Do you like the idea of selling products, but have no idea what?

Maybe you were inspired by our last episode (check it out if you haven’t already). (I have 10 reasons why it’s great, right here!)

If you’re stuck for inspiration, no problem! Here are 5 simple ways to help you find brilliant new product ideas.

Read the transcript

1.Think about the things you already use and how you could improve them

You’ve probably had the experience of buying, or using something and just knowing it could be better than it is.

Perhaps there’s a really obvious problem, just a tiny little fix needed to make it perfect. You could be the person do that!

A very simple example of this is my Tiny Chipmunk bamboo hooded towels. They were my second product and I created them because I was fed up of buying baby towels that only lasted a few months at best.

It was such a simple solution, but people tell me all the time how long they’ve lasted and I love that! It was entire point! Not only that, but it gives me a selling feature, or USP. If someone asks why buy my towel over another, I can give good reasons.

Another real-life example is that my youngest will only sleep if the room’s pitch black. We had a black-out blind on her window that attached with suckers, but it took so long to get it on and off that we ended up keeping it on permanently and having the room in constant darkness…

I was busy Googling for solutions to this and realised that some (very clever!) companies sell black-out blinds that attach via velcro pads you stick to the window frames, rather than suckers that stick to the glass,

Such a simple solution, and a tiny modification, but it’s made a huge difference to us and, I imagine, thousands of other people too.

Think about where you could do the same…

TIP: Next time you’re getting frustrated with an item you’re using, take a minute to write down the problem and potential solutions. That’s an idea, right there!

2.What do you wish existed?

Do you ever think, “If I only I had an XYZ?” Some of what we wish for may not be feasible, for many reasons, but some ideas definitely will be!

Last year I worked with Silke Thistlewood, Nourish To Thrive, who created Care Cards for New Mums – a product she wished she’d had when her children were tiny. She already shared tips and tool to enable Mums to care for themselves in her free Facebook community. Creating the cards enables Mums to have something tangible to hand (they make great new-Mum gifts!), plus created an additional income stream for Silke.  

Another example is an inspiring podcast interview I heard recently with Nicole DeBoom. She’s a female athlete who created Skirt Sports – a women’s athletic apparel brand that combined all the things she wanted that didn’t exist – performance, comfort and cute-factor.

I’ve worked with clients who’ve created all kinds of unique products, because they’d love it and nobody else has made it yet! This is a good enough reason! Chances are, if you’d love it, then others would too.

So why wait, when you create it yourself?!

TIP: Next time you think “I wish I had an…” write it down! And keep it – that note could be the start of something very special…

3.What’s a problem you have? (Or someone else has.) How could it be solved?

I remember, a few years back, it was our first winter in our new home and our bedroom didn’t get any natural light until quite late in the morning. I was so used to being woken by the sunlight creeping round the curtains that I found it hard to adjust to the (relatively) dark mornings.

I looked online for a solution and came across a light alarm clock (that wakes you up by simulating a sunrise). This is by no means new (yet it was to me!), yet it solved a problem I was having and I was delighted.

I just love it when you find a product that you love. One that solves a problem you’ve had for ages. You know that bittersweet feeling you get when you just wish you’d found it sooner? The blackout blind example I gave above also falls into this category.

Next time you’re looking for that special thing, that solves a very specific problem, if you can’t find it, why not create it yourself?

TIP: Take a look at what phrases you’re looking for when you search for a product or solution you need and see if you can formulate that into a draft product specification.

4.What do you love? What are you passionate about?

Another way to approach this is to think about what you’d love to sell. 

Maybe you’re a keen runner, a hiker, or you love to knit. Whatever your passion is, could you sell items related to that?

The benefits here are that if you truly feel passionate about the products and the niche into which they fit, you’ll be able to talk about them, and sell them, in a really natural way.

Plus, if this is based on a hobby you have, you may well know others who enjoy the same things, who would make the ideal first customers.

One word of caution here is that you’ll need to do your research to ensure that the market isn’t already too saturated and that you can make a profit.

You can always combine this idea with those above and put your own spin on an existing product.

5.How could you take a product you already love and make it even better?

Another way to approach this is to think about what you’d love to sell. 

