I have a great product, but no business experience

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Last issue, the owner of a small salon and spa in Winnipeg wrote to ask PROFIT-Xtra readers:

“I have an idea for a product that I strongly believe could be a commercial success. I’ve done a good amount of market research that backs up that claim, and I’m in the process of getting a patent. I’m lucky in that I already have sufficient capital to launch a business and get the product manufactured. But what I don’t have is much business experience. What should my next steps be?”

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Best reader responses
Kelly J. Ramsay:

Having a great product is only the beginning, as one of the quintessential elements to success is the ability to execute. In your case, the ability to bring this product to market and to develop a distribution mechanism are key.

I presume that the product in mind relates to the spa/salon space, a market that can be tough to penetrate due to saturation and high marketing costs. Based on my experience, I would suggest you seriously consider two options:

  • Invest in building a team around you that knows how to bring the product to market and build out the distribution;
  • Find an entrenched player in this space and license them to do the manufacturing and distribution for you.

Bringing a single [product] to market is difficult, and it will probably take much longer and cost much more than you anticipate. Good luck!

Marnie Pertsinidis, Modis International Co.:

I would recommend that you find a mentor. You can either reach out to someone specifically who is successful in your field or search online for someone, perhaps using one of the business-networking sites such as LinkedIn.  And there are organizations that match up mentors with mentees, as well as various organizations that support entrepreneurs in various fields, such as the Association of Manitoba Incubators.

Jason Polzer, InternetHosting.com:

Instead of starting your own business to manufacture, inventory, market, distribute and sell your product, why not sell the rights and collect royalty cheques immediately? If it is a good product, it will be easy to sell.

Products do not make a good business; a good business makes a good business.  Find a reputable one, pitch your idea and collect a truly passive income!

For his answer, Jason Polzer will receive a copy of Building Media Relationships by Susan Sommers.

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Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com