Handmade Product Development

by Lisa McGrimmon

This week on the Craft Business Challenge:
Learn how to assess your product ideas, choose the most promising options, build and test a prototype, and check out your competition to improve your own product.

How do you approach product development for your handmade business? Do you have a system for determining whether a product will be a smart addition to your business?

This week, we'll explore issues around product development and take a very business-focused approach to developing handmade products.

If you love to plan and strategize, you will enjoy this approach. If you prefer to freely create in the studio, you may find it challenges your preferred way of working.

Do know that I'm not asking you to take all of the joy and spontaneity out of creating. I am asking you to think about how you can make your product the best of its kind and a fantastic fit for your customers' expectations. It is possible to apply your creativity to strategic product development without compromising your creative ideals.

The articles this week are a three-part series on product development. First, we'll look at how to assess the potential risks and benefits of a product to decide if it has good potential. Next, you'll discover how to create a prototype of your product and test it. Finally, you'll learn how to check out and learn from your competitors.

Three lightbulbs against blue sky and clouds with text overlay Craft Business Product Development - Three part series shows you how to develop the right products for your craft business.

Strategic product development

Choose the Right Business Idea

Find the Most Promising Business Opportunities

Don't dive in with the first product idea that comes to mind. Falling in love with every idea you have can be bad for your business.

Here's how to assess your handmade product ideas to find the product that has the most potential for success.

Test your craft business product idea

Test Your New Product Before You Commit

Before you invest and risk time and money creating lots of product, you need to test your idea. Here's how to build a prototype and test your product with your target customers to ensure it's a good fit for your customers.

Plus, find and fix design flaws to improve your product before you stock up.

Research your craft business competition

Check Out Your Competition

How to improve you product with competitor research. Find weaknesses in your product and theirs. Discover holes in the market you can fill and learn ways to improve your own product to stand out from the crowd.


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Three lightbulbs against blue sky and clouds with text overlay Craft Business Product Development - Three part series shows you how to develop the right products for your craft business.

You Are Here

What happens when you put a career advisor in a craft tent? You get a craft business writer who has been sharing tips for building a craft business since 2006. Lisa McGrimmon is the founder of CraftProfessional.com. Read more about Lisa here.

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December: Handmade Product Development

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