BUSINESS STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT
If You Don't Know Where You Are Going, Any Road Will Take You
Many people who want to develop a new product are not sure at the outset exactly where they want to go with it. Some want to create a prototype to see if it works, others want to patent it and sell the patent while others want to create a brand and start a business. A strategy is typically a plan to get from point A to point B. Writing down your business strategy, no matter how simple or detailed it is, will force you to think about where you ultimately want to go with your product development. At Futura, we can provide you with information and guidance to help you develop your strategy and achieve your business goals.
BUILDING THE BUSINESS CASE
A Business Case Is Not A Business Plan
At the outset of any new product development project, whether you are a start-up or a well established business, you will need to make a compelling business case for spending time and money on an idea that has not yet proven it's worth in the market. Our business case template, is a two page document that helps you to articulate answers to the key questions you will be asked by lenders, investors or government agencies. Who the target market is, where it is, how much the product will cost to make and how much it will sell for, where it will be made, what IP it can claim are all questions that you will be asked and need to provide qualified answers to in order to get any interest from funders. With our experience and expertise we will help you to answer these questions and compile a compelling business case.
BUSINESS PLAN DEVELOPMENT
The Business Plan Is Your Roadmap
Once you have engaged sponsors, potential customers, funders, investors, etc., you will need a comprehensive business plan that demonstrates that you know what you are doing and have the resources and expertise at your disposal to deliver your objectives. Preparing a compelling business plan is time consuming and requires a lot of information that you may not have access to. In our experience, entrepreneurs struggle with getting accurate costing information for production, accurate sales channel costs and accurate projected sales revenues. We can help you to generate this information based on a combination of actual discussions with suppliers, distributors and retailers and our own database of historical information.
It's Not Just Fools, Family & Friends
Often referred to as the three F's, Fools, Family and Friends are sometime the first and only port of call for many start-up's trying to raise initial funding. Whilst there are many sources of funding (state bodies, angel investors, venture capitalists, banks, etc.,) most will not be interested in funding very early stage product developments or start-up's for the simple reason that the failure rate is so high at this stage. They want to see you fund the initial stages yourself so that they can see your commitment as well as your ability to prove that the product has potential. In many cases they will only invest after you have sold some product, been awarded a patent or other form of IP, or proven in some other way that the product is viable. At Futura, as a start-up, we can help you to become investor ready or as an established company we can help you to achieve early stage or growth stage funding.
PRODUCT COSTING AND BOM
Accurate Product Costing Is Essential
A Bill of Material (BOM) is a detailed list, normally on a spreadsheet, of every component, nut, bolt and washer that goes into the assembly of the final product. It lists the part number, supplier, cost and quantity of each component so that you have both an ex-factory and landed cost for your product that is 100% accurate. Without this you cannot put together a reliable business plan and you cannot reasonably expect others to invest in or support your business. A key part of our design process at Futura is to deliver an accurate BOM to customers
SALES CHANNEL DEVELOPMENT
You Cannot Rely Entirely On Internet Sales
Start-up's often assume that they can sell exclusively online thus avoiding the need to pay distributors and retailers and in turn maximising their own margins. With over 7 million retail websites globally, getting your product in front of your target customer is extremely difficult. Retail channels are still the primary source for many non-standard and high price items and although consumers do their research online, they will often want to physically see and hold the actual product before making a purchase. We can assist clients to find distributors and provide them with pre-production prototypes for engagement with distributors and retailers.
IP Is More Than Just A Patent
Often, IP or Intellectual Property, is used to refer to patents. But it also includes design registrations, copyright and trademarks as well as IP that is not obvious and is not patentable. For example, the knowledge and expertise we have in Futura that comes with years of product development is not patentable, but is very valuable and not something that we would want to give away or see eroded. We can help you to identify, document and protect sources of intellectual property that are unique to your business and your product and that could make a huge difference to you when seeking funding or even selling the business down the road.