Unlock Business Potential with Innovation & R&D

Unlock the potential of your business through Innovation and R&D

May 27, 2024 | Blog | Innovation, Research & development, Scale

Innovation and Research and Development (R&D) can play major roles in growing businesses. Whether it’s leading healthcare diagnostics firm Randox Laboratories or net-zero maritime innovator Artemis Technologies, some of Northern Ireland’s fastest growing companies have thrived on the back of R&D.

However, embarking on innovation or a new product development process can be risky and requires considerable planning and a clear understanding of the steps involved.

Below is our guide to some of the key considerations and Go Succeed can help you with these, each step of the way:

  1. Idea generation and screening

Idea generation is the foundation of starting a new business or improving existing products. Entrepreneurs often identify opportunities by asking themselves:

  • Is there a gap in the market?
  • Can you modify your existing products?
  • Can you use customer’s feedback?

Idea screening is the process whereby you screen out ideas that are not compatible with your innovation goals.

  1. Market research

Conduct thorough market research and gather customer insights to identify current market trends and opportunities for innovation. Understand your target audience’s evolving demands to guide your innovation efforts effectively. When conducting market research, remember to consider the needs of others such as retailers or distributors.

  1. Concept development

Concept development is a pivotal stage in creating a new product, involving a description of the idea from the customer’s perspective. It emphasises key features such as convenience and often entails working through numerous concepts to identify those most appropriate. By rigorously testing concepts, businesses can estimate market potential and forecast sales, ultimately increasing the success of their new product.

  1. Finance

Securing adequate funding is crucial for launching a new product. After testing the concept, a detailed business analysis is imperative to determine costs. Controlling costs are vital to prevent overspending, achieved through introducing phased investment. Estimating costs can be done through a top-down approach using past projects as benchmarks or a bottom-up approach involving team consensus.

  1. Testing the market

Product testing is crucial in the development process, ensuring alignment with market needs. Developing a prototype allows you to test your product with target customers, focusing on customer appeal. In turn, soliciting feedback from customers through questionnaires to refine the design based on user input. Even after launch, in-market testing helps to identify areas of opportunities.

  1. Pricing strategy

Establishing a pricing strategy is crucial from the outset. Considerations include the product’s perceived value, competition and expected lifecycle. The strategy should encompass an entry-to-market price, premium price, and minimum sale price as part of the commercialisation plan. Researching suppliers and marketing costs is vital for realistic pricing.

  1. New product protection

Generating intellectual property (IP) is crucial for distinguishing a business from competitors. If necessary, you can seek IP guidance from Invest NI. Additional legal measures like registering designs or trademarks can enhance protection. However, maintaining confidentiality is vital to protect ideas. Third parties should sign non-disclosure agreements before discussing sensitive information.

  1. Build a team

To create a successful new product, you must build a diverse and skillful team around you. In doing this, ensure alignment with business goals and appoint a project manager to oversee the operation. Timetable the development process and maintain flexibility to address unforeseen challenges.

If you are ready to find out more about R&D, or anything else that you need to help grow your business the Go Succeed service is here to help.

Our programmes, delivered totally free of charge, support you with events and masterclasses, online business plan resources, access to grant funding, one to one advice and support and peer networks.

Find out more by completing our webform or by calling us on 0800 027 0639.