Are you looking for new product ideas for your business? Have you asked your customers?
First rule of product ideas: The people in field doing the work always come up with the best ideas.
Lisle Corporation (Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,500) makes, among other things, automotive specialty tools. You know, the funny hand tools mechanics use for all sorts of little jobs. The kind of thing nobody makes a tool for, so mechanics modify their own tool or they make something themselves. Things like brake spring pliers, battery terminal clamp spreaders, or magnets on long telescoping handles to retrieve those bolts that always seem to mysteriously fall into unreachable locations.
Where do they get their ideas? They are always asking their customers. This photo is from the back of one of their product packages. Bonus points to Lisle for showing off a successful mechanic who sent them a tool idea and earned some money for it.
Notice that Lisle talks through the process. By talking about royalties, protecting the mechanic’s idea, and the process to follow, they make it a little less intimidating.
Are you asking your customers for ideas? Do you pay up for the good ideas?
- 19 things you can do with a building that has no roof - January 19, 2015
- Brag basket on the road - January 17, 2015
- How to cut down on the nasty surprises in business - January 12, 2015
- The problem with statewide meetings that ignore rural - January 5, 2015
- End of year checklist for small business - December 29, 2014
- Survey says: Shopping at small businesses makes people feel good - December 10, 2014
- The boring and overlooked tool that can make your business life much easier - November 24, 2014
- Holiday shopping campaigns besides “Shop Small” - November 17, 2014
- How small towns can do Shop Small Saturday - November 10, 2014
- Use social lists to connect local businesses - November 4, 2014