NEW PRODUCT/SERVICE DEVELOPMENT OR REDEVELOPMENT?
Small business owners cannot stand still. In today’s fiercely competitive marketplace it is imperative that both time and money is budgeted for research into new ideas and to identify new products, or to improve existing products/services to bring to market simply to stay in business.
Even a solopreneur or a business with a handful of employees has to have a process in place to continuously be on the lookout for new trends.
The process starts with being aware of what is happening in your specific industry. The internet has greatly reduced the time necessary to conduct research within your own industry. It also has made it easier to stay abreast of distruptive technologies (changes that will radically affect a broad range of consumers as well as products and services.)
This process starts with an idea that could originate from an owner, existing customers, or even the needs of a target market. When the idea becomes a serious consideration for possible change, the screening process begins. That requires a look at your business strategy as well as the cost to incorporate a new product/service or to make changes into an existing product/service. The key is always the bottom line, can this change be profitable?
I am a great believer in getting feedback prior to the actual development of a new product. Interviews with current customers, focus groups, online evaluating, etc. are ways of testing a new concept. This research will also help evaluate potential sales.
When the number crunching is complete and the results are positive, then it’s time to go into the development stage of the new or redeveloped product.
A marketing campaign requires work, but it also produces excitement. It revitalizes the business owner and provides an opportunity to reach out to your current customer base as well as your target market while introducing the newest and latest in your industry.
Introducing a new product is not a radical idea as over 250,000 new products are launched globally each year.
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology. Not the other way around.” Steve Jobs
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