Guide

Research and develop ideas, new products and services

Checklist: developing a product or service

There are many things to take into account when developing a new product or service. The checklist below should keep you on track and help ensure that your development process runs smoothly.

Developing new products or services checklist

1. Start by generating good quality ideas. Think about potential new products or services, or enhancements to existing ones. Get insights and suggestions from staff, suppliers, customers and business associates. Find out more about generating ideas for new products and services.

2. Assess your ideas for viability and feasibility. While they may be good ideas, they might not necessarily make a sustainable or commercially successful product. Use customer needs and expectations to drive your product development. Learn more about screening new product or service ideas.

3. Research the market and how your proposed product or service might fit in. Start testing at the ideas stage and adapt your idea to meet the needs of the market. Think about your customers, their desires and requirements, and don’t forget to take a look at your competition and their offering. Read more about researching new product and service ideas.

4. Define your product concept clearly and outline specifications and features which you believe will appeal to your customers. Then test the concept with your target audience and refine based on their feedback. See more on concept development and testing.

5. Think about how you're going to price your product or service and cover your costs. Read more about pricing your proposed service or product.

6. Consider how to phase in your new product development and control how much you are spending. Make sure you stop work on ideas that don't meet your criteria before committing a lot of time and resources. For more information, see financing new product or service development.

7. Build a good project team to lead your development and involve them from the outset. Think about who needs to be on it and how they will work together, and who's going to manage the team. See more on creating a new product development team.

8. Develop an early prototype and market test it to address any technical or user acceptance issues. Design, test and refine packaging, brand and the look and feel of the product. Continue making modifications until your product meets customers' expectations and needs. Find out how to test the market.

9. Consider if any regulations (including environmental regulations) are likely to affect your new product or service. Take steps to protect your intellectual property from the outset – find out how to protect new product ideas.

10. Plan for launch and develop a marketing strategy to maximise the impact and the commercialisation of your product or service. Look beyond its immediate potential and consider the longer term.

Continue to monitor the product success after launch and remember to look for further improvement opportunities or opportunities to extend the product's lifespan.

You may also want to make new product or service development an essential part of your business strategy and plan for new products on a scheduled basis to make sure your business remains competitive in the market.

Find out how to prepare a business plan for growth.