Starting any new project can be a larger project that what we think once we get into the nuts and bolts of the project. For example, I started this website over 1 year ago with a hope of having all of the products launched and ready to go. It took a lot longer (to say the least) than expected. Here is a image of the fist rendition of the site.
And it’s the same with starting a new product line, give it a min of 3-6 months additional time than anticipated.
And here’s why:
1. Finding a company to work with takes time.
You will call or at least should call 10-12 companies before finding the perfect the fit. There are so many variables in product development that it takes time to find the right manufacturer.
2. You will change your mind on lots of elements:
- The logo will take longer
- The label design will take longer
- The web designer may disappear or get fired (a sad but true story)
- The product development takes longer than expected, even with stock formulas but more so with custom formulas
3. External delays
- Chinese new year will delay your packaging and raw materials, even if you buy from US based companies
- Weather or world events can delay your launch
- Unexpected illness and life problems can delay you
So how do you anticipate and plan for all of these delays? Simple, plan for them in the beginning.
Strange, I know but here are my 5 amazing tips on how to start your project on time.
1. Extend your launch date. Plan for a soft launch and a real launch. If the soft launch isn’t as successful as you had hoped for, take the lessons learned (and there should be some), make adjustments and have another “launch”.
2. Source your packaging with several back ups and/or buy in advance. The reason for this are simple life delays. Chinese new year, a boat sinks, supplier discontinues, lots of potential issues.
3. Start your brand look well in advance before finding the product or manufacturer. This tip alone will save you tons of time. It’s going to take you longer than you think and several revisions to establish the brand look and feel.
4. Give yourself and life grace – life happens and sometimes you just have to go with it.
5. Don’t go at it alone. Hire quality label developers, hire quality web designers, hire quality social media strategies. If you are doing all the elements so you can’t focus on the most important: Product development and marketing.
I’d love to hear how long it took for you to get your product made and what the biggest delays were. Leave a comment below!