Product development always has its share of challenges. However, with the right preparation and the right strategies in place, your business can overcome them. Here are five of the most common product development challenges and their solutions.

New Product Development

1. Identifying your customer’s pain points

Determining the pain points of your customers should be at the core of your product development process from the very beginning. Based on your customers’ needs, you should be able to formulate clear goals for your product that directly reflect those needs.

While this may seem obvious, many companies operate in the opposite way: conducting consumer research after a product has launched. As you might expect, this becomes an extremely retrogressive, expensive, and time-consuming approach.

Product testing should happen early and often throughout development. Periodic and thorough testing will help you hone in on what your customers really want from your company and your product.

2. Assembling the right team

Product development is a team effort. That’s why assembling the ideal product development team is so important. While this group can be formed internally, some businesses benefit from working with an external team of experts.

Whether your company decides to go the internal or external route, having well-defined plans for marketing, sales, and product launch is vital for successful product development and project management.

3. Balancing short-term needs with long-term goals

With product development, it can be difficult to figure out how much you should allocate towards your short-term needs, versus how much should go toward your long-term goals.

While the upfront costs that come with prototyping, research, and more can seem intimidating, it’s crucial to think about the big picture. Cutting corners during product development will cause your company more harm in the long run.

4. Legal and regulatory matters

When you are so focused on developing a product that meets the needs of both your consumer and business, it can be easy to overlook government regulations. As Alan Cohen writes in Prototype to Product: A Practical Guide for Getting to Market, this kind of neglect can result in “finding out that US Customs is holding up shipments to Europe because our product doesn’t meet relevant EU requirements, or merely because [the] CE mark labeling isn’t being displayed correctly.”

To avoid these mistakes, be proactive and aware of all the regulations that are in place, especially lesser-known ones.

5. Widening distribution

Companies that want greater success are always looking for new ways to expand their markets. However, this transition takes time and planning. Having a strong domestic track record, making the necessary product alterations, and being in the right financial position is a must.

Partnering with a global manufacturing and distribution firm makes this process a whole lot easier. A partnership gives your company greater access to global manufacturing resources and puts you in touch with real experts with a great deal of experience.

Product development challenges need not throw your company off course. With a rigorous plan and well-equipped team at your disposal, your business is bound to thrive.

At Pivot International, we’re a single-source collaborative design, development, and manufacturing firm with over 50 years of experience in helping businesses profitably realize their product’s potential. Interested in learning what a partnership with Pivot might mean to you and your product? Reach out to us today and consult with one of our design professionals for free.