Once you have selected your idea, or shortlisted your choices it is time to do some deeper research into it in order to decide how viable it is.
There are three main ways of doing research:
- Primary/Field: where you collect and analyse new data yourself, it is likely to be more current and thus relevant to your business and it is usually collected by engaging with people in the form of focus groups, questionnaires and observations.
- Secondary/Desk: where data has been previously collected, analysed and conclusions have been drawn. This type of research is publically available from sources such associations, Office for National Statistic, trade bodies and statistics found in industry reports.
- Social Media: with the current development of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitterâ€‹and Instagram social media is rapidly changing the way we collect and analyse information. Social media allows us to collect both primary and secondary research. For example creating a poll, engaging in conversation and listening to views on Facebook and Twitter is seen as primary method of research, whereas using the search functions and Google Analytics on all three of the above platforms will help you to gather the secondary research already available.
Even if the product/service is new and hasn’t been offered before it is important to put it through testing to establish whether there is a demand for it, or understand how it can be adjusted to become appealing to the customer.
Developing a Product
A product business is a physical asset that is sold to customers based on their needs, such an iPhone smartphone or a can of Coke.
When you are developing your new product idea spend time on getting the design, functionality and
prototyping right, so that it becomes easier to collect feedback and fewer adjustments to make.
Developing a Service
A service business is valuable work sold to customers, that provides them with a benefit and cannot always be seen as it is not tangible, such as a buying advertising space on a social media website such Facebook or a buying gym membership.
Developing a service business has become increasingly popular with the recent trend of consumers looking for convenience and time savings solutions.
It can be harder to market, as there is no tangible product which proves its worth and some service businesses can be easily replicated.
Think for example of your local high street and the amount of hair salons or take away shops there are, if they provide the same or similar service why do you choose to go one over the other?
Service businesses have to identify what they do in a really unique way that can add to the customer experience and encourage customers to come back and recommend your business, this is how service businesses use word of mouth as the main method of marketing.
This is why it is even more important to differentiate your service in order to win customers.
When developing your business think about what you can provide that similar businesses to yours don’t.
For Bank of Scotland was the first bank to develop an online banking service to encourage their customers to bank with them.
Even product based businesses have to compete on a service level in order to differentiate themselves; Apple introduced a Genius bar in its stores that allows customers to book appointments easily from their laptops and smart devices in order to have enquiries solved quickly and seamlessly in store.