The following are some of my key methods to help small business owners generate and test new business ideas:
1. Surveys – these are very useful in gathering data quickly and easily. It does not cost a lot of money to create and administer a survey and it can be very useful in determining what your target audience wants or thinks. We all have BIG business ideas that we think are the next “big thing”, only to realize AFTER spending money that it wasn’t such a great idea after all. Conduct a survey of your idea first. If you don’t have the big budgets to spend thousands of dollars on market research as the large firms, this is a great alternative.
2. Focus groups – these are groups of random individuals who provide you with information on your idea or product in a structured format. In this instance, a moderator asks questions and lead people through open discussions. This is not just a question and answer session. In most cases, the comments generate such new ideas that the product or service becomes enhanced because of the focus group.
3. Brainstorming – similar to focus groups, brainstorming sessions are a method for obtaining new ideas as well. The belief that people feed off of other people while participating in an organized environment is the concept behind this method. Brainstorming can be very effective and fun. Especially when the people involved are focused on the target market and have a working knowledge of the intent of the product or service.
Small business owners who are searching for new ideas to bring to the marketplace are not limited by these three methods presented. There are so many “creative ideas” that are available for your use to help you determine your next innovative business idea to generate more revenue.