Using Innovation to Make Existing Ideas Profitable

Once you make the decision to become a small beading business owner, you may be anxious to begin branding your company with your personal style. While it's important to be unique in everything you do to stay one step ahead of the curve, there's nothing wrong for opting for a little bit of innovation.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have made their fortunes through imitation, which is often regarded as a "no-no" in the industry. However, there are a number of ways that imitation through innovation can pay off.

Innovation can help you make a name for yourself in the industry.

First, imitation means that you'll be working with a product or idea that is already on the market. Although this may seem like "stealing" another idea, you can avoid doing so through innovation. This is the part where your creativity can come into play instead of just changing the name or the color of the existing product.

Be mindful that there are copyright laws and patents that protect the intellectual property of others. For this reason, you must be innovative when you choose to use an existing idea as a foundation for your own small beading business. However, when executed properly, you can propel your company and make a name for yourself in the industry.

"Analyzing where others have succeeded is a great way to benchmark where you are currently and where you need to be," Marc Quadagno, a music software pioneer, told "Plus, you won't feel as if your decisions are arbitrary. You have to know your work will provide you with rewards, and not being the first gives you insight to all the successes of another company, but more importantly, their failures."

In order to make the most of your opportunity to expand upon an existing idea, it's important to consider the following tips:
  1. Learn from other entrepreneurs' mistakes. It can be difficult to become the first person to develop an idea or a product because you're faced with the brunt of the recoil. Those who come up with an industry-leading goods or service are often forced to handle a series of obstacles en route to success. As an entrepreneur yourself, it's important to be mindful of these issues. Make note of any mistakes that other innovators make along the way. Doing so can help you prevent making mistakes of your own and increase your chances for success.

  2. Invest in consumer education. Although you're going to be working off of an existing idea or product that might already be recognized by the public, additional education may be necessary. Innovation is all about making an idea or item your own. For this reason, it should be a priority to educate consumers on why this product is faster and more efficient than others. Even if you're working off of a simple idea, it's not worth leaving your customers in the dark. Spend the time and money to make sure consumers have all of the information they need to be persuaded into buying your product.

  3. Do your research. You may already have part of the road paved for you by choosing to work with an existing idea, but you will still need to take the time to do the research to make your product truly unique. Because you will be using innovation, your goods or services will still be relatively new to the market. It is important to determine how it will fair in the industry before you move forward with plans to make it a staple of your small beading business.

    "It's impossible to do a focus group or user testing in the abstract," John Paul Engel of Knowledge Capital Consulting told "However, it's fairly easy to buy some of the first movers' products and sit down with customers and find out what they do and don't like about it."

  4. Don't stray too far from the original. Consumers are comfortable with what they already know, meaning they're more likely to buy a product that they recognize. While it's important to make sure your goods and services are unique to your small beading business, remember to stick to the basics. If a customer can recognize what you're selling or associate it with an existing product, they may be more inclined to buy it.

    "We are creatures of habit, which is why 75 percent of the population buys products they are familiar with," business consultant Lisa Jackson of Corporate Culture Pros told "That's why 'New and Improved' sells."

  5. Try to reel in investors. Those who have an interest in investing in the next big thing are likely to turn to entrepreneurs who have used their own innovation to make existing ideas better. Give investors a reason to spend money on you by basing your foundation on an already-profitable venture.