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Our Yes Business Can event guest Sharmadean Reid is no stranger to bringing innovative new products to market.

Watch the replay of our event ‘Fresh thinking for the future’ where Sharmadean Reid MBE is joined by a panel of business leaders to examine how your business can embrace change and set yourself apart from the competition.

If you’re thinking of launching a new product or service of your own, we have some guidance to help you get started.

5-step guide to launching a new product

1. Know what customer need you’re addressing – Ideally you need a clear idea of who your target customers are and what need your new product will fulfil. This will make it easier to assess whether there’s a genuine gap in the market and decide how your product should be marketed.

2. Time it right – Timing is everything when it comes to launching a new product. Is there a particular time of year when it might be in demand, and when are your target audience likely to be making purchase decisions? You may want to time your launch to feature in a particular tradeshow or publication. The most important thing is to give your timing some clear consideration and decide when will be best for your business.

3. Track costs closely – To get a return on your investment you need to have a full understanding of how much it will cost to bring your product to market, including any manufacturing, staffing, marketing and distribution costs. Track costs as you go to stay on course and highlight additional funding needs as you go.

4. Don’t worry if everything isn’t perfect – Not many products or services are perfect from day one, so don’t let one or two issues hold you back. You can make improvements once you’ve had feedback from the best product testers – your actual customers.

5. Keep innovating – If your new product or service is an instant hit you’ll want to be poised to capitalise on that success with new versions or more new offerings. Keep innovating and have a follow-up ready to go.

Teemill: Making your business stand out from the crowd

Ethical t-shirt manufacturer Teemill uses on-demand technology and a circular economy model to make sustainability affordable and offer an innovative alternative to fast fashion. Co-founder Martin Drake-Knight shares his thoughts on how businesses can stand out from the crowd.

Be yourself – Lots of business owners hide behind their company and never truly share anything about themselves. But consumers are interested in the human side of business and the people behind the brand, especially in this age of the internet and social media. Have the confidence to share yourself, your opinions and experiences.

Have fun – People like things that bring them joy and make them feel good. If you can show you’re having fun and love what you do, they’ll be more likely to engage with your company and ultimately buy your products.

Make sure you’re solving a problem – Businesses should add value to the world beyond just generating a profit. Ideally your company should aim to solve a real problem. Focus on developing a clear mission and purpose that can feed into the products and services you offer.

You can read more about how Teemill and Sharmadean Reid MBE embraced innovation in their businesses in this interview with The Times.

How to develop your company’s capacity for innovation

Being innovative, and willing and able to quickly adapt in response to shifting demands and market conditions, can have a significant impact on how successful a business is – as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted. But how do you foster innovation within your company? Gareth Oakley, Managing Director, Business Banking, shares his pick of top innovation guidance from our entrepreneur guide:

Look to other companies for inspiration – Looking at what other companies are doing, their processes and what technology they are using can help spark ideas and also helps reduce risks.

Embed innovation into your business model – Aligning innovation with the company’s overall strategy ensures it delivers real value and meets customers’ needs rather than just being innovation for innovation’s sake.

Invest in leadership and management training – Strong leaders can help encourage a culture of innovation and ensure that ideas bring real returns.

For more support on developing your company’s capacity for innovation, download your copy of Yes Business Can Start Up, Scale Up and Go Global.

 

For more guidance to help your business navigate the coming months, take a look at our TradeTech adoption and Financial resilience  pages.

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.
 

Developing a change culture

Change is inevitable for business and being able to adapt and innovate quickly and effectively has never been more important. 

Lloyds Bank Academy- Free courses and events

Free online courses and networking events to help you expand and grow your business.

Rethinking your business model

Consumer habits have shifted, adoption of technology has accelerated and ways of working are altering. Reassessing your revenue streams could help you survive and thrive.

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While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.