This topic, being innovative, is quite closely related to my last article in this series about being flexible. In that previous article, I talked about watching for services or products that are needed and not available. That is when you need to innovate! Look for problems in markets, and find ways to solve the problems.
If there is an item or service that you want or need, but you are unable to find such a service available, that means that it is something that you need to develop yourself. If you are wanting something, you can be sure that you are not the only one! There are surely other people who are looking for that elusive product that you also want. If nobody else has come out with that item, no reason why you can’t be the first!
Innovating can take multiple forms too. Maybe there is an existing product, but you want to make something similar but something that is slightly different. If so, do it! You will need to make it different enough from the original that you are not infringing on a patent or anything like that, but if you change it enough, you can probably come out with a product of your own that other people have been wanting too!
As a small-time entrepreneur, don’t get complacent. Remember how I told you in the previous article about the flexibility that the time may come when a bigger company pushes you out of a market? That is why you need to be diverse! You need a diversity of products. You need a diversity of services. That will all lead to the multiple streams of income that I have talked about previously. Then, when you lose one of those streams because a bigger company takes over that niche market, you can use your other products to continue your success.
Being on the lookout for “holes” in the market will also help you keep your income river flowing when one of the streams runs dry.
How to be innovative
There are a lot of ways to be more innovative. Here are a few suggestions:
- Look at other people’s products and services. If you see somebody experiencing great success with a product or service, think about how you could copy them, but change it enough to make it your own. Making changes to something successful is what innovation is all about!
- If you have a product or service of your own, look for ways to expand on it. I do this a lot. About 10 years ago, I came I came out with a language course. I sold this course as a downloadable product. I really did well with it, but I wanted to find other ways of selling it that would expand on the success. After a couple of years, I made an online course out of it. I set up a website and made videos of the instruction. I sold a monthly membership to the course. It did well. What I really wanted, though, was to be able to sell it on Amazon. I just thought that with the huge market that Amazon had, I could sell many more courses through them. I figured out a way to put the course on a DVD and sell it through the Amazon FBA program. Now, I had 3 different ways to sell the exact same course and was able to make a lot more money from the exact same course than I had when I first started marketing it. Next, I decided to add courses for other languages to my selection, and those also added to my success. So, I took a proven seller and expanded on it, and it has become quite lucrative.
- Fill a need of your own. If there is something that you need or want, and it is not available, time to start creating that item and selling it to others.
- Stop the pain or hassle. If there is something that you do that is a pain or a hassle, find a way to take the pain out of the process! If you sold a problem like that, you have a product that you can market.
No matter how successful you become, always remember to innovate! It is the key to continuing your success. it has done well for me and is the key to continuity in your entrepreneurial life.