Euan Pallister 00:12
Hello, and a huge welcome to all that are joining this event today. And a very special welcome to any newcomers. We trust you all enjoy this event, and we would encourage you to use the chatbox in the Q&A box to express your questions and thoughts throughout the session. I’m Euan Pallister, the commercial director here at Innovolo. Joining me today is our very welcomed guest speaker Mr. Bob Hayward. Bob is a growth consultant and a senior executive coach. Having started seven businesses, he now loves using his experience and skills developed along the way to make growth happen for others. His clients include global giants like Unilever and BMW and industry disruptors like Sapphire Balconies and fleet check. Bob is the author of four Amazon bestsellers, Persuade (released in 2018), Remote Working (released in March 2020), Fit For Purpose Leadership (released in April), and Pivot and Grow (released in October). His latest book, The Profit Secret was released on the 10th of December last year and we’re giving this eBook away today to all those attending. Stick around to the end for the code to download the profit secret eBook free of charge. We will be posting this on the chat section towards the end of the webinar.
Today, we’ll be handing it over to Bob who will make his presentation for 20 to 25 minutes. Before we move on to a reasonably extensive Q&A session. Before we start, we understand that we’ve had a number of questions about what Innovolo actually does.
Putting it very simply, our organisation facilitates the acceleration of our clients’ physical product development, so new product development or R&D, whatever you like to name it. Every single business-to-business company out there that professes to be innovating needs an R&D team in some shape or form, whether it’s in-house or outsourced or both. As you know, R&D can be a high-cost investment. But one way to get that cost down is to outsource elements of it or sometimes maybe all of that there are two key ways that we kind of deliver this speed and cost reduction to our clients’ product development.
Firstly, we offer a monthly task-driven, fixed low-cost subscription, offering our clients total control and completing their product development journey task, by task the entire way, using direct access to our huge range of expertise.
And then secondly, we offer a Corporate Services package, which includes a provision of an onsite Product Development Manager for our clients, who are fully backed by our off-site team and expertise, giving our manager the additional tools that he may need to deliver our clients requirements perfectly, while remaining very flexible and extremely cost effective. Unfortunately, due to the confidential nature of our work, as you can probably understand, I’m unable to give examples of clients that we currently work with. But they span across a huge range of industries and sectors, perhaps even across yours. utility companies to medical construction, life safety, automotive, chemical, horticultural security, you name it, there’s a huge range out there that we deal with. Of course, if this is something that you’d like to have a look at for your company, our team would love to hear from you.
So enough about that. The subject of this event is The How, What, Why, Where, and When of Idea Commercialization. I’m gonna hand it over now to our guest, Bob. Thank you for coming, Bob, we appreciate having you here. So over to you, sir.
Welcome. Okay, great to be with your team. And I will share the screen as we got one or two slides to run through. So first off, who’s had the misfortune to hear from me before just type in the chat? Yes or no? Be useful for me to know whether I’ve actually got to find some new jokes on the hoof or whether I can use my standard ones! So, it’s a pleasure to be with you. Do feel free to use the chat to load in questions as we go through.
My promise to you today is that we will give you some answers on the how and the when and the what and the why and who and we will cover those essential elements of idea commercialization and I really am passionate about… I’m gonna leave here today with at least two things you can do straight away to improve what you’re currently doing in your own operation. So please do keep a pen and paper handy or computer handy, because the ideas will be provoked as we go through will be offering you a copy of the slide deck, don’t let that stop you writing things down, it’s great to get things through the eyes and the ears through the brain and out down the arm onto a piece of paper. It helps with retention, and helps Most importantly, with implementation. And it’s the implementation of ideas that will see things radically change.
Let’s start with: why bother with idea commercialization?
Well, it’s vital to understand that the derivatives of what we do now will make us more money in the future than what we do now. So we’re going to miss out on a huge opportunity. If we think we can just carry on doing what we do now. There is far more of an opportunity in evolving what we do in some kind of way, we can become instead of that wonderful caterpillar, an incredibly beautiful and attractive butterfly and live a completely different life. Or you might come across one of my friends. If you’ve not read, who’s Moved My Cheese, please do. So it’s a very short book, will only taking a couple of hours; a wonderful story about four mice and how they handled the surprise of finding the lump of cheese that’s always there for them, every day is moved, somebody is going to move the marketplace.
