Executive Vice President, Sage North America
One common goal many small businesses and entrepreneurs share is that of growth – the desire to grow, grow, grow. One way to expand your business is by introducing a new idea. Launching a new idea can raise public awareness of your company, which may result in new customers and higher profits.
Before you decide to launch a new idea for your small business, there are a few, very critical steps to consider. Great ideas that best position a company to grow are launched following careful, in-depth planning and research. It’s pertinent not to develop an idea simply for the sake of putting out a new company idea. Take a close look at your desired goal for an idea, identify the results which you would like to see, and develop a strategy to help you achieve this goal and result.
A few important tips for growing your business by launching a new idea include:
- Research helps you think things through thoroughly. Studying and research are important steps to take in order to best shape your idea to achieve maximum company growth. Research can reveal if your idea is already commercially available or how you can learn from the mistakes and successes of your predecessors to differentiate your product and ideas. An idea that is not properly thought through all the way could be detrimental and costly to your company.
- Test your idea with other people, especially potential customers. Consumers of your product or idea can offer valuable insights that you may not have already considered. Take the time to ask questions and listen to those around you to develop a better understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences to best position your idea for optimal growth.
- Time your launch appropriately. The timing of your launch can drastically influence the success or failure of your idea. Ensure you are not rushing your product or service to market. Dedicate the appropriate amount of thought and research to the development of your idea in order to avoid potential pitfalls. With many fast-paced industries, it is also essential not to wait too long to launch an idea or product. Technologies are changing and growing daily, and if you launch an outdated idea, you may miss your opportunity to expand.
- When considering the timing of a launch, be sure you are keeping tabs on the current news of your industry. It can be hard to break through the clutter of constantly shifting news.
- Utilize the appropriate outlets to parlay your idea to position yourself for success. Make sure you are reaching your audience by understanding their interactions with industry news and preferred outlets. If your company operates social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, take advantage of these free means of communication by posting and interacting with your social media customers while growing your customer base.
When developing and launching an idea to grow your business, make sure you invest the appropriate amount of time and effort into your strategy to set yourself up for success. Oftentimes the difference between a successful idea and a poor one is all in the approach.
Connie Certusi is executive vice president and the general manager of Sage’s Small Business Solutions (SBS) business unit, which includes the Sage 50 US and Canada Edition, as well as the Sage Accountants Network.
Ms. Certusi’s efforts are focused heavily on ensuring that all aspects of the accounting solutions business unit deliver a premium customer experience to small businesses as well as to key recommenders, such as accountants.
Prior to joining Sage, Ms. Certusi gained comprehensive experience in the financial software industry at MSA/Dun & Bradstreet Software, SQL Financials, and Ross Systems. She spent 10 years with MSA/Dun & Bradstreet Software in various areas of product development, marketing, and management.
Ms. Certusi holds a B.B.A. degree in management science from the University of Georgia.