If you built a better mouse trap, you didn't do it to have a large inventory sitting in a warehouse. You built it to be used and it won't be used if it isn't purchased. More importantly, it is going to take sales to keeps your doors open. Simply put, selling is every company's #1 priority.
I have talked to a lot of startups over the years. Many with great ideas that could improve lives. Unfortunately, I see too many young companies who put all of their focus on product development to the detriment of sales and cashflow.
Earlier this year, I met a business owner who told me he thought the hardest task he was going to face was getting his medical device approved by the FDA. The government had approved his product over a year prior to our conversation. At the time we spoke, he had zero sales.
I asked, "When did you start selling your device?"
His response was a statement of the reason for his problem, "After the FDA approval."
This is way too late. He needed to start building his sales funnel before he had a product.
So, when is the right time to start selling your product or service? I think the answer is after you have secured your IP and before you begin product development. After all, why would a company develop a product it can't sell?
Sell your concept early. Selling is your company's #1 priority.