If the marketplace hasn’t moved for you during this last year with the crazy pandemic we’ve had, I’ll be very surprised. And if it hasn’t moved in the last 12 months, watch out, it’s probably just about to move. If the market moves and we’re not moving with it, or ahead of it, then we’re going to run out of cheese, we’re going to run out of profit, we’re going to struggle as a business. As many businesses have struggled during this pandemic, more will go out of business as you come out of a recession. That’s a typical pattern. And unless we’re innovating and moving, and adapting, then we will struggle. Of course, we can adapt and evolve as a business, but maybe not quite fast enough.
Now that camel is are one of the most highly adapted animals on the planet. Their feats are incredible. They can walk over sand dunes, everybody else gets stuck. That is a wonderful hump on their back, that carries the food in their water for days on end in the desert. And they’ve got these wonderful flaps on top of their nose, which stopped the sand from getting up their nose and making it impossible for them to breathe. Most animals get trapped in the sand dune and die, run out further water and die, get sand up their nose, and die not the camel. Unfortunately, there are more camels in zoos than there are in these modern deserts.
So be careful. If you’re innovating at a slower pace than the marketplace, you could end up in a zoo, we have to innovate at a faster rate than the marketplace in order to survive. So do think about your product life cycles of your current products and services.
In the chat, please answer this question: have you in the last 12 months analysed the product life cycle of each of your products and services? Do you know? Yes or no? Where each of your products is in their life cycle? Have some answers coming in as wonderful? not properly? Yes, well done. Yes, no, not yet. We’ve got a few yeses and a few noes and a few maybes.
It’s really a very useful exercise to map where your products and services are against a typical lifecycle. Partly because wherever the products are, the sales and marketing strategy to get it to move even further, faster, and more profitably are slightly different depending on where they are. And if you’ve got products moving into the maturity stage, there’s a lot of things that can be done to extend that maturity stage. I mean, think of the mass been developed in 1923. Is it in decline? I don’t think so. And the organisation behind Mars has been able to keep it alive since 1923. If we know where products are in that lifecycle, we can use idea commercialization to extend its lifecycle. We can use idea commercialization to improve the growth and speed it up we can use it to introduce products to early adopters and innovators will have. Course, we don’t want to own up to the fact that we might have some dogs in our list of products and services. And of course, where’s the best place in the lifecycle of a product? To develop it, to use idea commercialization? To take it further. To take it in a slightly different direction. We’re putting in the chat, where would you ideally like to actually put a new curve in play? Would you start that in decline? Would you start it in maturity? Would you start changing growth? Okay, the intro might be a little too early from my point of view. So, I’d say maturity, certainly, we don’t want to go beyond maturity, before we start trying to find the next evolution of that product. So, idea commercialization is not something that we only use on a brand new product, you can use it on a product anywhere in your lifecycle. So please remember, it’s a great thing to do if you’ve not done it properly. When you leave here, start planning how you’re going to map all your products and services against their product lifecycle, and look to evolve different strategies to move them on. Of course, one of the biggest mistakes that organisations make is not to change when they are successful. And it is one of the biggest barriers to success. One of the biggest barriers to progress is the fact that we’ve made a good stamp. I mean, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right. And of course, that can cause awful problems. And as I work with some of the larger organisations, and even some of my smaller clients, when you’re trying to implement change, there’s an awful lot of resistance that can come through, whether that’s organisational change or the evolution of products and services, there can be resistance, because we’re doing okay.
