It is certainly an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. There is now a wealth of information made available through the internet and sites like Amazon are there to enable distribution. This has helped to lower the barriers to entry on starting your own business. However, before you go quitting your day job you still need something to get you started: an idea. Furthermore, you have to have an idea that you can sell. Fortunately, there are many tools out there to help you get started. By using these tools, you will come up with a product idea that is sure to fly off the shelves.
Market Research with AdWords
Google AdWords contains a very useful tool for both online and offline marketers – the keyword planner. Starting with a few industry related keywords, you can find hundreds more keyword ideas and discover what people want. Since Google is often the first place people start when searching for a product or service, this can be a good start whether or not you are planning to sell online. You should look for those search terms that show both high volume and low competition.
By using these keywords as sources of inspiration, you will be able to come up with a product idea that meets a need people have, but few can fill.
Take an Existing Product and Make it Better
As the old cliché reminds us, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Rather than spend hours coming up with something nobody has thought of before, why not look to existing products? There is no such thing as a perfect product, and there will always be a shortcoming you can fill. Look at customer reviews for products and find common flaws. Once you know the problems that people are having with the product, you can make a version that solves the problem.
Tied into this is identifying pain points. Sometimes the problem people are trying to solve is not entirely resolved by what is out on the market. Frequently, what is out there only gets you “close enough” to solving the problem.
Leverage Existing Skills and Experience
It is probably safe to say you have tried the 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job, and it did not agree with you. During that time, you developed skills and experience that are still very useful. Ask yourself: if you ran the company, what would you have done differently? Based on this knowledge, improve the existing processes and use your experience as a selling point. Who is better suited to solving a problem than one who has spent years studying it?
Look to your experience, and come up with a product that does better what your previous employer did.
Solve Your Own Problems
The product you come up with does not always have to be about others. If you are frustrated by something, it is safe to say others are frustrated as well. Find something in your daily life that is a constant irritation, something that you no longer wish to handle. Analyze that problem, and find a way to solve it or work around it. Refine this solution until you have something you can sell. Remember, it does not have to be perfect, it just has to be better than what is already out there.
Talk to People
At the end of the day, the best way to come up with a product idea is to talk people. Sit down with potential customers and find out what they want. You may be surprised at the answers, and from there you may get your next big idea. Your friends are a good place to start for ideas, but you do not have to limit yourself. Internet forums targeted for a particular industry are an excellent source of information.
Once you have spoken with people, you should have some ideas about ways to solve the problems they are having.
Coming up with that next big product is a challenge that few are equipped to meet. However, with perseverance and a little forethought, you can be one of those few. It will take time to come up with that next big idea, and do not be surprised if you have to throw out a hundred ideas before you find the one. With time and effort, the idea will come, and you will be able to move on to creating the prototype and then getting the finished version stocked in retail stores or listed with online retailers. Make sure you do not forget to buy UPCs for your product as well, which can be easily found on our main website!