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Ideas & Innovation

Turn Concepts Into Reality

I have an idea for a business or new product. What do I do next?

You need to develop your idea to see if it could form the basis of a viable business. Before you invest too much time, money and effort, try to assess the likely demand for your new product or service. Talk to potential customers and consider developing a prototype that will help you explain your idea. Make sure that when you ask for feedback you listen to what your potential customers are telling you – avoid the temptation to only hear what you would like to hear. If the initial feedback is good, devote some time to thinking about what will set your idea out from your competitors and how you will attract interest.

What are the benefits of developing a new product or service?

A new product or service may help you to sell more to existing customers, or access new markets. You might also be able to spread your fixed costs across a wider range of products and reduce your reliance on a small number of customers. If you decide to import a product to increase your range, make sure you check this advice first.

There is huge potential in my idea, and I’m going to need to take on employees. What should I do?

If your business meets the eligibility criteria here, register for our High Growth support. We can help your business to access funding, and to develop a strategy that will help your business to grow sustainably.

Where else can I get support?

The National Enterprise Network membership network may be able to help you; visit the website here. You could also visit The Design Council website here and the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships website here to see if they can provide assistance.

You could also use konfer, which is an innovation brokerage tool designed to help businesses access funding opportunities and connect innovators and experts across the UK. For businesses, it opens up research, researchers and services in UK universities and research institutions. It is free to use, and once registered, users can post collaboration requests which are shared directly with all UK universities.  Find out more about konfer.

How do I protect my idea?

Visit our Intellectual Property page here for advice.

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