Prototyping your idea is a crucial step before you move on to development, one that many entrepreneurs seem to forget. Yes, prototyping will eat up a chunk of your startup’s time and budget, but consider the alternative. If you go straight into development without a prototype, you might be heading into an unclear and unnecessarily expensive road.
With that in mind, the first step now is to find the right prototyping company to work with. Selecting the prototyping service can mean the difference between success and failure. Hence, here are the most important factors that you need to look for when finding the right prototyping company:
Familiarity with your industry
The first factor that you should look for in a prototyping company is familiarity with your industry. For instance, if you are developing circuit boards, you should look for a company that is well-versed in creating custom PCB board designs. They need to be highly knowledgeable of the ins and outs of your industry, including the language, the common practices, as well as the process of what you’re trying to create.
A respectable portfolio
When considering a prototyping company, ask for their portfolio. Looking through their past work will make it easier for you to determine if they are up for the job.
Consistency in communication
Prototyping is a complicated process in which there needs to be constant and clear communication all throughout. It is best to choose a prototyping company that can assign only one person of contact. Coordinating with one person is definitely easier and more efficient than talking to multiple, and the latter option is also prone to miscommunication that can cause unnecessary delays.
An ideal prototyping company has all the capabilities necessary to complete the prototyping process on their own. By choosing a company that has end-to-end capabilities, you can receive the finished product within a reasonable time; something that is more difficult to achieve when working with multiple prototyping companies.
Moreover, having only one company to deal with makes coordination easier and less prone to mistakes, which tends to happen when there are many variables in the process. And for a startup, working with a single prototyping company can help save much-needed capital.
Most startups have limited budgets. If this is also the case for your company, factor in affordability when looking for a prototyping service. Choose a company that fits your budget but can still deliver the quality that you need, and in a timely manner.
However, it’s better if you don’t bootstrap your budget when it comes to something critical like prototyping your future product. If you can’t afford a quality service now, generate more funds until you do, you may waste precious capital if you get a low-quality service with what you can afford now.
Modern prototyping technology
The use of newer prototyping technology allows for higher quality results, increased functionality of materials, higher complexity of designs, and many more benefits. That said, it will be highly beneficial for your startup to choose a prototyping company that embraces modern technology. Even if your initial design is not that complex and does not require intricate techniques, a company that uses modern prototyping technology can help improve your product–and even help you gain more valuable insight for your current design.
Check out the company’s website and read the reviews that they have there. But don’t just stop there; dig deeper. You can also try asking the company’s former and current clients for an honest opinion about the service they’re getting. Reviews from other people will help you gauge if the company is right for what your startup needs.
Choosing the best prototyping company for your startup’s needs is the crucial first step in developing any type of product. With these tips, it will be easier to find the right company that fits your budget, your needs, and your preferences.