As you look forward and prepare for future business growth, it’s important to always be looking for new ways you can serve your customers. When you develop new products, services, or bundles, you’ll not only stimulate business growth, but you’ll add new value for your customers and help your company continue to be profitable over time. If you aren’t innovating and developing new ideas, your company will become stale, and customers will lose interest. Not only will you not grow, but you’ll also lose what you already have.
The Importance of New Development for Business Growth
New development is important to business growth for a number of reasons. First of all, customers get bored with the “same old, same old”. With the number of choices that consumers have available, their attention span is shrinking dramatically. The average attention span of an internet user is only eight seconds – shorter than the attention span of a goldfish!
Secondly, every product or service has a lifecycle. Nothing stays relevant or valuable forever. As an offering reaches the maturity stage of its lifespan, it’s a good candidate for a bundled offer. By having continuous innovation and new development, you’ll always have fresh products or services ready to take the place of those that are tailing off.
Finally, the business environment is always changing. Whether it’s new legislation or new competition, there’s always a new challenge to your business growth. By continuing to innovate, you won’t find yourself in the similar position of a video store fighting Netflix, or a traditional music company fighting iTunes and Amazon.
Have a New Product Development Process in Place
Creating a new product or service is not something that happens overnight. You have to think ahead, plan, and involve multiple departments in your company. Having a new product development (NPD) process will keep innovation flowing in your business, and you’ll always have something new in the pipeline. Here are the basic steps of an NPD process.
- Idea Generation and Evaluation. Your company should always be soliciting new ideas from employees, stakeholders, and customers. You may choose to use a specific crowdsourcing platform to organize ideas, or you may have something developed in-house. Regardless, you should always be generating and evaluating new ideas.
- Concept Development and Analysis. After you’ve chosen some promising new ideas, you can develop the concept and analyze the costs and benefits. This could be anything from a mockup of a course to a prototype of a new product. If you want to encourage business growth, you’ll want to be testing concepts on a regular basis.
- Full Development. Once a concept is proven to have a positive cost/benefit ratio, it moves into full development. Involve all stakeholders and departments, test with focus groups, and manage other important development steps.
- Launch. A launch is much more than adding a product or service to your store. It has to be teased to your audience, cross-promoted by partners, and marketed to specific audiences both online and traditionally.
- Tracking and Measurement. As the product or service goes live, you can track and measure the business growth you gain as a result. How do specific segments of your customer base respond? What can you do to add even more value? What marketing efforts have the best results for business growth? Use the answers you get to increase your most effective efforts.
As you can see, none of this can simply happen overnight. Innovation and the development of products and services must be an ongoing process so that you always have something new to offer to customers.
As you continuously innovate, you’ll be able to keep customers interested, refresh your offerings regularly, and be better prepared for the challenges to your business growth.