Here, at LaPDT, we pride ourselves in taking the burden of product development and manufacturing off of our clients shoulders so that they can concentrate on sales and marketing aspects of the business. If your small business or start-up is aiming at retail shelves then you’ll want to keep these 5 tips for preparing your product for retail in mind.
Design For Retail Shelves
Floor space in brick and mortar is expensive so your product + packaging must take up as little retail real estate as possible. Go to your ideal retailers and take notes on similar products and packaging. Where are they on the shelf? Do they hang, stack, ect? How durable is the packaging?
Once you have gathered sufficient information you may want to evaluate the need for a packaging specialist. Only choose reputable companies who have experience in designing packaging for the stores you are targeting.
Get To Know Your Retailers NOW
Select retail partners early and study their floor layouts, displays, product categories. You will get a better understanding of the product buying cycles by doing your research, networking and asking store managers about regional and nationwide buyer information. Prepare to ship the product to buyers and wait 4-6 weeks before hearing anything back.
Get Familiar with UPC
Each variant of a product i.e. size, color, ect.. will require a common UPC prefix # and a unique extension to that variant. Large retailers will want a business related prefix which can get costly. If you are targeting smaller retailers with just a few products then you may consider going with a broker who will essentially allow you to use their UPC codes at a lower cost. Here is a great article that quickly explains the options – http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/starting-a-business/how-to-get-upc-codes-for-your-products-2/
How Much Does It Really Cost?
Not only is it important for you to understand your true cost per unit but often retailers and potential investors may want you to disclose your true cost per unit as well. Just remember that your true cost per unit isn’t solely manufacturing costs. On top of manufacturing costs, a true cost per unit breakdown also includes shipping, packaging, UPC costs and other expenses related to getting that product created and onto shelves.
Know When To Protect Your Product
We know it’s a scary to present your unique products to retailers, but retailers see thousands of products each year which means they cannot and will not sign NDA’s before reviewing yours. If an entrepreneur or business is worried about an idea being stolen, it is recommended that they speak with a patent attorney before development of the product. People who have special designs and brands should seek out trademark attorneys. In most cases, patent attorneys and trademark attorneys are one in the same.
Last but not least you will be able to avoid costly mistakes by using a reputable product design and manufacturing firm. At LaPDT, we enjoy taking the stress of development and manufacturing off of your shoulders so that you can concentrate on making money. Your success is the key to our success.