Product and service ideas ideally morph into profitable business ideas. Creating great new business ideas is not a very difficult task to overcome, but what if you do not have a creative bone in your body? The next time you are struggling to come up with a new idea, try the following:
1.) Shopping: Next time you go shopping, examine some of the products in the shop and ask yourself the following questions.
- How can this product/service be improved?
- What products/services are missing from the range?
- Can this product/service be produced at a cheaper cost?
- Could the packaging be improved?
- Could the product/service be aimed at a different market?
- Can the product/service be delivered more promptly?
2.) Media: While watching TV or reading magazines, think about the products being advertised. Ask yourself whether they could be improved or promoted in a different way.
3.) Household Duties: Think about opportunities while performing menial household duties, gardening, cooking, ironing, washing up, painting, looking after the children or sweeping. Is there a quicker, safer, easier, cheaper, more pleasant or less boring way of doing it? Could you design a new labour-saving device?
4.) Watching Children: Visit a nursery and watch how children play and interact; you will be surprised how unique their way of thinking is and how they seem to make many things so simplistic.
5.) Holidays: Going on a holiday you always seem to bump into new and exciting products/services that you won’t really find in your day-to-day living.
6.) Sports and Hobbies: If you have a hobby or play a sport, look out for products or services that are missing or could be improved.
7.) Foreign Products: Overseas products not yet available in South Africa can often be adapted for our market.
8.) Copy Others: If you decide to copy another business, you should try to improve upon it, so that your ideas become unique and distinctive, giving you the competitive advantage over the original business. Don’t be so blatant as to copy the website narrative, marketing messages, advertising, etc. of that original business. That is nothing more than unimaginative plagiarism and thievery, and you should probably stick to your day job if this is the dishonest way you want to conduct business.
9.) Revive or Modify an Old Product/Service: Look at old catalogues and magazines from way back. You may discover ideas ready for a major comeback in their original form or in a modified version.
10.) Visit Trade Shows: Besides being a good source of business ideas, trade shows provide you with an opportunity to talk with exhibitors about the market, new ideas, technology, product features and even doing business together.
11.) Talking to People: Ask friends and family whether they have thought of ideas for a new product or service. Are there any existing products or services which they feel are poor or inadequate.
12.) Examine Import and Export Statistics: Global trends can be evaluated by what products are leaving and arriving in a country.