And as Jim Collins says, in a number of his books, third is the enemy of great. So we kinda need a burning platform on which people are standing, in order for them to actually realise, as stakeholders or investors or senior managers or the workforce in this business, actually, this perform burning, and someone’s going to move my cheese, or they’ve already started moving the cheese, and that product is starting to go into decline, we have to do something about it, we have to get a kind of groundswell of opinion, or Forgive me for saying we have to, it will be far more effective if we could, if we can create that kind of spirit in our organisations where we’re constantly irritated by this burning platform beneath us. And we, we’ve got a passion to make some significant progress. Do you remember, keep writing ideas down to important, it will help with the implementation. Of course, when we’re talking about topic, it’s always good to define a topic mean, why go on a training programme or a conference and not actually get a definition of what we’re supposed to be talking about. So here’s a typical definition of commercialization. And definitions of commercialization, wherever I find them on Google and various textbooks. They worry me, as a business owner, I get worried that commercialization kind of gets left to the end, when we’re thinking about the launch strategy. And that is just such a shame in my view. So if we look at a typical kind of whole lifecycle of product development, then you probably recognise a continuous cycle like this. And there are two really vital segments. I mean, I know they’re all important, so don’t get me wrong. There are two, which for me, as a sales and marketing person, as a business owner, are kind of more important than the others, if I could be so horrible to say that, one of which is the voice of the customer. I mean, why quick, develop something that wasn’t imbued with the voice of the customer. They’ve all be crazy with it, we wouldn’t just develop a product because we fancied it, we’d have to have some kind of insight that there was some kind of need and some kind of want, surely, for people to park the cash in sufficient volumes for us to make a profitable business? Surely. So voice of the customer, to me needs to be imbued in every stage of any product development lifecycle. Of course, we’ve got to go through decision gates. I’m not saying that there aren’t separate processes. But Wow, why not put the voice of the customer everywhere? And the other for me, surprise, surprise, as I’m talking about commercialization is virtualization. Why don’t we just kind of put it everywhere, so that we’re always thinking about how this is going to end up as a commercial entity, how this product or this service is going to add value significantly to the lives of the end users and add profit to our business. Why? Why would we not do that, and yet, so often, products and services developed in isolation, and can cause problems. Or we kind of put the voice of the customer in one part of the process and kind of keep it out of the rest, or we put commercialization out of the rest of the processes, and it becomes a bit clunky. Of course, this is a continuous upward spiral. As once products out there, we would keep listening, we would keep inquiring, in order to make further progress and further evolution. It’s a real shame, I think, when we push commercialization as concepts, to the far end work to the launch process. And of course, commercialization has a lot to say on how we should launch products. For me, we’ve missed the boat if we don’t put commercialization through it. So what do I suggest are the principles, essential principles of commercialization? For me, they’re all on this side. And in many ways, the profit secret contains an awful lot of these concepts. Because unless we’ve got an idea that’s going to add significant value to the end users. Why would anybody want it? Why would anybody part with money for it? I’ve got approvers go work, to myself, to my stakeholders, to my investors, to my team, to the early adopters, to the innovators in the marketplace, I’ve got to prove the market actually needs it. And they actually want it and those two things are very different. And when I need an electrician, to come and fix a couple of small electrical problems that I’ve got in the house, that I really should be able to fix myself. I just don’t want to put the time into it. But actually, I don’t want to pay the money for the Sparky to come either. We do want an awning outside for the summer, because it was a bit blinding last year having the sun beaming through the windows. So the awning company wanted £6000, I got them down to £4000, I’m quite happy to pay £4000 one morning to have on my house. But I’m being picky about spending a couple 100 quid for next question. And I really need that electrician I will spend has most of us will more money and what we want and what we wish for them what we need. There is a wish there was a want and there is a need. And the fantasy in my head, we find a product that somebody needs that they also want or dream of wish for. And then we can probably build a profitable business. But what is the point of launching something to the market that may add value to the end users that actually doesn’t help us create a profitable business? And those three things. The need, the value and the profit are part of the profit secret. For me, underlying principles of idea commercialization. Remember, keep writing things down. What about the hue of commercialization? Well, surprise, surprise, basketball, the customer, they’re really important people, and we need to get to know as many of them as possible. And the more chance we’ve got of getting inside their heads of customers, the better. And the voice of the customer is a definitive process to get inside the heads of customers. And we can use it as a qualitative process. And as a quantitative process, we need to make sure we’re talking to enough customers and prospects, not forget the prospects, they’re useful to talk to as well. If we don’t talk to enough, then we could end up going in the wrong direction. Now, a survey of one is not great, a survey a 12 is not great, we need to be sure that we’ve found a niche with a reasonable number of people in it, that have a big enough pain need, that they’re going to part with money. And when we’re developing products and services, that’s the fantasy. Let’s find a niche that is not well served. Let’s find a pain, a deep pain that really resonates with them, but we’re desperate to get rid of. And we’ve probably got something that will flow. And the methodology, which will help us get there is called the voice of the customer. 