Maybe you’re a keen runner, a hiker, or you love to knit. Whatever your passion is, could you sell items related to that?

The benefits here are that if you truly feel passionate about the products and the niche into which they fit, you’ll be able to talk about them, and sell them, in a really natural way.

Plus, if this is based on a hobby you have, you may well know others who enjoy the same things, who would make the ideal first customers.

One word of caution here is that you’ll need to do your research to ensure that the market isn’t already too saturated and that you can make a profit.

You can always combine this idea with those above and put your own spin on an existing product.

TIP: Think about something you’d love to sell. Write down all the things you could sell, where you could sell them and who to. Get really excited and creative and see where it leads you!

BONUS IDEA – What do people other people love to buy?

The final way you can think up new product ideas (and my least favourite, if I’m honest) is to look at products that are already selling well and sell those – ideally with your own take on them.

There are various ways you can do this. Checking out the Amazon Best Sellers list is a good place to get started.

You also may have an idea what the ‘hot products’ are, based on current trends. (Think fidget spinners a few years ago!) If you take one of these products and improve it somehow, you could do very well – at least in the short-term.

The reason I don’t recommend my clients take this path is I feel it’s a great short-term option, but may not lead to you being able to build a brand and a business (my ultimate goal). 

However, if your goal is to make some money and learn some new skills while doing so, it could be a great option for you.

Now you have that great idea, be sure to check it’ll make you money!



USEFUL RESOURCES

7 free ways to validate your product idea

My product validation online couse

LET’S CONNECT

Come and find me on Instagram – @vickiweinberg_product_creation

Work with me

Transcript
Speaker:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast,

Speaker:

practical advice and inspiration to help you create and sell

Speaker:

your own physical products. Here is your host vicki Weinberg.

Speaker:

Do you like the idea of selling your own products

Speaker:

but you have absolutely no idea what you would actually

Speaker:

sell. So maybe you're inspired by our last episode and

Speaker:

do check out if you haven't all ready and you

Speaker:

think actually I would really like to sell something Perhaps,

Speaker:

you know, on the side or as a new venture,

Speaker:

or perhaps you have a service based business and you

Speaker:

would like to add a product to it and maybe

Speaker:

listen to last week's episode and you thought, you know

Speaker:

what? That was all sounds really good, but I just

Speaker:

don't have an idea, well I honestly believe everyone has

Speaker:

an idea of inside them. And today I'm going to

Speaker:

share five simple ways you can find them 'cause I

Speaker:

do believe there was always something that you can sell.

Speaker:

In fact, sometimes I do it a little bit at

Speaker:

public speaking, which isn't my favourite. I'm getting a bit

Speaker:

better at it.

Speaker:

And when I talk to a networking group or similar

Speaker:

I often we do an exercise where we get people

Speaker:

to use the other people in the group to help

Speaker:

them come up with product ideas. And what I find

Speaker:

is people either get their ideas validated by they come

Speaker:

back and they say, Oh, maybe I should write that

Speaker:

book or I should launch or whatever it is because

Speaker:

everyone is telling me it or they come away with

Speaker:

something really new. But most of the time, they come

Speaker:

around really excited about something that they could create, even

Speaker:

if it might not be the right time for them

Speaker:

now they just have that idea. And I really believe

Speaker:

that you can all do the same. So lets get

Speaker:

started with this episode and five ways you can come

Speaker:

up with ideas.

Speaker:

So idea number one is to think about the things

Speaker:

you already use and how you can improve them. So

Speaker:

I'm sure you've had the experience of buying something or

Speaker:

using something and just knowing it can be better than

Speaker:

it is. So perhaps that's a really obvious problem or

Speaker:

a really small thing that will make it better. And

Speaker:

you could be the person to do that. So one

Speaker:

example, of this is my Tiny Chipmunk bamboo hooded towels.

Speaker:

So I launched these when I had a baby and

Speaker:

I found that the towels for her were absolutely tiny

Speaker:

and they just only lasted a few months.

Speaker:

This was my second child. And I found out that

Speaker:

she had lots of the towels for my first child.

