How to Pick a Product Development Firm

When you’re hoping to create a new product to launch on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you need to start on the right track from the very beginning for the best chance of success. The sooner you begin working with the right partners, the more likely you are to exceed your funding goal and position your product for greatness; thus, picking the right product development firm is an important first step when you decide to pursue your next big idea.

Making the right choice for a product development firm can truly make or break your campaign. Pick the right one, and you’ll end up with a great new product, a successful Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, and eventually selling on your own website, on Amazon and in major retailers. Pick the wrong one, and you’ll spend your time trying frantically to catch up.

When it comes time to choose a product development firm to turn your concept into a working product ready for mass-manufacturing, there are three key things to consider.

Does the product development firm offer the services you need or specialize in your industry?

Begin by carefully considering what services you’ll need to build your product and complete your project. If you just need someone for a single aspect of your project – say, market research – you’ll likely choose a different company than if you need to hire a firm to handle research, design, development and sourcing. Keep your end goal in mind, and think about what it will take to get there. It is almost always more efficient and more cost-effective to work with one company through the entire product-development process, instead of jumping between different companies and firms, so remember this as you evaluate product development companies to consider.

Is the product development firm’s team a good fit for your project?

In addition to making sure a product design and development company’s service offerings match your project’s scope, it’s also important to ensure that the team you’ll be working with fits your needs. You’ll be working closely with this team for quite some time depending on what services you enlist, so don’t overlook the importance of jiving with their team members.

Ask questions and get to know the engineers, industrial designers and other members of the  product development firm before committing to work with them on your project. Find out who will be your primary point of contact, who is managing the project, who is handling the tasks, if anything will be outsourced, what project management software the company uses and if you will be required to use it, and the answers to other similar questions.

Ultimately, if the product development firm isn’t a good fit for you, your team and your project, it will become a long, arduous process. To take it a step further, schedule a time to visit the firm, if possible. This will give you a chance to meet the team in person, see their facilities, and get a feel for what it will be like to work with them on your project.

What work has the product development company done in the past?

Don’t forget to examine the work previously completed by the product development companies you are considering. This may, in fact, be the most important thing to look at. Choose a company that has experience working on the kind of product you’re trying to develop. You want to make sure they have a deep understanding of the form and function of products like yours, the market your product will enter, and any other considerations such as regulations surrounding your industry. Go through the company’s website and review their past work, their portfolio or their case studies to make sure it’s a good fit.

Ultimately, if you take a hard look the product development companies you are considering enlisting, and ask the three questions above, you’ll be off to a great start and well on your way to a successful crowdfunding campaign. For more helpful crowdfunding tips, tune in to our podcast or subscribe to our newsletter!

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