95% of businesses listen frequently to customer feedback is a huge number of opportunities that we’re getting every single day for most businesses, because feedback is the breakfast of champions. Unfortunately, even those organisations that have a an official Voice of the Customer programme, and that’s not all of us. Only 29% of them are actually doing anything with it. Now that’s research by Gartner rather than Bob Hayward so fairly robust there as a business. It’s our I would pray that you are incredibly consultative in all your relationships with your customers with your prospects, you take a posture of being a trusted adviser, being a consultant of doing things that are in their self-interest as well, it’s yours, that you’ve got an insatiable curiosity to what is going on in their world, to be able to see into the wishes and the wants and the needs that they have. And sometimes, in addition to being a consultant, to being a trusted advisor, we also need to be a detective, we actually need to investigate. And that process is a little different. Listening is one thing, investigating is another. And we need to be good both as a consultant, and as an investigator. Otherwise, we end up listening to things and making the daft assumptions. This is an old cartoon, most of you probably seen it before. The truth in it is still resonating is very easy to overhear customers and prospects talking and end up creating new product line in sleeping bags. Now, Apple has got no reason to get involved in sleeping bags. Even if people are daft enough to queue up outside these shops, whenever they release a new product, what we’re looking for is a less serve or poorly served niche. Hopefully, you already have relationships with your own niche. And what we’re looking for, in addition to that poorly served niche is a real pain and a pain spread across a number, a significant number of organisations, and where those individuals, those peoples, those companies have that huge pain that they’re desperate to get rid of, then they will part we can. Now one technique that you could use tomorrow to help you identify some of these potential pain points to turn you into that investigator if you’ve not found a method already, is called the A to Zed question. And the AIDS is a question is a diagnostic question that tries to establish from the customer’s point of view from the prospects point of view where the potential pain is without the influence of us trying to sell them something. So this is for use at a time where you can get a meeting, a zoom conversation, or phone call with a prospect or a client where actually you’re not trying to sell them anything. You’re really trying to establish a relationship and you’re trying to be insatiably and humbly curious about them in their world. And to give you an example, this is me talking to a training manager of an offshore drilling company. Now this offshore Training Manager wanted a safety training programme. And so my question to him was, okay, well, let’s go back to basics. Let’s start at the beginning. What are the behaviours that you’re already seeing from your staff that are creating the risk that’s making you look for a training programme? And if you imagine the journey that you’re going to go through, from the recognition of those behaviours, right to the end, where you’ve got a risk free, accident-free environment, let’s look at that entire process. And even though you’re doing reasonably well, at the moment, yeah, you know, we’ve you’ve got a reasonable number of days where there’s been no accidents, which part of this process concerns you the most, there is no context in there, other than the fact that I’m being engaged to talk to a training manager about a training programme. That’s the context, but where he identifies the pain in that process is entirely up to him. It’s nondirective in that way. Of course, I can follow that question up with a few more nonjudgmental questions in order to identify the pain. Once I’ve identified, some of the pain will begin to realise that there are causative factors which have a domino effect on different parts of the organisation. And although we might start talking with a training manager, or a chief executive, we could end up talking to a whole host of people. This is an example from the profit secret where the conversation started with the chief executive who’s struggling to hit his profit targets and ended up with the ops director who’s got some problems with his maintenance. Now, good news. I could sort out the maintenance problem. If this is a combination, across a large number of customers and prospects, I might have I might have found that less well served niche with a high pain point that’s consistent across a large enough number of people, for me to think about developing a product for of course, you You can look on Google and see how big your sample size is going to be to prove it. And it’s been in a lot of occasions, we want both quantitative and qualitative data on the voice of the customer, which gives us some evidence to prove this product is needed and is wanted and can make us a profit. Those two things in my mind, go hand in hand. Please remember, write some ideas down, we’re talking about things that you can implement tomorrow. Add all this work, you’ll end up forging products and services, see what I’ve done there. And forging differentiators into those products. And as vital from the customer voice of the customer. imbuing the product development process from the commercialization element in building the entire product development process, we will end up