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?
- Where your future entrepreneurs and business leaders come from - July 25, 2017
- Clean Your Own Sidewalk - July 17, 2017
- Why your downtown looks empty - July 10, 2017
- Farm Fresh Auctions – a new angle on the local niche - July 3, 2017
- The big flaw in rural business counts - June 26, 2017
- The rural contradiction: “There aren’t any good jobs!” vs. “We can’t find good people!” - June 19, 2017
- Can rural communities retain young people? Are rural Millennials different from urban Millennials? - June 12, 2017
- How do I attract good employees for low-level jobs? - June 5, 2017
- Retail’s big split: why big boxes are in trouble and what small town retailers can do - May 22, 2017
- Surprising results in the Survey of Rural Challenges 2017 - May 15, 2017