Speaker:

I just kind of didn't want to even pass on

Speaker:

to her because they were tiny and they just hadn't

Speaker:

lasted it very well. So when I launched mine, I

Speaker:

decided to make it the biggest and the thickest towel

Speaker:

on the market at the time. Now I can say,

Speaker:

I want to say it probably isn't the biggest, and

Speaker:

thickest on the market now, but you know, a few

Speaker:

years ago when I launched it was, and that was

Speaker:

my USP and it was such a simple solution, but

Speaker:

people tell me all the time, how long the towels

Speaker:

have lasted and I really love that. My youngest is

Speaker:

four now and hers still fit. And I think that's

Speaker:

great. And I can say it gives me a really

Speaker:

good USP if someone says, why would we buy your

Speaker:

towel over another one?

Speaker:

Or why is your towel so expensive? I can give

Speaker:

some really good reasons. And that all came from me

Speaker:

looking at something that I had already and thinking that

Speaker:

this could be better. Another real life examples and this

Speaker:

isn't something I've created is that my youngest will only

Speaker:

sleep if her bedroom is pitch black. So we use

Speaker:

the well-known brands of blackout blinds on her window that

Speaker:

attached with suckers. So it kept the room really dark,

Speaker:

but it used to take a really long time to

Speaker:

get it off in the morning well not so long

Speaker:

to get it so off, but more to put it

Speaker:

back on it at bed time. And so we ended

Speaker:

up just keeping it on permanently, which meant the room

Speaker:

was in constant darkness, which obviously isn't very good solution.

Speaker:

You can't open the windows or anything and so I

Speaker:

went on Google to look for solutions for this.

Speaker:

And I realized that someone very clever, in my opinion,

Speaker:

sells blackout blinds that attach by a velcro pad that

Speaker:

you stick to the window frame, sso rather than having

Speaker:

suckers that stick to the glass, you have the sticky

Speaker:

Velcro pads that you put them into your window frames

Speaker:

and then the blackout blinds attaches to that. So it

Speaker:

takes maybe five minutes to get set up and then

Speaker:

they're there for life. It all comes in a bag

Speaker:

of which makes it really good for traveling. And you

Speaker:

get loads of spare spares of these sticky Velcro patches.

Speaker:

So if you do go on holiday somewhere provided, it's

Speaker:

okay to stick to the window frames, you can use

Speaker:

them then as well. So it's a really similar idea.

Speaker:

I think it looks like it's exactly the same fabric,

Speaker:

but just a tiny tweak to how you apply it.

Speaker:

It's made a really big difference and it's a simple

Speaker:

solution and it's a tiny modification, but for us, its

Speaker:

made a really big difference because now we have a

Speaker:

child's bedroom that isn't in constant darkness! And I imagine

Speaker:

has been useful for thousands of other people to. So

Speaker:

my challenge to you is, think about where you can

Speaker:

do the same. So the next time you get really

Speaker:

frustrated with something that you are using or you find

Speaker:

yourself wishing it could be different or perhaps you'll one

Speaker:

of these people who modifies existing items to make them

Speaker:

work better for you. Take a minute, write down the

Speaker:

problem and write down some potential solutions because that's an

Speaker:

idea right there. Even if right now you think, Oh,

Speaker:

well I could make this tweak, but how would I

Speaker:

do that? You know, how would I possibly do that?

Speaker:

Don't worry about that for now.

Speaker:

We are going to get to that, but just take

Speaker:

a note because that is an idea. Okay. So the

Speaker:

second simple ways to come up with product ideas is

Speaker:

to think about what you wish existed. So do you

Speaker:

ever think, Oh, if only I had a, whatever it

Speaker:

is, and this is some of what we wish for,

Speaker:

it might not be feasible for many reasons, but some

Speaker:

ideas will be. So I'm going to give you a

Speaker:

real example of this with one of my clients. So

Speaker:

Silke Thistlewood who runs a business called raise up mum's

Speaker:

greatest and resilience cards, which is a product she wanted

Speaker:

when her children were small, so Silke. I hope she

Speaker:

won't mind, me sharing a bit of her story. Hopefully

Speaker:

she's gonna come on a future episode and talk about

Speaker:

this herself.

