Whether you work in your own small business, or whether you’re working for somebody else, you will probably be required to develop concepts or products. For example, you might have to develop an advertising/marketing campaign, staff development program, a media or IT plan, or organise an event or exhibit.
So what might you do? A good first step is to research existing information and there are various methodologies you can use. For instance, you could identify gaps in the current range of products, programs, processes or services that inform the new concept. You might be thinking about the prospects of future commercialization of your product or concept. You will assess what others in the marketplace are doing and identify some major factors likely to impact on your idea or concept.
Ideas are designed to improve your product or service and increase the value to your customers.
Concept development is almost always a collaborative process. It is likely you will need to liaise with, and seek input and feedback from others throughout the process; reaching agreement on aspects so that you ensure you meet the requirements of the market. Your concepts and ideas may need to be experimented with, challenged and tested. Social, ethical and environmental factors will also play a part.
I was speaking with a member of our academic board, Mark Darling and he told me:
The most important word in small business is improvise
Businesses are faced with issues on a daily basis and each new issue, each new challenge, provides astute and persistant business owners with an opportunity to create a better product, strengthen their business and give customers another reason to be your customer.
Originate and develop concepts to fruition. Learn how to:
- Become familiar with various creative thinking techniques whilst also being mindful of practical considerations.
- Express innovation and difference.
- Develop the most appropriate format for presenting proposed concepts and take them to operational level.
- Take your concepts to the point where they can be developed into detailed implementation specifications which can then be presented to various parties for approval, funding or endorsement.
- Develop concepts in a way befitting senior management.