How do small businesses find new product ideas?

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Supplier ideas are often gold to small businesses (Photo credit: GoldMoneyNews)

Small businesses depend on new ideas for their survival and growth but where do they find their inspiration for new market offerings?

What’s the one thing that small business owners require for survival and growth?

A constant flow of customers who are attracted to their businesses to buy products and services that are necessities for their homes or businesses or market offerings that they need, want or desire.

Customers want the latest products and services, those that will make their lives easier, those that will bring them benefits.

How do business owners keep serving their customers with new products and services especially as the sales of more mature slow down and gather dust?

For many small businesses, especially retailers, suppliers are one of their main sources of innovation, offering them new products and services.

Yet for some service and small manufacturing businesses coming up with their own new product ideas is crucial to their long-term viability and success.

Small business owners tend to get their ideas for new products and services through inspiration and spontaneous thoughts, close observation of customer problems and needs, weaknesses in existing products, competitors, newspapers, magazines and the Internet. Fewer than expected attend trade shows and conduct marketing research.

Why is that? Some say they don’t have the time. Others don’t have the training or a process of idea-generation to follow. They don’t know how to assess what will sell. Small business owners also say they find it hard to be creative.

When you think that in some cases up to 20% of annual profits come from new products, you realise why small business owners who don’t innovate face the risk of going to the wall. This recession is squeezing a lot of them out.

Small businesses who succeed stay alert to changes in the marketplace, receptive to new ideas and have some process in place, whether formal or informal, to come up with new product and service ideas, test them and offer them to customers.

Stay inspired

Chesney Bradshaw

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