Launching a cutting-edge medical device is an incredibly rewarding experience. From the inventor to the engineering team and the marketing specialists who name the product, the enthusiasm seems to infiltrate everyone involved with the medical device development process.
But the medical device startup industry can also be extremely unforgiving to developers who attempt to use shortcuts in an effort to achieve their goals. The key to avoiding this pitfall is to do your homework. Below is a list of dos and don’ts to heed before you move forward with your product launch.
What Should You Avoid Doing When Launching a Medical Device Startup?
The majority of medical device startups fail to gain market traction. While there are typically many reasons why companies fail, there are some common threads shared by startups that go bust. By avoiding the pitfalls below, you can prevent your device startup from experiencing the same ill-fortune.
1) Forge ahead without a plan
It’s normal to feel passionate and eager about your device ideas. And it’s easy to become impatient and frustrated with the device development process, which can take months or even years. But diving into the deep end of the pool before you have a strategic plan can be a recipe for failure.
2) Fail to conduct market research
Taking time to evaluate similar products is usually not exciting. But it’s necessary to ensure that you aren’t trying to enter a saturated market with a product that closely mirrors an existing one. Failure to conduct research and testing can also lead to pricing errors, which can ultimately impact your profit margin.
3) Overspend on marketing activities
Sometimes a developer’s enthusiasm to promote their medical device can cause them to overspend on marketing activities before a device is even approved by the FDA. This tendency to put the cart before the horse can jeopardize the most critical phases of the product development cycle because there is no room in the budget for research and testing.
4) Hire too many people too soon
Another mistake some innovators make is to prematurely hire a large team of full-time employees. While this may ultimately become necessary if your device takes off, you could end up wasting money paying employees a full-time salary when they may only work a few hours per week in the early months of your startup launch.
What Should You Always Do in Medical Device Development?
Now that you know what not to do when developing a medical device, it’s time to move forward with a strategy that will prime your device for industry stardom. Here are five things you should do to put your medical device startup on the fast track to success.
1) Prepare a schedule
A product development schedule will help you remain on track with respect to your goals and budget. Key steps may include market research, securing FDA approval, final testing, and your hard launch date. Post your schedule in a highly visible location to help keep you focused on the current task at hand.
2) Attend industry trade shows
Industry trade shows offer an inside look at the latest advances and trends in the medical device world. By walking the floor of the exhibit hall at some of the largest shows, you can see who your key competitors are and how their products stack up against yours. You may also decide to secure a booth where you can offer product demos and secure feedback from attendees.
3) Develop a comprehensive training program
Your device is more apt to be well-received if your target audience feels comfortable using it. The best way to boost their comfort level is to invest in your training resources. You can begin by focusing your training efforts on the following three areas:
- Sales representatives: Make sure the sales professionals who promote your device know its features, benefits, and unique attributes.
- Tech support team: Your tech support team should be able to answer common questions and provide clear troubleshooting guidance.
- Your target audience: It’s never too early to develop a library of training manuals and videos that will help clinical staff use your product.
4) Build anticipation about your product
There are many cost-effective ways to generate buzz about your product as you approach your launch date. You can start by building anticipation on your website and social media sites. You can also celebrate product development milestones and share the details through email campaigns and newsletters.
5) Schedule a soft launch
A soft launch is an effective precursor to your actual product release date. In many cases, a soft launch involves unveiling your product to a limited number of users for the purpose of gathering feedback before your actual hard launch date. You can use this feedback to make last-minute tweaks to your product and sales strategy.
What Important Step Can You Take Today to Help Your Medical Device Development Succeed?
The single best step you can take to boost your chances of success is to seek the guidance of an experienced specialist in medical device development. With an industry expert helping you navigate the complicated waters of a product launch, you can move forward with confidence knowing you have left no stone unturned. Most important, you will receive professional advice that will help you save money and bring your medical device to market faster.
Contact C3 Medical Device Consulting to Put Your Medical Device Development on the Path to Success
The benefits of working with a trusted medical device development partner are too compelling to ignore. But not all consultants are created equal. Whether you are a startup founder or a VP of Engineering, it’s up to you to choose a partner with a proven track record of success.
For over 25 years, C3 Medical Device Consulting has helped device developers succeed in bringing their products to market. From mapping out a strategic plan to providing guidance with the FDA approval process, the C3 Medical team has the resources to transform your brilliant product idea into a reliable medical device that sells. We invite you to contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with our specialists. We look forward to helping your medical device startup achieve all your goals!