Innovation is the key to business growth. There is a caveat however, make sure that your innovative idea has a chance to succeed.
Market research will answer several key questions: is your idea unique and is there a market (need) for your new service or product. The internet provides a ready research tool. You can find out if anyone else is marketing your product or service ( or a very similar one). If something appears, you can study their web page and even contact them with regard to their success in the market place. Most owners will brag about their business and divulge much useful information.
If nothing similar to your product or service can be found, then your next step is to test the market place and see if your product/service will be accepted. One method of doing that is to gather a dozen friends, business acquaintances and or your support team and conduct a “focus” group. Of course, confidentiality is requested of all participants, especially if your idea is not currently on the market place. Spend between and hour and an hour and a half to go over your idea, emphasizing its benefits, the cost, and your marketing concepts.
I am in favor of giving each of your participants a note pad to take notes and write down questions. After your presentation is complete ask each participant to share their thoughts as to the viability of the idea and what they anticipate the reception would be to the target market.
This step is often overlooked by small businesses. It is something that you should do on a periodic basis with your existing business and certainly should be done before a new business venture is started. If you feel uncomfortable asking people to attend a focus group, ask your mentor and dream team to help you set one up.
Before you spend time and money on your idea do your home work.
Remember, It’s hard to stay on track without rails!
Have a great day!