Do you have what it takes to introduce a new product or service?

You’ve got to know your market.

A small business owner takes her life savings and invests them in her new business venture. Her recruitment business was aimed at a market segment that suddenly dried up because of government legislation. She redirected her business to another market segment and after five years is running a successful business.

A person running a small venture on the side is doing well in a fitness niche but the bulk supply of product closes down. The business person can’t find another supplier with the same prices and so is unable to find a viable cost structure. He’s been trying for two years to figure out a new business model.

What does it take to develop a new product or service and then form and run a business venture to manufacture, market, sell and distribute these products? Continue reading “Do you have what it takes to introduce a new product or service?”

Must-have idea evaluation tool locked away safely in vault

softwareboxrightHow do you know if your new business idea is viable and has value to you and your prospective customers?

Entrepreneurs come to me with their business ideas which they think are brilliant and it seems that they want confirmation or assurance that their idea will fly in the marketplace. Unfortunately, this is what I can’t do. I am not able to evaluate the merits of a new business idea off the cuff.

A new business idea has to jump through a number of hoops before one can safely say that it is viable and that it will be profitable. Even in instances where the idea looks promising, there is no guarantee that it will be. No one can predict whether a business idea will succeed because the marketplace is just too dynamic and ever-changing. Continue reading “Must-have idea evaluation tool locked away safely in vault”

New sound ideas for your car stacking up to replace old technologies

A cassete tape icon
Remember cassette tapes? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other evening I came across a cassette tape included in a literary magazine on the shelf at a city book store. The cassette tape and magazine had a nostalgic, retro feel to it. Who still has cassette players to listen to a tape like this I thought?

Cassette tape players have vanished from car sound systems. I probably have one of the only cars left with a working cassette player – only because I’ve had my car for nearly 10 years, trying to avoid a capital purchase in this economy and not take on five years of new debt.

I know only one person who still uses an old tape recorder and that’s a vetran business journalist. He records all his telephone and face-to-face interviews on his tape recorder. The only problem is that he battles to find blank cassette tapes these days. He has to reuse the old ones he’s got.

Now car manufacturers are talking about removing the compact disc player from their cars. CD players are being replaced with thumb drives, iPods and could also make way for streaming technologies. Cadillac, the Tesla Model S and the Smart Car have already ditched the CD slot. CD slots are also moving away from the dash to the centre console level. Studies show a drop off in CD listening while driving.

I heard an Internet marketer talking the other day about the opportunities in the new Ford for marketing and content programming. Audio content can be downloaded direct from the Ford site and played in the car. When you are talking about 2 million cars, the listening audience is bigger than most radio stations.

In a way that’s happening right now. With radio stations getting their content and audience wrong for the most part, it makes sense to download and play your own selection in your car.

I will never here musicians like John Mayall, Johnny Winter, John Fogerty or old stuff like Osibisa or really good music like Robert Johnson on any radio station, ever. That’s why I play my music in my car through my BlackBerry (another piece of technology set to go the way of the Palm because of its abysmal lack of features and performance). Podcasts from free downloads keep me far happier than the “chewing gum” of the mind content from radio hacks.

If so much technology change is happening just on the dashboard of your car, think what other changes are occurring around you where there could be opportunities for you.

If you need a tool to tell if your new business idea has legs, fill in your details below. Do it immediately before it is gone. It’s free. But to avoid disappointment, I urge you to act immediately. Hurry! This is a first-come-first served offer.

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Use this must-have tool to put your new business idea to a 12-step test

softwareboxrightInnovation isn’t something that can be reduced to a formula, turned into a formal structured process or be simplified into fixed rules. Nor can you just copy or imitate the methods of another business and expect fixed results.

Ideas can turn up in the shower, while walking or driving your car. You can also come up with ideas by listening to customer complaints, observing product users and spotting problems with existing products and even identifying the gaps between products already on the market.

Some people have found new business ideas in the work they do, their professional experience and working methods and systems of customers, suppliers and other business people. Continue reading “Use this must-have tool to put your new business idea to a 12-step test”