We knew from the outset that we had a potentially great product to build based on my initial backyard shed invention. We really had no idea just how long, and at times how taxing, the journey would be to get a product to market.
We performed our due diligence; long hours searching the Internet for competing products and trawled through Patent databases for similar inventions. We visited retail Golf outlets while on vacation in Australia and overseas. We drafted the technical description of our invention and how it might be applied to a range of products to take to our Patent Attorneys. We maintained our confidentiality even when we were dying to talk about our idea. We signed the Patent applications which started the process to protect our Intellectual property rights.
Once it was safe to do so we sought opinion on the feasibility and viability of our product from industry experts.
There were lots of challenges to overcome in areas were we had little or no knowledge or experience. Some skills we just had to acquire ourselves, like computer aided design and drafting (CADD), so we could communicate effectively with our contractors and suppliers.
Across three years or so we explored a series of prototype designs, refining, discarding, retracing, redrawing and improving until we got the look and the functionality and a commercially viable “cost of goods” that we knew would be required for a successful product.
Strategic planning, business plans, marketing plans, cash flow analysis, contributory costing models with sensitivity analysis, were all part of my career experience. However, cost of goods optimisation and economy points in the manufacturing process was all new. It all took time and energy.
We learnt how packaging and labeling works. What’s required for a “Made in Australia” status. Our product needed Compliance testing for C-tick. FCC CE mark certifications … how do we get them?
Phew! don’t be put off, it’s all part of the journey.
We finally opened our E-commerce online shop 1st April 2016.