Speaker:

But she suffered from postnatal, depression and anxiety after the

Speaker:

birth of her children. And she was given lots of

Speaker:

wellbeing, advice and professionals, but it was all focused on

Speaker:

taking time away from her children and what she could

Speaker:

do in her own time to relax and recover and

Speaker:

look to herself. And those of you listening have children

Speaker:

may know that that just isn't always practical. And so

Speaker:

she identified that what she needed was some things she

Speaker:

could do in the moment that would get her to

Speaker:

the end of the day and one piece. So she

Speaker:

created some resilience cards, which enables you to look after

Speaker:

yourself in small ways, every single day. So the idea

Speaker:

is you pick a card out of her deck and

Speaker:

she has a huge deck of cards and it will

Speaker:

give you a little simple sort of something that you

Speaker:

can do to make the best your mood or your

Speaker:

energy levels, but something you can do in the moment

Speaker:

that we will, you know, won't add to your, to

Speaker:

do list and won't take a really long time.

Speaker:

It just helps you to look after yourself, so Silke

Speaker:

was already sharing tips and tools along these lines in

Speaker:

her free Facebook community and creating the cards, enables mums

Speaker:

wherever they are in her community or not to have

Speaker:

something tangible at hand. Personally, think they make great gifts

Speaker:

for new mums and it's given her an additional income

Speaker:

stream. So this is a really good example of someone

Speaker:

who created something that they wanted and that they needed

Speaker:

and is now being useful to so many other people.

Speaker:

And I've worked with clients and I work with clients

Speaker:

now who have created all kinds of unique products because

Speaker:

they'd love it. And no one else has made it

Speaker:

yet. And this is a good enough reason because chances

Speaker:

are, if you would love something that someone else will

Speaker:

tell you.

Speaker:

So don't wait when you can create it yourself. So

Speaker:

my challenge to you is next time you think I

Speaker:

wish I had a or something, whatever it is, write

Speaker:

it down and keep hold of it. Because that night

Speaker:

it could be the start of something really special. So

Speaker:

this might mean you were actually creating something yourself. If

Speaker:

you have some of the practical skills to do that,

Speaker:

you also might not know exactly what the solution is.

Speaker:

So in Silke her story, she knew she needed some

Speaker:

kind of tools and tips, practical things she could do

Speaker:

in the moment, but she didn't know what that looked

Speaker:

like. And you know, I'm sure when she talks with

Speaker:

more, she will say that the idea for the cards

Speaker:

didn't come overnight, it's probably an evolution, but just identifying

Speaker:

that there was something that she needed was a really

Speaker:

good starting point.

Speaker:

So the first step to come up with a product

Speaker:

ideas that along the same lines and its thinking about

Speaker:

a problem you have, or a problem, a problem someone

Speaker:

else has and thinking about how it could be solved.

Speaker:

So I'm going to give another example from my own

Speaker:

life. So a few years ago it was our first

Speaker:

wind too. And I knew house and the bedroom that

Speaker:

we were in, didn't get any natural light until quite

Speaker:

late in the morning. And I always used to from

Speaker:

my old house is being woken up by the sunlight

Speaker:

coming in or around the curtains. And I found it

Speaker:

really hard to adjust to these relatively dark mornings. So

Speaker:

when I looked online for a solution, I came across

Speaker:

a light alarm clock that wakes you up by simulating

Speaker:

the sunrise. This is by no means knew or that

Speaker:

it was new to me. And it's over the problem

Speaker:

that I was having. And I was absolutely delighted.

Speaker:

And you know, do you love that feeling when you

Speaker:

find the product that you love? You know, when you

Speaker:

find something and it solves a problem you've had for

Speaker:

ages and you get that really bitter sweet feeding when

Speaker:

you think, Oh, I really wish I had known about

Speaker:

this sooner. And you're so excited that you just tell

Speaker:

everyone about it and what you, what happens to me

Speaker:

is like excited until everyone about it and find out

Speaker:

why I was the last to know, but wherever it

Speaker:

is a great new restaurant or a podcast or a

Speaker:

product, if you find something great, Chances are you tell

Speaker:

people about it? And this kind of buzz is great

Speaker:

to have for a product. And I was lucky that

Speaker:

what I was looking for existed already or what if

Speaker:

it didn't. And so the black out blind an example

Speaker:

I gave it also falls into that category. And so

Speaker:

does, Silke's story.

