A surfer from the Eastern Cape took his son to the beach. While they were there, his son was stung by a bluebottle or Portuguese man o war. The surfer began investigating what could work to relieve his skin because vinegar certainly didn’t. He discovered that papaya or pawpaw has a substance that works to relieve bluebottle stings. He developed this idea and now has a product that relieves a range of stings.
A man in the US was watering his Christmas tree when the water spilt onto the floor. He thought about the mess that he had made and wondered if others who also water their Christmas trees to keep them fresh and prevent the pine needles falling off had a similar problem. He asked around and started working on an idea for a device that dispenses water into the bowl where the Christmas tree is held fast. He patented his idea and has subsequently been successful in selling his product.
A young and successful fashion model was told by her father to try start a business for itself. She started selling personal care products and subsequently garments from a local factory in Shrilanka. One day while selling her garments from the boot of her blue station wagon, she came up with ideas to develop a fashion range. Today she has one of the most successful fashion houses in the country and the company is listed on the Srilanka stock exchange.
What do all these ideas have in common? Well, the one thing is that they were all developed to satisfy a need or demand in the market. If we look at the sting remedy, we see that it has wide use. This is important because if the sting remedy only worked for bluebottles, it would have a limited market. But it works on a range of stings from insects to bluebottles. This means that the sting-relief gel can be sold throughout the year and is not limited to the summer season which brings the warm Benguela current that contains the bluebottles.
I wouldn’t be so keen on the water dispenser device for Christmas trees because of the seasonality involved. However, if this entrepreneur could find other uses for his water-dispensing device, he could even sell throughout the year. He needs to find other plant watering applications which would give him revenues throughout the year.
The young woman who started the fashion house was onto something because clothes are needed throughout the year. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, people want fashionable clothes. A fashion house can come up with an autumn, winter, summer and spring range. It does mean of course that although turnover is spread out throughout the year, you need to come up with new garments every four months. But this is the nature of the fashion industry and it actually turns out to be one of these exciting facets of the fashion industry.
If you have a promising idea for a new product or service, remember to think about the seasonality of your product or service. Is it in demand throughout the year or for one of the seasons? How can you ensure that your product or service can be used at other times of the year? If you can’t spread out turnover throughout the year, what alternative plans can you make? For advice and information on how to turn your new idea into a viable product or service, why not take a look at the “Books” section on this website for a new resource that will help you.