Product Design Career: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Consumer Products Business

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A Pearl Academy expert has shared with us a step-by-step guide to starting a consumer products business that should help students who want a career in product design.

A Pearl Academy expert has shared with us a step-by-step guide to starting a consumer products business that should help students who want a career in product design.

By India Today Web Desk: Have you ever wondered about the process of starting a consumer products business? In this article you will find the description of each of the five stages through which a business idea or a project must pass so that it can be presented in a sustained and valid way in a summarized form to which we can refer in the stages following:

STEP 1: DEFINING THE BUSINESS CONCEPT

To structure a business/project idea, you need to be able to tailor it to the specific business needs of specific people or groups. Your customers and consumers will define the value of your idea.

It will depend on your ability to solve problems, anticipate needs or support the realization of your dreams and desired lifestyles.

Therefore, you should start by thinking about four basic elements for structuring any business/project idea:

• What service or product concept do you want to develop;

• Who is your idea for?

• Which entities (persons and/or organizations) are already in the market that could be competitors or partners for your business/project idea;

• How does your idea differ in the market i.e. what is your value proposition

STEP 2: FORMALIZATION OF THE COMPANY CONCEPT

After having structured your business concept in the four basic pillars, a reflection on the order follows very practical and decisive for a real implementation: where can you get financial resources to start your new business/project! There are several sources where you can obtain financing that will allow you to take advantage of your first months of operation.

If you want to set up a project by yourself, the creation of a Company and a Brand are the next steps in your thinking. However, if you want to implement a project within an organization, this step may not apply.

Once you have an idea, identified the possible sources of financing, and documented the legal procedures necessary for the creation of a business unit/professional project, it will be very important to carry out a critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your project.

Based on this self-criticism, you must define the main objectives and goals to be achieved with your project in the short, medium and long term.

STEP 3: DEFINE THE MARKETING MIX

Concretely, this consists of structuring a marketing plan for your project by answering four key questions:

  • How to configure the service or product you want to present to the market (features);
  • How will you deliver it to your consumers/customers (distribution channel);
  • How will you communicate and promote it to your target population?
  • What price will you charge. After completing this phase, you will already have a business/project idea with an exciting level of maturity, and you can present it to the world. However, one key element is still missing to decide the viability of your idea… Is your business/project idea sustainable over time?

STEP 4: PLANNING AND CONTROL

To answer this question, you need to use concepts from the field of project management and finance. Designers are not prepared for these themes in design academies or universities. At this stage, set a budget for your project, create controllable performance indicators and plan the first three months of its operation.

At the end of this process, you will have a business/project plan ready to be presented to clients, donors, partners, sponsors or anyone else who decides to reveal their project in a professional manner. Getting the communication process right is just as important to shine and achieve the success you want.

STEP 5: CONCEIVE A PROJECT/BUSINESS IDEA

This iteration process with your designer or lab is a crucial step in designing a project. Before you begin, make a list of product specifications. As a result, you’ll have a list of goals against which to compare designs as they are submitted.

Use your network and involve trusted sources when designing. They might be able to offer constructive criticism.

These are people who try to think differently and implement their ideas. You do not need formal training in management to be authorized to undertake project management. It is also common ground that the greater the knowledge and management tools available, the greater the ability to respond to the various challenges posed by a commercial enterprise.

– Article by Emanuel Maia, Dean, School of Creative Practice, Pearl Academy

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