Speaker:

They do say necessity is the mother of invention. That's

Speaker:

no pun intended there. And I have another example of

Speaker:

a client of mine who makes handy little things to

Speaker:

keep the baby socks on because when her baby was

Speaker:

small, he kept pulling them off. And if you have

Speaker:

where you've had had children, you can probably see the

Speaker:

need for this. So next time you were looking for

Speaker:

something to solve a specific problem. Even if you don't

Speaker:

know what the thing is, you need, if you can't

Speaker:

find it, then why not create it yourself? Because I

Speaker:

know many people get inventive with solutions, for all kinds

Speaker:

of things. Say the action for this idea is that

Speaker:

next time you were searching for something specific, so you'll

Speaker:

have a problem. And do you think, Oh, what can

Speaker:

I do about that?

Speaker:

And you say, you go to Google or what would

Speaker:

you go to a Facebook group or wherever you go

Speaker:

to, to find advice, take a look at what phrase

Speaker:

is you're looking for. And if you can follow me

Speaker:

like that into the beginnings of an idea. So wherever

Speaker:

it's kids, Harry Potter, a print or a treadmill that

Speaker:

doesn't take up too much space, whatever it is, if

Speaker:

it doesn't exist yet, you could be the one to

Speaker:

create it and you can get other people involved in

Speaker:

it to say, for my example, I should have asked

Speaker:

people, I kept going out and said, I'm really struggling

Speaker:

in my bedroom being ready to rock in the mornings

Speaker:

or has anyone got any ideas? And it might be

Speaker:

that people come up with ideas for things that exist,

Speaker:

or perhaps, you know, they can help you come up

Speaker:

with an idea for something completely new.

Speaker:

And this could be at the beginning of something. Very

Speaker:

exciting. Okay. So the fourth way to come up with

Speaker:

product ideas is to think about what you love and

Speaker:

what you're passionate about. So another way to approach this

Speaker:

you know, Perhaps, you don't want to create something completely

Speaker:

new is to think about what you would absolutely love

Speaker:

to sell. So maybe you're a keen runner or a

Speaker:

hiker, or you'd love to knit, or do you cross

Speaker:

stitch or anything at all, or whatever your passion is.

Speaker:

Could you sell things that are related to that? Say

Speaker:

the benefits here are, are there. If you really feel

Speaker:

passionate about the products you'd be selling and the nation

Speaker:

to which they fit, and you'll be able to talk

Speaker:

about them and sell them in a really natural way,

Speaker:

which is really important because you have to have some

Speaker:

affinity, but the products you're selling, I believe if you're

Speaker:

going to be building a brand around them and you

Speaker:

have to believe in them.

Speaker:

Plus I think if this is based on a hobby

Speaker:

that you have, you might, well, no others who enjoy

Speaker:

the same things, who would make a ideal first customers

Speaker:

say, for example, if you are a keen knitter and

Speaker:

maybe if you are part of a knitting group and

Speaker:

you decide you're going to sell a really high-quality yarns,

Speaker:

for example, you might be asked to go to your

Speaker:

knitting group and say well first of all, you've got

Speaker:

to use them for research, find out what kinds of

Speaker:

things they would be looking for. But also you probably

Speaker:

got people that once you've got products, you can go

Speaker:

to and say, look at what I'm selling. Is anyone

Speaker:

interested? That could be your first few customers right there.

Speaker:

So one word of caution here is that you will

Speaker:

obviously, you still need to do some research to make

Speaker:

sure that the market you are looking to get into

Speaker:

isn't already too saturated and that you can still make

Speaker:

a profit if your goal, I mean, if you'll go

Speaker:

with us to do something for fun, maybe that's not

Speaker:

such an issue for you.

Speaker:

But if you are looking to build a business around

Speaker:

this, you will need to do a bit of research

Speaker:

to see if that's viable. And also remember that you

Speaker:

can combine this idea with the one that I've talked

Speaker:

about already and put your own spin on some products

Speaker:

to make them yours, to make them a bit different.

