that parents would expect from their child's phone, while also appealing to children with the phone's sleek and attractive design. Everyone who is allowed to use your product must be considered in their design. So don't leave anyone out.
Related: 4 Design Strategies That Make a Compelling Call to Action
3. Create inclusive designs from the start
Even if your product is primarily designed for use by a certain population group, that doesn't mean you can slack off when it comes to making it available to everyone. If your designs aren't included, you are alienating potential customers from the start.
Microsoft, one of the 21st century design titans and a company I work for as an analyst, has a number of design inclusivity guidelines that can be helpful for any first-time entrepreneur who isn't sure how to do this for your product might look like. If things are still unclear, reach out to more established designers and see what tips they can offer to make your designs work for everyone.
4. Focus on connectivity opportunities
In 2020, every business, whether it wants to be or not, is a tech company. It doesn't matter what type of business you're running – you need to integrate your products and platforms with existing technology as much as possible.
If your product is a physical product, then consider how to make it a part of the Internet of Things, a market that will be valued at over $ 13 billion over the next five years. If you are a digital company or a service-oriented company, make your online presence as seamless and integrable as possible. You want your users to be able to move around your platform as smoothly as possible.
5. Get important information from non-designers
Unless you are a career designer yourself, it can be tempting to take your idea to a designer as soon as possible and turn it into a reality. However, designers aren't the only people you should speak to. While they can potentially give you valuable look and layout insight, designers just can't answer all of your functionality questions.
Your product is being sold, so contact sellers. If your product is technically supported, bring in some software developers in the conversation. Someone is going to market your product as well, so speak to marketers. Product design is not just about appearance. It's about making something that works on as many levels as possible.
6. Keep everything scalable
In times like these, it is impossible to predict when, whether or how your company will grow. Simply put, your product needs to be scalable for large and small audiences. This Concepta guide is a good place to start, but each product has its own scalability challenges. Make sure you are ready to host large and small numbers of users, or adjust production accordingly. Your ability to make it off the ground may depend on it.
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Becoming an entrepreneur is quite a leap, but having a great product by your side makes it a lot easier. If you follow some of these principles you can be sure that you will be producing something to start your journey with in no time.