creating good strong differentiators. If we don’t have good strong differentiators forged hardwired into the product or service. Then there’s really only two differentiators. One of them is you the person and the other one is price. I don’t want you to go there. So please, can we forge strong differentiators into the products and services to keep us in the place where we can sell at a premium, please. Having developed the best ideas, you can, of course, you want to get feedback from customers and prospects, we’ve got to engage with the marketplace, because we might have developed a product that we liked. And that’s just gonna cause us problems. And you might laugh at that you need surely nobody would be stupid enough to not put commercialization and the voice of the customer into product development? Well, sadly, no. Here’s an example. It’s a real textbook of Ford, who lost millions on a car called the editor named after one of Henry Ford’s children, I believe the senior managers created that product. They knew they were losing sales to Cadillac and other premium car manufacturers. So they decided to create a premium car with everything in it. Something that everybody would want, at a mid-point price. Unfortunately, despite the claim of fine engineering, this was a piece of taught and lost them millions. biggest problem was they really didn’t test it with the market. They did not have a rigorous idea commercialization process. Google won’t get everything right. Tomorrow, Google a brilliant. Who bought Google glasses? Put it in the chat. Who bought a Google Glass? There must be somebody here that bought a Google Glass, please put yes or no in the chat. Nope, nope, nope. Oh, they lost a fortune. Now, what did they do wrong? Because they were listening to their customers. What they did wrong, was they launched the product to the innovators and the influences in the marketplace. When he was a prototype, and they didn’t tell him, it was a prototype. They launched a prototype with all the bugs to intense group of networkers who were highly influential, and they candid, they absolutely ripped it apart. Why would you pay one and a half 1000 pounds for a pair of glasses when the technology is so clunky and don’t work? So please test it, test it in the marketplace, test it with real people. You may need to do that privately and you may need to manage your expectations. You can do it one at a time. Please, please don’t copy people don’t just move into a space because somebody else has. This is Apple versus Microsoft. And not many people will have heard of Zune. They lost. Some people say 1.3 billion on it. I think Microsoft claim they only lost 289 million, but let’s not worry about it. They lost a fortune trying to copy someone and doing a bad job of it. If you are going to be a fast follower, then you need to be a fast follower. That means you got to catch up and surpass the person who went to the market first. They just copied and copied bagging. We do need to be different. Now who here likes white eggs? And who here likes Browns put brown or white in the chat? Do you prefer brown eggs or white eggs…brown, brown, brown both, brown, brown? Hey guys and girls, they taste the same, there’s nothing different other than the shell is the colour. And yet, manufacturers and supermarkets go to the extent of separating white from the brown, good. We don’t have to be better; we just have to be different, we have to have strong differentiators. And then there’ll be enough people attracted to those differentiators to make us a nice healthy profit, provided of course, you’re tested, tested with bullets, Jim Collins, again, test it fire bullets, small amount of marketing effort targeted at innovators, let them know it is a prototype is not finished yet. We don’t go big, blazing huge cannibals until we know we’ve got it right, we’ve got to go through an experiential process, and experimental process and evaluation process and do all those adjustments to get it right. And that is really significantly part of idea commercialization. From my point of view, we’ve got to know in terms of the commercial strategy, the business where this product or service is going to fit. And the hardest to go after is diversification. And working with a couple of clients on on diversification strategy, taking them into a space that they’ve never been to before, in countries have never been to before with products they’ve never tried to sell before is tough, unless you’ve got deep pockets is tough is scary, the best places to be a market differentiation, market penetration, number one, product development, number two, possibly number three, market development. So hopefully, our products and services will help us with our growth strategies. Now know from some of the questions that was sent in earlier on, some people got so many ideas floating around, they don’t know which ones to choose, I would recommend you use an ease benefit matrix, kind of a Boston matrix and layer on top case. Now the slide deck is available to you afterwards. So you kind of can go back to this, but it’s fairly simple. Surely, the ones that are easiest to implement with the biggest number of returns are the ones that should be our priority, and the ones that are going to produce the least amount of return in our minds. And our most difficult to implement, we should get rid of it we are defined as much by what we say no to as much as what we say yes to. So please be prepared to turn some of the ideas away. Remember, write some things down. Do remember to protect your IP, it’s really important before you go launch and stuff. It’s a really big part of idea commercialization that we’ve got to protect our IP. And apart from the obvious apply for a patent. There are lots of other things that we can do, including just being published widely by and being named in all those publications. Being first at a market or first to publish can stop anybody else claiming IP, it can stop other people putting a patent in place. And of course, be careful when you’re getting into alliances and partnership is much cleaner. If only one organisation owns the IP, Apple have a real problem with