If you have an idea for a new product or service, you can turn it into a business opportunity. To do this, you need to go through the 'commercialisation' process to bring it to market.
Commercialisation involves the following steps:
- market research and consultation
- writing business, marketing and distribution plans
- protecting your intellectual property (IP)
For example, if you have a business idea for a new tool to help tradespeople, you need to commercialise your idea before it can be available for sale in the mass market.
Here are 8 steps to help you take your new product or service to market:
1. Describe your product or service
Write a clear and concise description of your product or service.
Make sure your description:
- is easy for a person unfamiliar with the concept to understand
- demonstrates the features and benefits of your product or service
2. Protect your intellectual property (IP)
Protect your business ideas before you talk to others about it. Different types of ideas will need different methods of IP protection. Find out which method will suit your idea and apply for it.
If you talk to other people about your idea, make sure they won't reveal any confidential information. You can have them sign a confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement (NDA) as protection.
Create your own NDA using the confidentiality agreement template from INNOVIC.
3. Research your market
Do some research to identify the market, customers and competitors that your product or idea will face.
4. Assess your business potential
For help you to assess your skills and potential for commercialising your idea attend a Business Victoria workshop.
5. Identify your commercialisation pathway
Speak to an INNOVIC commercialisation expert to decide what's the best way to bring your new product or idea to market. Your future strategy will depend on whether you choose:
- a joint venture
- assignment, or
For example, if you're thinking about having your product made overseas, a commercialisation expert can give you advice on things like quality control, freight and distribution.
6. Design and complete a working prototype
Write a design brief to outline:
- the objectives of your project
- what is needed to achieve these objectives
See our page on finding and choosing suppliers if you need help to research, design and build a working prototype using suppliers that suit you.
Test the prototype to deal with any issues before you introduce it to potential investors or customers.
7. Write a commercialisation strategy
Include a commercialisation strategy in your business plan. Your commercialisation strategy should include:
- market research
- a pricing and distribution strategy
- distribution model
- potential distributors
- financial projections
- a market entry strategy
Try to also answer these questions in your plan:
- How much in commissions will the distributors expect to be making?
- What minimum or maximum amounts of stock are acceptable?
- Which wholesalers and retailers are they distributing to?
- Can they provide testimonials from current clients?
- How will you deal with unsold or undistributed stock?
- Are they willing to negotiate a written distribution agreement?
8. Explore funding options
How you fund your idea will depend on the nature of your product or concept. You might want to consider the following options:
- government grants and assistance
- crowdfunding or crowed sourced funding
- other sources of financing including angel investor groups