Innovating New Products- Back to Basics – Part 1

I got a good reality check this past month. I had just come out of a review project with a million dollar business operating internationally. I identified about 70 large and small opportunities for productivity improvements and was asked by a friend to help him heal his business. He wanted to know what he could do to improve his income from making hourly consultations. We talked about a number of opportunities to grow his business from his current client base by offering them new products and services.  I got a good reality check this past month. I had just come out of a review project with a million dollar business operating internationally. I identified about 70 large and small opportunities for productivity improvements and was asked by a friend to help him heal his business. He wanted to know what he could do to improve his income from making hourly consultations. We talked about a number of opportunities to grow his business from his current client base by offering them new products and services.

 

But my reality check was about how much help he needed with the little things that were beyond his skill set. This is a guy who has serious qualifications in healing; but just thinking about setting up an Excel worksheet to plan a workshop budget was putting him under great stress. A basic database tool to replace his notebook with client diagnoses and treatment information was almost a step too far. But not after he could see the benefits of being able to easily pull out clustered treatment information and important emails.

 

The Job to be Done

 

I thought about the needs of both those clients and many others, and looked at the situation from a “Jobs to Be Done” perspective. Both of them had a job to do, which was to operate a profitable business. This is a job that has existed since commerce began. Both of them had outcomes they wanted to achieve in the process, and most of these outcomes are identical to what all of us want in business.

 

These include obvious outcomes such as:

 

● Minimize the risk of bankruptcy

 

● Increase the size of the business to make it saleable

 

● Increase profits to provide a large enough salary that covers your desired lifestyle

 

● Minimize tax risks

 

● Minimize business structure and licensing taxes

 

In fact, in the job of operating a business, we should be able to list at least 50 outcomes we want—either minimizing an aspect or increasing another. These outcomes are how we measure our success. We can define desired outcomes in areas such as:

 

Planning Business Plan Development, Innovation & Creativity, Strategy Execution
Marketing and Sales Marketing Essentials, Negotiating, Pricing, Customer Experience
Finance Budgeting, Finance Essentials
Staff Capabilities Hiring , Leading & Motivating, Coaching,  Performance Appraisals, Retaining Employees
Teams Team Leadership, Team Management, Persuading Others
Productivity Process Improvement, Project Management, Performance Measurement, Change Management
Regulatory Licenses, Taxes, Manpower

 

It’s a bit of a short one today, but there’s more I want to tell you next time. I’ll also provide you with a very helpful chart you can tweak and use to evaluate your income, financial condition and cash flow situation.

 

Graeme Stevens
CEO and Co-Founder
neXtep easy
www.nextepeasy.com

 

neXtep Business Builder Community Pte Ltd
Singapore ACRA Business Registration Number: 201424522Z
80 Kitchener Road #09-09/10 Singapore 208539