If you’ve been in business for a while, you might be feeling a little nervous about political and economic uncertainties that are unfolding. You might be busy researching how changes might affect each of your product lines. Where can you make cuts? How can you stay ahead of your customers’ reactions? Have you considered using those research skills to develop new product lines? What would it mean to your business to engage in more research and development (R&D) right now?
Setting up a department within your business that focuses entirely on researching new product ideas and then developing them could be crucial for the future of your business. Ultimately, you need to stay competitive. New companies come and go. Some stay the distance. One or two have the potential to blow yours out of the water. So what do you need to stay afloat? Something none of the others have. Something new!
Start with looking deeper into what you’re currently offering. Run some focus groups, talk to your customers. You probably have a customer persona that helps you detail the demographic and other details that are common to most of your customers. What are they interested in? What future technologies like VR are creating new opportunities for them? What are your customers’ problems? What are they looking for right now? How can you help? And how far are you willing to go to give them that solution?
New tech requires new designs. You might start with the purpose of the product, but then you need to create something that can exist and function in the real world. A printed circuit board here, some programming there, and you’re on the way to developing tech that might make all the difference. Options like Altium Designer 18 might help you here, but without a purpose or function, you can’t really get started. Use your R&D team to determine what it is you need and the best application for it.
As well as creating new tech, your R&D team can help you refine your existing products and services. Nothing is perfect, but your business should still strive for perfection. Where do your products fall down? What do your competitor’s products do better? You might choose to develop a budget version or a fully loaded version of products you already have in the marketplace. This can increase profits, reach new customers, and save you time and money in new product development.
It’s not necessary to spend a lot of time and money on R&D. Your customers are the best source of ideas and free suggestions. You just have to read their product reviews and those of your competitors. Check out blog sites that talk about this type of product. Visit forums. What are people saying? Collect ideas, then talk about them with your team. A marketing agency can also help you find new angles and approaches when it comes to reaching a different customer demographic.
R&D is really important for lots of businesses, but few take the time to invest here. It might be just the thing you need to stay competitive in difficult climates and saturated markets. Do you use R&D?