If your sales force is still stellar but customers are dwindling and new competitors keep cropping up, it's a sure sign you need to bring something new to the table. Follow these steps to introduce new products and/or services, and turn your interesting ideas into a better bottom line:
- Generate new concepts.
- Protect what you develop.
- Promote it for maximum profit.
Turn good into betterGoing a few steps beyond expectations is a sure way to please buyers. Reinvent existing products by listening to your customers. What tweaks to your current offerings do they suggest? Tune in to employees, too. The best ideas often come from front-line personnel.
Small Business Development Center for targeted guidance.
Invent the next wheelConsider using elements of existing products to create something totally different, or try to forecast your industry's future.
Protect your ideasIf you don't officially call it your own, you can't profit from it.
Franklin Pierce Law Center or FreeAdvice. Determine what type of patent you need, then apply for a patent. Ensure your efforts are legal by choosing a specialized lawyer in your area through AttorneyPages.com.
Make marketing a priorityCustomers won't have a clue if you don't fill them in. Tell them how your new product works and why they can't live without it.
- Take what's not working off the menu to make room - and time - for something new.
- Don't dismiss any idea too quickly. What seems quirky at first (a laptop computer? a fuel alternative?) can become a must-have overnight.
- Stay away from prototype or invention development companies, which tend to be rip-offs, and stick with established product development firms.
- Choose development companies that state their fees up-front.
- Investigate new distribution methods if your product is radically different from your old offerings.