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Get that Idea out of your Head and Into the Market

Share the Idea!

With each New Year, we usually take stock of what we have accomplished in the previous year and think about the upcoming year. On the personal side we often want to improve our health and on a business side, we want to improve our bottom line. The best way to make a step into more profits is to introduce new products. Most of us have ideas on new products, but many of those ideas get lost to other more mundane pursuits. Here are a few tips on how to get some energy behind those ideas.

1. Share the Idea

Conventional wisdom has us believe that the initial spark of innovation is in the idea and that we should keep it secret until it is ready for people to buy. The reality is almost completely opposite. It will take an effort to get an idea to the point that it is selling in the market and very few people are willing to put that energy into someone else’s idea. From the other perspective, you need to make sure that your potential customers think your idea is as great as you think it is. Every idea needs refinement to make it commercially viable and sharing it is the best way to start the process of refinement. As you share, you will find out who your market is and who is willing to help you bring the product to market.

2. Prototype the Idea

After you have established who wants to buy your idea, what they want to buy and how much they are willing to spend, then you should think about how to make it. Making the prototype product is usually the easy part of the process, if you go to the right places. There are experts out there that can help you with designing the product and producing prototypes of the product. The great thing about going to a business that specializes in product design is that they can add their expertise into the product. This will save time and money in the overall process. Ask questions during this process to see how each feature in the product affects both the development cost and the product cost. You will find “nice to have” features that you can cut to reduce the price dramatically. With the product prototype complete, you can now go back to your customer base and see if the prototype lives up to the initial concept.

3. Prepare for Product Launch

At this point you should know the following about your product

  • Why your customer is buying the product
  • The initial customer segment that you will target
  • The selling price and product costs with initial production quantities
  • What will it take to get the product to the market in terms of time and money

Now what is left is all the details to get the product into the hands of the customer. This is the time to work through these issues.

  • Production Design and Tooling
  • Intellectual Property protection – Patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.
  • Regulatory and certification
  • Marketing and Sales plan
  • Branding, packaging and labeling
  • Supply chain development
  • Strategic Partners

While this may seem overwhelming the process is straightforward and the rewards are substantial to those that diligently follow the steps. If you have an idea that you believe is a product that a customer segment can’t wait to start buying, start with step one and see what kind of response you generate. If you need guidance through this process or are ready to find a partner to provide design services you can contact us at Transcend Innovations at info@transcendinnovations.com or 385-240-1885. We provide a range of services to help businesses and individuals take product concepts to market.

Technology and Business save the world

Not the headline you typically see.  We usually hear that our technology is the source of all our problems.  Business is also the villain in most of the stories we hear today.  While it is true that we have a number of new problems that have come from our social experiments involving business and technology, they both have done marvelous good in the world while having their share of headaches.  More important than what they have achieved is what they can do to help us solve the problems we face today.

What are the problems plaguing the world today?  Poverty, Hunger, War, Climate Change, Water Shortage, Trump?  Whatever the problem is, the solution involves driving change, a change of habits, a change in perspective, a change of action.  Business and Technology have been successful in getting people to change.  The telephone got people talking who you couldn’t see.  The mobile phone made it so that you could talk to another person anywhere that they went. Now the smartphone has teenagers not talking to anyone.  While the changes may not be exactly what we wanted, the changes in technology have instigated the changes in our behaviors. It is through the business model that we have access to that new technology.

The thing about business is that it creates value. We decide to buy something because what we are buying is more valuable than the cash in our pocket. A business sells something for more than it costs to make it.  The difference between the cost to produce and the selling price is the value created by the business, we also call that profits.  A business is, selfishly, motivated to create more and more value by continuing to produce those products. Imagine if businesses decided not to keep creating value. No food in the grocery stores, no products on Amazon, no restaurants, etc.  The thing is, businesses are encouraged to keep on doing what they are doing, and that is a great thing.

The simple point is if we want to fix the problems we see in the world today, we need to start businesses that have solutions to those problems. Take water shortage as a problem.  Water shortage is something that hits us on multiple fronts as water is needed for a range of things.  As water gets more expensive we will become more concerned about how we can use less water.  We’ll be looking for devices that reduce the amount of water used or eliminate the need for water entirely.  Businesses that make those devices, and creatively sell them will be how this problem is solved. While it may seem odd to solve a problem by profiting off the solution it is the way that we ensure that the solutions continue to come.  Businesses that forget that they need to continue to provide value in new ways will be overcome by the upshot company that sees where the market is not working. Maybe not the perfect solution, but it does work.

If you have been wondering how you can make a difference with all the problem in the world, maybe you could consider starting a business to provide a solution. It takes tremendous courage to get started and it is not without risk. You don’t have to go it alone and usually, you will need help. What is great is that help is available to those that look for help. If you have an idea but no money, start searching for ways to finance your idea.  If you have money but don’t know where to start, look around and find a cause you can get passionate about. I started my company, Transcend Innovations, to help turn those ideas into profitable businesses to try and make this a better world.  We help to shape the idea into a product that will add value to the market.  There are so many problems looking for a solution, we just need people willing to take the leap and bring solutions to the world. Are you one of those people?

Payroll is due next week!

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of business owner like the cadence of payroll when contracts are scarce. This is the primary reason why businesses don’t grow, because of uncertainty around how revenue grows when the number of people in the company increase. This is also why salaries don’t increase, the risk and the money needed to cover payroll when times are tight is the primary decision point for every business owner. Everything that ties payroll to revenue matters and it constrains a business. Is there a way to break that constraint to free up cash flow and rely less on work product to generate cash?

The companies that have grown the fastest, have the most available cash and attract the best employees have been primarily software-based companies. This makes sense for many reasons. Software is an easy to replicate product, it is virtually unlimited in what it can do, and it has the capability of dramatically increasing productivity. With all these factors, it is really the productivity increase that really matters and for many services, it requires more than software to increase productivity.

Machines don’t need to rest, but they do need to think. We have mastered the ability to make machines that do all sorts of tasks, but they have been limited to how we can direct them. Cars increase our speed, but we still need to drive them. Harvesters pick vegetables, but we still sort them. We don’t trust the machines to do the initial or final steps in production and other complex tasks. This has limited our productivity and put us in jobs with more redundant tasks and lower margins.

There is a way out. It is to put a brain into the machine and have it perform tasks with less supervision. When your team can perform 2, 4, or 10 times as much work as they do now that affects your profit margins directly in the right direction. When you take your service offering and turn it into a product, that becomes a game changer for your business.

Transcend Innovations helps businesses turn their business problems into business solutions. Where can productivity issues be turned into productivity advantages? How can you leverage your great customer relationships to provide products that they are excited to see? Transcend can do the heavy lifting to identify the business case, develop the product, and capture the market. Leaving you with cash in the bank. No more worries about payroll.