As an aspiring entrepreneur, you may have an idea or two on which to base your new business. But while the ideas floating in your head seem interesting and could provide untold benefits, there might be one key issue holding you back: none of these ideas ultimately offer solutions to ongoing problems. You need innovative products and services if you want to succeed.
With this in mind, let’s look at a couple of products that do an outstanding job of solving problems or fix holes in the market, and then delve into how you can do the same:
1. Innovative Products That Have Created Solutions
These days, there are a number of interesting products on the market that fix or resolve everyday common issues. One great example is the flotation tire. As TireBuyer.com notes, farmers and outdoor enthusiasts who frequently drive on loose soil and sandy surfaces often wind up with their vehicles stuck or partially sunk in sand and sediment.
Interestingly, flotation tires were invented to solve this very issue. But unlike large truck and SUV tires that rely on the tread for traction, flotation tires are designed to “float” over similar impacted and hard-to-navigate surfaces. Typically, these types of tires are used in the agricultural industry, where it’s imperative for farming equipment to easily traverse different types of terrain, all while minimizing soil disturbance.
Other products that do a great job of solving common issues include the Highwave AutoDogMug, a portable water bowl that’s refillable with a quick squeeze. When your dog is done drinking, release your grip, and the water will flow back into the bottle. The product is for people who enjoy walking and hiking with their dogs. This innovative product allows you to give your pet some water without having to carry a separate bowl and water bottle.
2. Now, Start By Identifying Problems That You Will Solve With Your Innovative Products
As JMarbach.com notes, a great way to create a product that solves a problem is to be cognizant of the issues you often experience in day-to-day life. Indeed, from the moment you wake up until you go to bed, jot down some of the more common and routine issues and problems you — and, more importantly, society in general — tend to experience, as well as some ideas to solve or reconcile them.
For example, perhaps you don’t like how quickly your hot coffee cools off in the morning. You don’t like how cumbersome it is to pour a bit of milk into your coffee from a gallon-sized jug. In these examples, there may be an opportunity to manufacture a disposable cup. This cup can stay hot for hours at a time or a hands-free contraption that automatically dispenses liquids, respectively.
Then, become Doc Brown for a week and try to cull your list of the most significant and/or annoying problems, along with a few solutions, you tend to experience into a more clear set of innovative ideas.
3. Next, Determine if Someone has Already Tried to Solve This Problem
As Inc. notes, once you define your biggest issues, you may discover someone has already tried to solve them. Research companies that have attempted to fill holes in a particular market with an innovative product or service and figure out why they didn’t make it work. Were they charging too much, or was they the product of inferior quality? Once you know where and how previous companies failed, use this information to avoid similar problems in order to make your product even better.
4. Identify Ways to Solve the Problem
Now that you have identified a prominent, common issue and studied products that have been unsuccessful in providing some sort of solution, it’s time to develop your own winning strategies to fill a void in the market. As previously mentioned, in the case of the cold coffee cup, perhaps you can invent a warming sleeve that wraps around the mug and keeps your java hot or a coaster that heats up when the mug sits on top of it.
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5. Success Will be Yours!
Simply changing your focus from being an “idea creator” to a “problem solver” will go far in helping you launch your new company. Identify some of these more common and vexing issues, research why they have not already been solved, and come up with an innovative way to do it yourself. Soon enough, you’ll be well on your way to entrepreneurial success.