How to Innovate in a Stale Industry
Entrepreneurship is all about innovation. It’s all about coming up with new exciting ideas and using them in order to shift paradigms and make money.
But what if you’re someone who doesn’t easily have new ideas?
Or what if you’re in an industry where everything already seems to have been done?
Well, there’s no way to guarantee that you’re going to have exciting new ideas. But what we certainly can do, is to increase the likelihood of that eureka moment happening. And often, this comes down to asking the right questions.
How to Ask the Questions That Lead to Innovation
So, just what are these magical questions that can help you innovate in a stale industry?
The first thing to consider, is just how new ideas come about to begin with. In business, most ideas essentially consist of finding a need and then fulfilling it. This makes your job a little easier – you are trying to find a new need and/or meet it in a new way.
One way to do this is to ask yourself if a service you offer could be automated. This is called “productizing” a service and it’s how many “Software As Service” businesses are born.
Another option is to ask yourself what could be done better. This is what many business people refer to as “scratching your own itch”. In other words, you’re looking for the “pain points” – the daily frustrations you experience when you use certain products or services. Is there a way that you could do this better? How could you ensure that others don’t have to experience this same frustration?
Alternatively, consider the target demographic and what their needs and pain points might be.
It’s a mistake to lump your entire audience into a single category when you are trying to innovate in a stale industry.
Instead, think about them as individuals and as groups and ask yourself whether any cross section of that demographic might have unique needs.
For example, you’re providing a great product or service – but how does someone who travels use that service? Is there a way that you could make your service better for them in light of that? Or what about someone who’s disabled?
By focussing on this group and by offering them a product that is built around their needs, you can come up with something new and hopefully be very successful.
Failing that, why not try the age old technique? Take two products or services and then combine them into a single one!
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