As a small business owner or home inventor, you will need as many resources and as much insight as possible to successfully launch your product and drive the growth of your new business. With all new ventures, support, motivation, and inspiration are huge factors that can positively influence the trajectory of your small business journey.
If you’re a first-time inventor or have recently established a new startup and are looking for guidance, we’ve compiled a few of the best small business tips our CEO and Founder, Kevin Mako, has to offer.
MAKO’s History as a Startup Business
A lot of people might know about the services MAKO Design + Invent offers and our successes as a product development firm, but some may not be aware of our history as a startup. Like many successful companies, MAKO was founded by our President and CEO, Kevin Mako, while he was still completing his academic studies in 1999.
After noticing a gap in the product development space, Kevin became determined to establish a company specifically geared toward startup businesses and home inventors. Committed to turning his idea into a globally successful company, Kevin dedicated his whole career to making MAKO a successful and thriving business. Although he was frequently told that his idea was crazy and that he would fail, Kevin was persistent with his goals and pushed on. He had a clear vision in mind: a comprehensive firm that produced world-class and high-quality designs for startups and home inventors looking to establish themselves in the consumer product field.
Kevin firmly believed there was a massive market for startups and home inventors and that large-scale design corporations working with this demographic were not tailoring their services to their individual needs. Thus, Kevin built MAKO Design + Invent from the ground up with no loans or external financial support, following a strict structure for the company vision that he so clearly saw. His efforts have resulted in a highly successful, multinational product development firm that has enabled thousands of clients to turn their invention ideas into tangible, optimally functional, and meticulously polished consumer products.
Kevin’s Top 4 Small Business Tips:
As Kevin has spent his entire career building MAKO Design + Invent and working on consumer product development, he’s accumulated an abundance of knowledge and experience about the product development industry, entrepreneurship, and business development. Here are some of his best small business tips on how to succeed in launching your venture and continuously promoting its growth.
Tip #1: Keep Thing Simple
His first small business tip, especially for those who plan on establishing a business within the product development realm, is to keep things simple. Keeping things simple will not only give you a clear path to follow but will additionally make production planning and the manufacturing of your final product easier. For example, Kevin employs this concept by following a popular philosophy at MAKO Design + Invent, known as the MVP, or Minimal Viable Product.
Rather than waiting until your product design has gone through multiple rounds of prototyping, testing, and iterations to introduce your invention to the market, you can create an MVP. Essentially, an MVP only includes the requisite features to allure consumers and validate that there is a demand for your product. The consideration of further requisite complexities can come later in the process.
This method will save you time and money by allowing you to collect early customer feedback that could highlight areas requiring improvement or pinpoint a missing feature you hadn’t previously considered.
Kevin frequently serves as a lecturer for various classes at Ryerson University on product commercialization and engineering.
Tip #2: Never Stop Hustling
The next small business tip that Kevin shares is to keep up the hustle. Staying motivated and persistent is not only what is going to ensure you keep pushing your business forward but will also increase your chances of success by allowing you to capitalize on all opportunities that present themselves.
Especially in today’s competitive landscape, commitment to hustling is critical to standing out and remaining at the forefront of innovation in your respective field.
Tip #3: Don’t Procrastinate
Another key small business tip Kevin frequently emphasizes is to never procrastinate. Keep any momentum you have going and make sure to immediately troubleshoot any problem that arises as soon as possible. Otherwise, too much can pile up at once, making it hard for your small business to meet its goals and expand.
This can be a nasty habit to kick, but it makes all the difference, especially when it comes to new product development. You may have a fantastic invention idea, but if you wait until somebody thinks of something similar and takes the plunge of acting on their vision first, you could lose your opportunity!
Tip #4: Lifelong Learning
No matter what stage you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey, it is important that you never consider yourself too far ahead or educated to continue learning. Even the top experts who have amassed decades of experience in a particular field ensure to continue learning and exploring new processes, technologies or theories that emerge.
Especially given the heightened information accessibility that mass digitalization has provided, keeping up to date on trends and developments is essential and easy to do.
Want to learn more about realizing an invention idea and growing a startup business from Kevin Mako? Check out his podcast for more small business tips and deep dives into the intricacies of product ideation, design, development, marketing, and more! The Product Startup Podcast is the hardware product development industry’s #1 podcast and now has over 200 episodes posted.
If you have a great new invention idea and you’d like to learn more about the product development process from seasoned specialists at our firm, get in touch with MAKO here. Or feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MAKO, and we can set you up with our product analyst!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!