Developing New Products & Services

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Here are some suggestions on how to approach this:

Step 1: Identifying a new idea, product or service

Market research is a great way to get a sense of what people are after and it’s also a sound way to make sure you’re not throwing money at an idea that isn’t going to sell.

If you’re looking for ideas to aim at your current target audience, try asking some of your existing customers:

  • What would you like my business to offer in terms of services that we don’t already?
  • Is there anything that our existing product doesn’t do that you wish it did?

Also take note of what the most common product or service enquiries are that your business receives. Is there a pattern to them or consistent things that keep getting asked? It could be that a product or service you offer does do what they’re looking for, but that this feature isn’t being communicated clearly in marketing materials or by salespeople. A small change on your website or more information given to your stockists might result in an upturn of sales without having to make any fundamental changes in your product or service range.

Once you’ve done your research and you’ve identified an apparent gap in the market, it’s worth doing some competitor research to make sure others aren’t already doing something similar. If they are, try to figure out how you could improve on it.

Step 2: Development

Setting up periodic review points during the development process is important, as it will allow you to review the progress as you go and make changes if need be. It’s easy to get ‘caught up’ in the excitement of making something new, particularly if you’re sure the idea is a winner. Taking time to check what you’re doing against what you set out to do, plus asking other people’s opinions who are outside the process can not only add value to what you’re doing, but also prevent you straying too far off-course.

Step 3: Financing

Gaining adequate funding for your new product or service is one of the most common hurdles that you’re likely to face. Even if you’ve planned a realistic development budget, unexpected costs can throw a spanner in the works if you’re not prepared for them. Do build a buffer or contingency margin into your budget, just in case.

Step 4: Launch

It’s important to determine how to sell, promote and support your product or service prior to launch. Click here for more information on sales and marketing planning.

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Meet the team

Chris George<br />
Growth Hub Manager

Chris George

Growth Hub Manager

Chris is an experienced professional with over 30 years knowledge and experience in sales and marketing in the public sector along with 15 years working for two mainstream automotive manufacturers in the sub 10,000 fleet. Delivered sustainable change in a vast range of industries, whilst constantly updating and developing core competencies and knowledge.

Working in the Local Authority sector for the last 15 years has resulted in Chris turning around failing territories to becoming some of the best performing areas in the country, with excellent stakeholder engagement and a passion for premium delivery. Outside of work, Chris is a keen gardener, and also likes property restoration and reading.

Ashleigh Jackson<br />
Growth Hub Business Advisor

Ashleigh Jackson

Growth Hub Business Advisor

A proven senior influencer and sales professional with more than 25 years’ experience in brand building and driving category growth within the private sector.

“I have a strong research background, alongside vast experience in sponsorship and corporate events management.

My work has initiated good working partnerships with many Local Authorities across Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire and London. I have also worked with many multi-national brands including KPMG, Barclays, EasyJet, Kingston Smith LLP, London Stansted Airport, Morgan Sindall and Heineken. I’m proud to be able to enhance on the work we do here at the CPCA Growth Hub and build on many success stories.

Away from the business, health and fitness is important to me, being in the great outdoors, and enjoying fun times and relaxation with family and friends”.

Stuart Thomas<br />
Growth Hub Business Advisor

Stuart Thomas

Growth Hub Business Advisor

Stuart is a former small business owner and former Business Link Advisor and has also worked as a project manager for an international IT company, overseeing a large number of IT projects for large corporate enterprises, as well as large public sector organisations.

Stuart has served as a director for an international timber trading company and has also been a director of a local independent radio station, where he mentored a number of new staff. Prior to this he spent time as a secondary school teacher, teaching IT and business studies at both GCSE and A level.

Liana Sannah Growth Hub Business Analyst

Liana Sannah

Growth Hub Business Analyst

Liana is an experienced professional with over 15 years’ experience as an Executive Assistant. Liana has previously been employed by Warner bros, Daily Mirror, Aviva and AXA. These roles have given her a wide range of skills and in a vast range of industries.

Liana has been working in the Local Authority sector for almost three years, as a Growth hub advisor and producing the Monthly BEIS report. In her leisure time, Liana enjoys cooking, interior design and watching movies.