Take note when you’re in need. Next time you’re digging in your purse for those keys you can never find or wandering around the house wondering where you left your wallet, think of what type of product could solve that problem. Some of the best products come about as a solution to a common or not so common problem. The key is to recognize when a product is lacking something or when there’s a gap in the market that serves a specific type of problem or person. Once you acknowledge this, take the time to brainstorm possible solutions and see if there’s a viable business idea there.
Check out your competition. Is there already a product out there for the one you’re thinking of designing? The best way to find out is to search the internet. Enter as many keywords as you can think of, relating to your idea. Search all areas to see if someone has beaten you to the punch or has a patent on a possible invention. Make sure you really do your research in this area.
Don’t get discouraged. If someone has beaten you to the punch, ask yourself if you can do it better and how. Take the time to brainstorm and come up with as many ideas about what you can do with that product that would make it great or appeal to someone like you. Make sure you’re not overlooking if this idea can be profitable. If you have to put more money into creating it than people will pay for it, your idea is pretty much dead in the water.
Think outside the box. When you’re brainstorming, let your mind wander to places you would normally dismiss as being ridiculous or impossible. Look at things upside down, inside out and turned around, just to get your mind flowing in a different direction. You can always reel an idea in, the point is to not rule anything out to start.
Think small. Instead of trying to think of a product that will appeal to the broadest range of consumers, think of appealing to a smaller more specific group. You’ll have a hard time creating a dishwashing soap for every target market and competing against well-known brands such as Dawn, Joy and Ivory. Instead, think of a product that will appeal to a smaller market that use dishwashing soap, like those who have dry, cracked skin or an allergy.