Starting a business anytime is an exciting challenge and, starting one during a global pandemic adds just another layer of obstacles to conquer. However, with the right mindset and business acumen you can make it happen.
While the startup landscape looks different in 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, than it has in previous years, that doesn’t mean that right now isn’t an excellent time to begin your startup journey. You might be reading this and think to yourself “Really? Now?” –and yes, really, 2020 can be the year to start your business. Before you dive right in, here are a few considerations to help guide you.
Building a Business Takes Time
If you are developing a product, it isn’t going to be an overnight launch. Between protecting your intellectual property and securing a manufacturing partner, it will take time. Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you start now on the initial design and prototyping phases, you will be able to use the last few months of 2020 to refine your design, solicit target market feedback, and develop a fully functional prototype.
Depending on the type of product you want to develop, you might be able to make a prototype at-home with traditional household items. However, keep in mind that this prototype won’t suffice as you head into manufacturing. In the very early stages, a homemade prototype will help convey your idea but a fully functional is needed. As you move towards manufacturing, you will need a functional prototype developed using DFM (design for manufacturability) methodology to ensure a smooth transition into manufacturing.
Outside Funding Could be Tricky
If you are planning on using funds from an investor or banking institution, securing these funds could be a bit tricky at the moment because of the recent market volatility. Looking at the bigger picture though, at any point in time funding is never a given from investors. This might mean you bootstrap your startup to get going before looking for investors or develop a strong crowdfunding campaign.
Crowdfunding is a great way to tap into your target market for funding, feedback and marketing.
Intellectual Property is Critical
Patents play an integral part in protecting a product—from the exterior aesthetics to the internal technology. Having a patent for your invention will protect it from copycats and the exclusive rights provide you with a stronger market position and distinct business advantages.
Whether you are interested in a design patent, a utility patent or both, it will take time to get your application ready and for the United States Patent and Trademark Office to review it. The earlier you start this process, the better.
The Business Landscape is Ripe for Innovation
Entire industries are being re-designed while others are making their initial splash during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is a great time to break into an industry with an innovative new product.
The key here is to match your target market’s needs with your new product’s offering. Consumers are hungry for change and looking for products that not only fulfill their needs but have a positive impact on the world around them. “According to Nielsen and Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) segmentation, 60% of Americans fall into the ‘Sustainable Mainstream’ category. They want to be more sustainable, but they are also searching for some added benefits, such as improving health or cost and environmental savings.” (Nielsen)
If you are ready to develop your product and start a business, there’s no better time than the present—even in 2020.
3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.