some of their manufacturers. And there’s been millions of different pounds of dollars of claims backwards and forwards between different organisations about IP, IP fights. So single ownership of IP is much better. And all staff and all suppliers really should be wrapped up with non-disclosures and restrictive covenants. Partnerships are great, because they can enable us to, if you want, synchronise the whole supply chain, and maybe one of the fascinating differentiators you can create in your production service is that you actually have created alignment across the supply chain. And that can make a huge difference because delivery and implementation are some of the biggest issues today. And if you are more consistent at delivery and implementation, then you will start to make progress in the marketplace. Of course, you’ve got to put your marketing plan together. And there’s nothing better than the four Ps model of marketing unless you prefer the eight PS model of marketing. There are some I’ve got nine or 10. I was looking at Google only the other day when I was reflecting on the content of the slides. So do think about your whole marketing strategy. We’ve had to nail the customer. We’ve had to be sure we’re just going after the customer that we really want. This is a hummingbird moth. You can search all over France for it, but they love the bedelia and the red valaria. So if you really want to catch a Hummingbird moths a day flying moth, then you might as well just stand beside a bubbler or a red Valerian because they will turn out very shortly, and you’ll catch a lot of them. In the old days, we used to spend, say 1000 pounds on an advert in the in the Times newspaper or The Daily Telegraph, and hope that 10% of their readers were in our target market, which meant we wasted 900 pounds in today’s world with social media and the ability for for re advertising through Google searches and various other mechanisms, we can just target the day fly flying Hummingbird moth, we can just stand beside the buddleia or the red Valerian. And so knowing your customer makes idea commercialization more cost effective, because you can just go after the people that you really, really want. As a spy skill, use the same. Remember, you don’t have to be better than your competition, you just have to be different. We eat chicken eggs, although duck eggs are more nutritious, because the chickens advertise when they lay an egg, they make an activity. When adapt lays an egg, it just quacks. So of course, idea commercialization does require us to do marketing, we need a really strong value proposition, it must resonate with our prospects and customers, there must be strong enough differentiators and we must be able to prove it. The launch strategy itself, well, are you going to be first mover or fast? Think about how you’re going to target your innovators as well as your early adopters. You can go after them one by one, privately, test the prototype, think about the strategic alliances, the networks that you could leverage, because those networks will give you legitimacy and credibility. And be sure that you’ve tested everything you can with your VP and your m m p. Now, of course, it’s really important to have a minimum viable product and do all the work on that. Just remember that the minimum viable product is designed to test the need, not the product. We might start with deep fried dough in order to prove that there is a desire for deep fried dough. There’s never going to be what we launch into the market, we’re going to launch something that’s far more palatable. But the minimum marketable product is not necessarily where we’re going to end up with. But that’s where we’re going to start. So do work thoroughly through an MVP and an MMP process. When you do come to launch, think of the early adopters think of the network that’s going to come after that that will give you credibility and leverage before you worry too much about mainstream adoption. This sequence the approach usually leads to greater success. But when you do go launch big time mainstream, we’re firing cannibals, then we want seven channels of inbound warm leads. My advice to you is once one per launch one major product or service at a time and until it is up and running and profitable. Don’t launch anything else. It’s a good idea to land one aircraft on an aircraft carrier at a time, it will take you a lot of time and effort and energy. So please concentrate, land it get it working, get it profitable before you move on. I hope you’ve been writing some things down. I did promise that you’d come away with some ideas that you could implement two ideas you could implement from tomorrow. We’ve spoken about the principles of idea commercialization. We’ve spoken about the home of commercialization, I’ve given you some ideas on how you could become diagnostic and start to uncover unmet needs within your niche. We’ve talked about how to create strong differentiators and that you don’t need to be better. We spend a little bit of time thinking about how to prioritise all the ideas you’ve got. We’ve talked about firing bullets before cannonballs launch into influences a prototype provided I know it’s a prototype, launch and then next to a network to leverage your credibility. And please just launch one product at a time. As you mentioned earlier on I am offering as Innovolo is offering a free copy of the profit secret which is getting some good strong reviews out there. And the code will be sent to you through the chat and I’m sure after the programme as well.
Questions -Who’s got some?
Euan Pallister 40:04
Loads coming in Bob? They’re coming in right from the beginning. And they’re still coming in now. So we’ve got about 20 minutes to 1520 minutes to cover off as many as we can. Do you want to pick one? Or would you like me to know You carry on noon? Let’s make a start shall we? And so the first one is coming, how do you keep all parts of the business motivated about R&D, to keep driving sales, the owners like it nice and steady without having to invest to knock their own products out, R&D would rather use someone else’s product rather than develop it one better?
