Start-up toy companies keep the toy industry fresh. It’s one of the best things to see, watching a start-up toy company grow from humble beginnings to a fully-fledged established toy company. Of course, there’s a lot more start-up companies that fall by the wayside than become successful.
Starting a toy company is hard. But a checklist can help you narrow it down. The key steps include:
#1 Research Well
So, you want to get into the toy business. What do you need to research? Well, everything! A thorough research phase is vital. You could argue that many innovators just came up with something new or cool, or reworked an existing idea. But you can’t count on success with that approach. It’sfar important to know the retail market place, trends, and how kids are spending their time than you can imagine.
#2 Get their feedback
One fact is that the vast majority of new products are not well-informed about the toy business. They either don’t understand their target audience or they lack retail experience.Toy industry outsiders are releasing new products with flaws that could easily have been avoided if they had spoken to the right people before developing their product. Successful toy people are good at getting criticism and product ideas before capitalizing their money in a toy.
#3 Innovative approach or something unique
You could have true originality or you could tweak the formula. If you’re trying to invent something nobody’s ever seen before, the chances are it probably won’t be commercially successful.
Creativity is important for the success of a company. There are certain content and formulae that could make a new concept successful. The old saying goes, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Creative ideas are great, but there is a world of established formulae that will also work.
If you’re planning on making a toy, it’s best to make it fun. Good new concepts enhance the fun factor. Here’s an example: toys that do something beneficial or clever, but kids don’t find them fun unless it is art and craft for kids. For children, simpler needs are more important than adults. You need an in-built marketing concept. The most successful concepts often have an marketing strategy on top of word of mouth approach.
# 4 Focus on sales
If you’re new to the toy business, it can be really confusing. Manufacturing and safety standards seem like a lot of work, but they don’t matter if you don’t ever sell anything.The sales process is absolutely necessary, and while it’s important to do enough work when you’re developing a product, the reality is that many companies don’t do any manufacturing until they’ve already sold the product.
Toy companies often have to sell based on a prototype or mock-up. Selling is 1% inspiration and 99% grind, which takes a lot of work. Toy companies are not successful overnight but need to put in a lot of effort over long periods.
You can’t succeed without excellent customer service. It’s just not possible! Even if you contract with a distributor, you still need to recruit them with your product. They need to see it before they order. And they see hundreds of products.
Sorry to disappoint those who think it would take a few months or even a year to establish a toy company. But realistically, the minimum time required for success in one market is three years. Even then, you need money and because it’s an industry insider with experience. If you don’t have any experience, how could it be any quicker?
#5 Take good care of existing customers
In the toy industry there’s no quick and quick out. It means if you are thinking to start a toy business, make a few thousands and be out of it, you are mistaken! You will have to keep selling to the same customers every year for your success to be tied to theirs.
When starting a new toy company, there are many factors which must be considered. But the most important factor is the one that some may find surprising: push sales. When your company doesn’t have any sales, nothing much happens. It’s up to you to find someone to convince to buy from you.