If you want to come up with new ideas for products or services, or train your brain to scan for business opportunities, you need to ask the right questions – and give yourself the space and time to answer them.
Here are eight ‘areas’ for you that’ll generate new product and service related ideas.
- Neglected niches
In any industry, there’ll be several niches that, for some reason, have been unattractive to bigger players or perhaps aren’t served at all. How can you serve these customers at a profit? What product or service do they need?
- Baby boomer profits
It’s widely known that the so-called baby boomer generation is the largest in history. What can you sell them?
Change brings opportunity. Changes in demographics are noticeable years before they become market reality. What changes do you notice? How can you profit from these?
- Policy changes
A change in government policy can create a new market. Look for new opportunities by watching and deciphering the news. Ask yourself: how would this government decision help me make money?
- A new approach
Can you deliver the same product/service but in a different way that’s more convenient and saves time?
- Look at the calendar
What are the significant holidays through the year? Can you capitalise on them with a special offer? Can you come up with a special limited edition of your product, tied to the holiday?
- Crisis-driven affordability
Have you looked at some product but didn’t buy it because of its price? There are millions of people like you in every conceivable industry. Is there a way to come up with a product/ service at an affordable price now that buyers are feeling the pressure of tight budgets?
However, don’t go down the ‘price-sensitive mass market’ route. It’s impossible to win this game. Create a mid-market product instead.
- Look for problems and needs
There’s a plethora of information available to us today. Use it to find out what your customers need and what problems they’re struggling with.
- Learn from the mistakes of others
Study product flops. More often than not, there were clever, professional people behind the product launch. They worked diligently. They looked at different scenarios, the market and customers. Where did it go wrong? Was it distribution, the way the product/ service was positioned, pricing or the angle of the promotion effort? Can you improve on that?
- And finally…
Remember that this is a time of opportunity. Uncertainty – such as over the terms of Brexit – along with changes prompted by technological innovation, along with social and demographic changes presents openings for new products and services and, in turn, the chance to make bigger profits. Don’t miss out on the opportunities. Make use of them. Just developing one new product or service could change your business forever.
- Did I just say ‘And finally…’?
When you find your new product or service, don’t forget that you’ll need to devote some budget to promoting it – including using PR techniques to tell the truth as you want it told to your potential customers.