Create a bank of ideas for new products, and start to build the one we’re most excited about.
It’s good to focus on making a successful product even better, expanding it’s customer base and building stronger relationships (hopefully creating a few new evangelists for the product/ company along the way). However, once a product has some traction, and as long as the quality and progress of existing products isn’t compromised (we need to be careful of spreading ourselves too thin here) we should also be looking at ways to expand our range and start building out new ideas.
Several benefits come to mind:
- It keeps things fresh and interesting (it’s always fun to start a new project)
- It opens up potential new markets
- It strengthens the brand
- It makes us better at what we do
With this in mind, here are a few quick ideas for Software-as-a-Service products for business users (not new, of course, these problems all have existing solutions, but no solution is perfect, and this is a good source of inspiration)…
Almost any project can become complicated and overwhelming very quickly. Simple ways to organise, plan and share would help many businesses get a handle on getting things done efficiently.
Quoting and Invoicing Potential Customers
Calculating, preparing and sending quotes and invoices for client work is a very time-consuming task for many service businesses. A simple online service could help save time and offer a consistent system.
Meetings cause several challenges for businesses – they have to be scheduled, hosted somewhere, minuted, and in order for the meeting to be of any effect, action points need to be assigned and completed. A single online service could help with each of these sticking points.
Communicating with Customers
Businesses need to know how their customers feel about them and their products. They also need effective ways to disseminate information: announcements, help, advice, etc. Also, in this interconnected world, customers often help eachother get more out of a company’s products. Why not build a simple and elegant service that seamlessly combines all three?
Sharing ideas internally can be achieved via meetings or email, both of which have their setbacks: Meetings are time-consuming and email quickly becomes unwieldy if it isn’t one to one.
Sales and Stock
Many elements of the sales process is common to just about every business: making transactions, fulfilling an order, updating stock records, reporting statistics, etc. Much of this can be handled by online software.
Every business has important metrics that they need to measure and analyse. A flexible platform, which allows users to create and manage the recording and reporting of the metrics that are important to them could service many different organisations. Alternatively, this idea could be narrowed down to cater for more specific metrics.
From recruiting to payroll, to leave, timekeeping and training, staffing issues are a large drain on the resources of any business or organisation above a certain size. These are all things that could be made simpler.
Whether internally, to partners, to clients or to customers, the need to present ideas is common to many organisations. A single, flexible platform on which presentations can be quickly and painlessly put together, and then smoothly and flexibly presented, would be a very useful tool.
Accounting and Statutory Company Administration
All businesses have certain obligatory administrative chores, as well as the general admin required to keep the organisation running smoothly and ensure that management have a good overview of it’s situation.
Bookkeeping, management accounts, VAT returns, corporate tax, annual accounts, and annual returns can all be time-consuming necessities for small businesses who don’t have big accounancy budgets, yet many of these things are fairly standard procedures in a lot of cases.