The truth is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach in bringing your product to market. If you ask me, I’d say that it really depends on a lot of factors. Factors such as the product itself, product category, how big your team is, their experience, how you're marketing it, how much you are investing in marketing, etc.
For most products in retail, be prepared to expect a 6 to 18-month sales cycle.
Everyone has to start somewhere, so where do we begin?
Rule #1: Start with a plan and put it in writing. Record where you want to be, when you plan on getting there and COMMUNICATE it! This process will not be perfectly smooth but I can guarantee it will be a learning adventure.
Rule #2: Be flexible, tolerant and absolutely true to yourself. Ask for the support you need and arrange it for yourself. Your product will have different requirements. This alone changes a lot of the dynamics of how things are going to work. Factors influence and change your plan. Communicating your concerns and getting the support you need will make things move a lot faster and it will also make things a lot less stressful.
I know I need help and support, but how do I know who is worth working with?
Working with advisers, sales representatives, brokers, consultants and other product professionals can make or break your business. They get approached by a ton of people. The last thing you want is a rep that does not put in the effort or believe in the product.
Limit the liability as much as you can. The best practice includes vetting people out and doing due diligence. There is nothing like combing through your doubts with a little bit of research.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a list of services, a client list and references. Call them and ask questions like, “How long will it take to do a PO?,” and “Are you willing to take a retainer as an advance before commission?”
It is impossible to say “YES” to a deal without knowing what you’re getting into.
Moment of honesty: Sometimes people are looking for an impossible 100% success rate. Realistically, businesses are made up of people. If there are consistent complaints and issues, then there is an apparent problem. Also, remember there are no guarantees and promises.
Many businesses can get started faster than you think. The key is to START!!!
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