Every business manager would love to generate new product ideas in other to increase customers and sales for the firm. This also support the growth of any business as its existence largely depends on meeting the ever changing customer needs. No wonder the big corporations like Microsoft, Apple or Samsung are spending millions of dollars towards new product research and development. However, small businesses cannot afford such heavy research expenses.
Then, how can a small business generate new product ideas? Here we outlined 5 ways you can develop new product ideas for your small business.
1. Cross Industry Idea Application
You could develop a new product by observation of trends and success in a different industry. For example SMS alerts have become a trend in the banking sector. The alert application sends text messages to customers as soon a debit or credit transaction occurred in one of their accounts. The alert help customers to be up to date with activities in their accounts.
If your firm can develop computer applications, this could be an opportunity to create an SMS alert service in another industry say utility. Consumers in utility industry would also love to receive an alerts as soon as their prepaid electricity credit ( e.g cash power in the Gambia) goes below certain kilowatt. This will be the reorder level to load their meter with more prepaid credit.
2. Old School Products to a New Product Ideas
Another great source of new product ideas is the transformation of old time successful product to a new branded product. You need to research about a successful but an old product and develop a new one from it. This could be within or across a different industry. For example let use fashion industry in the Senegambia region. Men used to wear certain type of long pants with a funnel leg type in the late 1970s. These pants came back in the early 2000 but used by ladies and they were called “Tep” in the Gambia.
3. Add New Features to an Existing Product
Take an existing product and make a new one that’s works much better and/or cheaper. Many smart phones, cars, software goes through this route of new product development. For example Samsung HD TV are brighter and saves energy compared Samsung Plasma TV. Think about it, IPhone 4, IPhone 6 or even IPhone 6 plus; these are all new product ideas that were developed from an existing product. They just added more good features than the previous models.
4. Talk to Your Customers and Friends
Customers or consumers are the number one reason why your firm develop new products.You can talk to customers or friends and ask them about the type of products they expect your firm to produce. Initial gathering of information from key user could lead to a successful laughing your new product.
5. Follow Current Affairs
News on TV, magazines, seminars, research reports etc. These houses and events are another key source of getting both business and new product ideas. For example, a media report may indicate that a particular region have issues with the transportation of their farm products from the farm to the market. This is an opportunity to start another line of business in transport.
Similarly, online forums and blog about startups are also sources of new product ideas. For example a Quora thread was able to identify the best new products or inventions that most people don’t know about.
We have discussed 5 sources of product ideas, please share with us your source of new product ideas.