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Four Steps to Generate Groundbreaking Ideas to Grow Your Business

Four Steps to Generate Groundbreaking Ideas to Grow Your Business

The tasty Pop-Tart® breakfast treat was introduced to the world in 1964 initiating a new-to-the-world market space. Kellogg's continues to expand the brand line by delivering novel flavors like hot fudge sundae on a regular basis.

Decades of out-of-the-box thinking like this takes discipline, creativity, and calculated risk. As we head into March, I challenge you to brainstorm and pursue new product or service lines.

“Every small business owner should add creating new lines of revenue to their annual business goals or risk being stagnant in the marketplace.” - Cathy Lindemann

Follow these four steps to generate groundbreaking ideas.

  1. Hold a brainstorm session. Follow the guidelines for brainstorming and leave no ideas behind. Start by listing unmet customer needs and consider whether any of the following suggestions would result in a novel solution you are uniquely positioned to bring to market.
    • Innovative product lines with new colors, scents, textures, or flavors
    • Adaptive applications for existing products using them in innovative ways
    • A service closely associated with current offerings but distinctly different

Slim your list to the top 10-15 products or services that fall in your business parameters but would be new to your customers and attractive to a new customer base.

2. Chart out the pros, cons, and unknowns for the highest scoring possibilities. As you consider what it will take to produce, manufacture, market, and sell another product or service, develop detailed lists of the benefits, the obstacles, and the unanswered questions. Gather input from various departments including finance, marketing, manufacturing, production, and shipping in order to be well-informed. During this process some of your ideas may be deemed undoable and that’s ok. Move forward with the top three remaining ideas and store the other ideas for the

3. Pitch each idea to a business coach, mentor, or friend. Be thoughtful about who you approach for feedback and seek those who will be honest, supportive, and challenging in a positive way. Be clear you are looking for input to select which new-to- the- market product or service you’ll be persuing. Design a presentation deck and include:

    • Business objectives
    • Business strategy
    • Unmet customer needs
    • Your new product or service
    • Benefits
    • Marketing ideas
    • Identified problems and proposed solutions
    • A list of unknowns

4. Test the concept. Don’t move forward until first testing the idea with your customer base. Social media is a great place to collect data through surveys, contests, and trial offers. Insight from customers will either confirm your decision to move forward or provide valid reasons to go back to step 2 and select one of the ideas you put on ice to try instead. This is also a good time to consult a small business coach like one of these from the WISe Wellness Guild.

This month, take a step in a new direction by identifying and testing at least one new product or service line. Build your existing customer loyalty and bring in new customers to grow your business this year.

Book a one-hour business coaching session with Cathy here.

Cathy Lindemann is the WISe Business Coach in Residence, President of Evolution Creative Solutions, on the Steering Committee for WBENC Ohio River Valley, & Founding Member of WISe Wellness Guild. Cathy specializes in helping small businesses become "unstuck" for immediate growth and supporting strategic growth through WISe partnerships. Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn.

Header photo by Alena Koval on Pexels

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