Bob Hayward 40:41
It is difficult to keep all parts aligned. So part of it is, is helping people recognise that there is a burning platform, that products go through a life cycle businesses go through the same S curve is every product. And some people are not so aware that a product or service a team a business is going to go through that natural cycle. And if we educate people about that cycle, and if we identify where our products or services are in that lifecycle, and say, hey, we’ve got some products here, who are showing signs that they’re fully matured, next is coming decline. unless we do something about it, you’re more likely to get buying, I mean, as an investor in a business, I want to see a return on my investment. If I’m putting money into a business, then I want that to come back at a much greater level than if I put the money in the bank. If you prove to me that I’m going to lose profit, because I’ve got products in decline, or I’ve got products that have reached maturity, and are likely going to decline. And we’ve got something else over here that I have proved, statistically, there is a market need for and there is a market want for at a profitable price, then I’m going to listen, it does take effort. And that would be my advice, educate people about product life cycles, and that there’s a natural S curve to product services, teams, and businesses. And if we’re not careful, someone’s gonna move out cheese.
Euan Pallister 42:14
That’s very helpful. Yeah, I guess. Having your professional foundation very clearly established as well will help to ensure that any products that you do put on the table that as a new product idea is totally aligned to that vision or mission or the direction you’re heading the business in and find one that your competition after finding an idea that that’s not based on a competition’s product is it could potentially be absolutely gold basket now.
Bob Hayward 42:43
Absolutely, yeah, we have those choices, we can decide that the first to market has got some weaknesses, and we can be the fast follower and overtake them quickly. That’s why we call it a fast follower. Or you are going to be the first to market yourself with something that’s slightly different. It’s repackaged, and honestly, as long as it’s different, and those differentiators are strong. It actually doesn’t have to be better. If the duck egg is actually better for us. We don’t eat duck eggs in the main we eat chicken eggs because they advertise. So it’s different. And they’ve put a lot of weight behind its promotion. I don’t know whether the chicken was before the duck or the duck was for the chickens. I don’t know which one follows through. But if we’ve got differentiators and we market it, we can have a big success.
Euan Pallister 43:37
Yes, very, very true. There’s another one here, we have a few scattered ideas that have been playing around for approximately a year now. Can you help tell us a way we can really knock them down and filter those ideas?
Bob Hayward 43:48
I guess? I think the right answer is the Boston Matrix is a nice benefit matrix. Just how easy is this to implement versus, you know, what do we see as the potential for the return on investment, which one’s going to make us the most profit, which one’s going to cost us the most or the least. And then if you lay out on top of that four-box model, because the US benefit matrix will give you those four boxes. If you lay a place on top of that, you’re looking to have the priority group be those products or services or features that actually will be the easiest to implement, and the ones that return the highest profit. There’s no point implementing something that’s not going to make you a profit. That’s not meeting a need or giving value to consumers that those three things are intrinsic, there must be a clear need, and a want. There must be high value for the end-user. And there’s got to be a profit. And there are so many of those ideas probably that don’t fit in their category. Now, please don’t just get your own opinion. Otherwise, we might have an N cell on our hands and we’ll lose a bunch of money. To market please go to the prospects and customers, the people that love you the most and the best people to start with, use a consultative approach, try and identify a need and match the product to listen, listen, listen. And we, if we can do that, then we’ve got a big chance. And when the weight of an 800 person survey falls upon the desk, and says, miss the blue one, not the red one, we kind of have to listen to it. So quantitative and qualitative analysis, use that data to lay on my knees benefit matrix. And if necessary, put paces a prioritisation tool on top of crucial is not
Euan Pallister 45:44
Yeah, it’s excellent the ROI on our product ideas is, is a crucial part of it. And one thing that we’ve we’ve come across a lot is that companies come up with an idea and look at it and say, well, the market would love this, you know, this is this is brilliant. And actually, it’s not gonna take much to develop this. And they launch straight into it without being too much more homework. And what they end up doing is going around around around around in circles, and eventually it becomes a failure because I pumped too much money into it, it’s taking too long, and it has to get shelved. So it’s really, really important to prioritise the product ideas, not just based on cost, but the return and how quickly can you get the return. And actually have a look at not just that product alone. So sometimes you may be developing a product. And you can see a return on investment just in that in that product as an individual product. But actually, that may help sell another product line. And it may if you can predict position it right it can actually advance other product lines along with it. Yeah, you do, you do have to think about whether you’re going to cannibalise your current product range by introducing a new product, or whether you’re going to compliment it that’s got to be part of that process, you know, the return on the profit for the entire business is not just a return on investment of that product itself. There are people who, who make that mistake of launching a mid-priced product and cannibalise a high-priced product. You know, we do have to be very careful about that. The best way is to analyse it quantitative and qualitative data get some hard numbers out there, not just what’s in your head or the board said, that’s, that’s a dangerous place to make investment decisions is just inside our heads. So we’re rock-solid research and proper calculations are just facts and data set you free I think is one of the coaches might be Michael Wallace is his favourite saying. So yeah.
