December 28, 2009
If you are want to expand your product development skills, then here are my top seven tips that are quick and easy to implement. This will give you a ‘to do’ list that will help you quickly expand your business.
Whatever your topic, niche or passion sometimes learning from other market places can give you inspirational ideas. In fact if you will just walk around with your head up and your eyes wide open then you will see that opportunities are presenting themselves to you all the time.
These ideas will help stimulate some ideas for you:
# 1 Visit a local exhibition
Go to an organised show of any kind and take your camera. Shoot photos of exhibits that are attracting a crowd, and of the signs, booths and all types of exhibitors. Collect any handouts, marketing documents, price lists, future exhibition schedules, and anything else that pertains to working or exhibiting at trade shows.
Take a notebook and make general notes on your observations. Using the photos and material collected, begin a reference file of how to participate and create effective exhibits at trade shows.
#2 Go to your local car boot sale
Take your camera and wander round to find the niches that the various dealers have carved out for themselves. Look at what people are buying and take pictures of interesting exhibits. Speak to the sellers and get an insight into how passionate they are for their market.
Make a note of items that catch your eye: note how much they are being sold for, condition and any other key pieces of information. Then go back and search the items on eBay and see if they are being sold there and what for.
#3 Take a walk around your local large Maplins or PC World
Find the largest high tech retail store in your area, and spend a few hours there. Look closely at computer accessories, video cameras, and computer networking technology.
All of these technologies have a learning curve and they are things that you can develop “How To ” products around.
#4 Attend a Free Workshop
Find a one day training workshop on any subject that interests you. Attend and pay attention to how the workshop is organized.
Take photos of the stage, the registration desk, any signs, serving tables, product displays and collect copies of all the hand-outs and marketing materials used to promote and manage the event.
Keep a dossier of all that you collect, you may need this material at a later date as reference when you eventually produce your own training workshops.
#5 Go to your local Borders or WH Smith
Any place with an extensive magazine collection is ideal, and spend some time looking at the number of magazines that cover specific niches. Look for trends of increasing or decreasing magazine covering specific topics.
Find and buy magazines on subjects you know nothing about, but seem interesting to you. Read the magazines you buy, especially the letters to the editor and the ads. Look for opportunities to solve problems. Look for interesting technologies and topics that might be your future niche.
#6 Take lots of photographs
Go to your nearest big tourist destination and again take your camera. Pick up all the free brochures, flyers, maps, free newspapers, and other marketing material you can find for businesses and activities in the area.
File these for later use as reference material for product ideas and take photos of interesting businesses, signs, promotions, exhibits.
#7 Make A Video
Start with a topic that interests you and make a mini documentary about it. Have an objective for the documentary, then structure it so it has a beginning, middle and end. Shoot some video footage, import it, edit it, add titles and background music, and burn the results to a menu driven DVD.
Learn what tools you need to get the job completed, and get it done. Learning to produce interesting videos is a strong path to profitable product development.
Carrying out these tasks will give you a good grasp on where you can source inspiration for new products. Plus, you’ll have conducted some market research, discovered that there are people all over the planet who are interested in buying and learning a whole bunch of stuff .
But more importantly, you’ll have built a great resource of images, documents and material to help you get started.
Further, you’ll have also practiced your skills in product development by making a short movie.
Now all you need to do is chose a topic that is interesting to you, and has market potential, that can hold your interest for at least 12 months!
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