Develop New Products and Services

It's important to develop new products, processes and services to stay competitive.

Businesses which do not continually evolve stagnate and struggle, possibly eventually failing. Think of Kodak and the digital camera fail or Blockbuster's decision not to buy Netflix. As a company you need to be continually open to the changing needs of your customers and evolution of your sector.

Developing new products and services will help you sell more to existing customers and attract new customers. It's important to do the right research before you start developing a product, you don't want to spend time, money and resources on developing something your customers aren't interested in. So talk to your existing and potential customers, find out what their problems or sticking points are and think about whether you have a solution.

If you're developing a product a prototype will help you take the next step, Chimney Sweep used the prototype from BEC Fab Lab as part of their development. Test the prototype out with customers, ask them what they think of it and how much they'd be willing to pay for it. This will give you the information you need to decide if developing the product is financially viable.
Throughout the development phase think about whether what you're offering brings something new and better to the market. Make sure you're not solving a problem that doesn't really exist for your customers.

If you develop a new product consider whether you need to protect it via trademark, copyright or intellectual property protection.

You may not need to develop something new yourself, perhaps there's a product available in another country which could add to your portfolio? There's help available if you wish to import.

If you're in a service industry think about new services in the same way a manufaturer would think about new products, look for your customers problems and think about solutions. Amazon are very successful at this and were the first to offer readily accessible cloud services for example.

Harnessing the innovative potential locked in your business and learning how to innovate through new creative skills, know how and use of design is one way to innovate.

Whether you're tackling a declining market, need to address ageing products or services or are looking to grow by entering new markets, follow the links below to help you.

Where to Start

The Process

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