Speaker:

So think about something that you'd love to sell, write

Speaker:

down all of the things you could say sell, where

Speaker:

you could sell them, who to get really excited and

Speaker:

creative. And so you might be legi. So for example,

Speaker:

If using the knitting example. Again, I'm, I'm not sure

Speaker:

why I'm not on there. So maybe you want it

Speaker:

to sound really good, high quality, unique yarn. So things

Speaker:

that are really hard to come by and you know,

Speaker:

are stocked in a hobby craft and everywhere else.

Speaker:

Or perhaps you want to sell yarns at a source

Speaker:

from a specific country, just get creative and think about

Speaker:

what appeals to you. And really it could be at

Speaker:

the beginning of something because it is important as well.

Speaker:

Coming off track is not an easy to do something

Speaker:

that you enjoy. So I do think that this can

Speaker:

be a good place to start when you're thinking about

Speaker:

what you might like to say, okay, say the fifth

Speaker:

and find a way to come up with new product

Speaker:

ideas is to look at what other people like to

Speaker:

buy them, what they are buying. Now, this is actually

Speaker:

my least favorite idea. If I'm honest and I feel

Speaker:

I need to include it because I know people do

Speaker:

this. So what I'm talking about here is to look

Speaker:

for products are already selling well and start selling those

Speaker:

Perhaps ideally we have your own take on them, but

Speaker:

perhaps not.

Speaker:

So you might have an idea of what the current

Speaker:

hot products are based on current trends. So you can

Speaker:

think about things like a few years ago, the fidget

Speaker:

spinners are really good. And I know there are people

Speaker:

out there that were taking these products and selling them

Speaker:

and doing very well at, at least in the short-term.

Speaker:

However, the caveat here is. So the reason I generally

Speaker:

don't recommend taking this path is I think is a

Speaker:

really good short term option. And it might not lead

Speaker:

to you being able to build a brand and a

Speaker:

business, which is my ultimate goal for myself and for

Speaker:

you 'cause, it may be that you are selling lots

Speaker:

of products that don't really fit together. Well, as I

Speaker:

say, though, if your goal is to make some money

Speaker:

and land some new skills while doing so it could

Speaker:

actually be a really good option for you.

Speaker:

And it could also be a way to test the

Speaker:

water before creating something yourself. So I'm not saying it's

Speaker:

a bad idea. I'm just saying it out of these

Speaker:

five, this is my least favorite. There were different ways

Speaker:

you can get started to do this. So I think

Speaker:

a good place to start is looking at Amazon and

Speaker:

the best sellers list and seeing what kinds of things

Speaker:

are selling. And you can buy tools to help me

Speaker:

do this, to be honest, I wouldn't recommend at this

Speaker:

stage paying for any of these tools because there's a

Speaker:

lot of information that you can get out there for

Speaker:

free. You can go Google trends. That's another great way

Speaker:

of finding out how many people are actually searching for

Speaker:

specific products. So, yeah, so you can have a look

Speaker:

into this, if you want, and future episodes, I'm going

Speaker:

to be talking more about validating your ideas.

Speaker:

And if you are looking to do to take this

Speaker:

option particularly, so you are looking to sell products that

Speaker:

are already sort of out there and selling really well.

Speaker:

I think that would be an idea of what Episode

Speaker:

for you. And in fact, for all of these, however,

Speaker:

you come up with your product. So the idea, I

Speaker:

believe that validating it before you go any further. It's

Speaker:

really important that there will be future episodes on this,

Speaker:

because I think it's a really big topic, but I

Speaker:

also have a freebie out there on this, which is

Speaker:

a seven 50 ways to validate your product ideas. You

Speaker:

can get a hold of that. Now I'll put the

Speaker:

link in the show notes because you have a great

Speaker:

idea, which is fantastic, but we do want to make

Speaker:

sure that they will make you money and there are

Speaker:

people out there that will buy it.

Speaker:

So again, the link to the freebie will be in

Speaker:

the show notes so you can get hold of that

Speaker:

and take a look now. And the final thing for

Speaker:

me is if you've enjoyed this episode, please tell your

Speaker:

friends, please subscribe, and please do leave me a review.

Speaker:

I really, really appreciate it. Okay. See you soon.