Bob Hayward 47:50
I think there’s a piece of advice that goes back a little bit earlier than Michael, which is really knowing the truth sets us free. Yeah, that that comes from a really powerful source. Is that and the truth, we will only find out if we will do the research, which is where Michael is right?
Euan Pallister 48:07
Absolutely. We got another question. How do we merge business ideas and opportunities without losing focus?
Bob Hayward 48:16
How do we merge? There’s a great brainstorming tool called scamper, which is well worth a lookup. You know, if if you’ve got a range of ideas or products that are out there, then guided brainstorming can help you pull things together. So how do we substitute? What can we minimise? What can we maximise? You go through the scamper process, if you Google it, you’ll get all the guidance you need for each of the letters. And guided brainstorm like a scannable process will enable you to see where you can extend things and merge things together. Ultimately, you’ve got to take that merged idea of yours and see if it will float in front of customers and prospects. Of course, the guided brainstorm is probably the best way of talking ideas through, you do want to look at an entire supply chain. And often in businesses we don’t think about much beyond our own business. But in the modern world, if we can integrate supply chain through alliances, we may just be an awful lot quicker off the foot. So Amazon has done an amazing job at aligning the supply chain. It never ceases to amaze me how fast things arrive at my door. When dear old roll males still take a couple of days to send me a first-class lesson. So the alignment in the supply chain can make a huge difference to your capability. So don’t leave that out in the mix as well. But how to merge good ideas together. Use a guided brainstorm process like scamper.
Euan Pallister 49:57
Very helpful. Thank you. Yeah, brilliant. wrote another way to have one of our issues is we jump into things with an outcome already in our heads when the outcome doesn’t come to fruition or motivation is lost, if any comments on that.
Bob Hayward 50:11
Yeah, what we see quite often is individuals or a group of people, whether they be the R&D team, or the business owners getting excited about something, I mean, let’s be clear, the R&D side of the business should be producing 50% of our products for the future. So all of us on this call today should be able to look at now, our portfolio of products and services and go right? How many of these products and services existed three years ago, how many of these products and services were we selling three years ago, because if it’s most of them in R&D haven’t done enough. If it’s 50%, then you might be there or thereabouts. But we should expect a significant output from R&D into the business, that’s the return on investment, we were expecting that the products and services we sell in three years’ time won’t be what we’re selling now, that 20 3040 50% of them are going to be different. And then we can as a business get behind that, in total, we can see it makes such sense. Very few people are going to argue against it, we’re going to see it as a team effort. It’s not just the idea of one person. And when you engage the whole business, in innovation, in listening to customers in commercialization, when that’s everybody’s responsibility, you have a much greater chance than if it falls on the shoulder of one person.
Euan Pallister 51:46
That’s very true, we’ve seen that we’ve run a number of ideation workshops. And the more people you get into those workshops, and the various parts of the team, so even if you can get guys from the warehouse, you know, get them pulled into an ideation session. It’s incredible the ideas that come forward from that.
Bob Hayward 52:05
It is and, you know, I, I love people right throughout an organisation. And we forget, sometimes were one of my clients. A director of a, you know, a 50-million-pound company often says, You know, I started in any engineering shop, I just used to cut metal. Look at me now, I was talking to a client earlier this morning, that two of his senior management team, one of which is the digital market here, started in the warehouse. We have no idea of the potential of people that work in our organisations, honestly, when we don’t understand necessarily their life experiences. And it frustrates me as an entrepreneur, and as a business consultant. When we exclude people from research, so it to me, it’s like, come on, we’re gonna have a blitz session, we’re gonna have a brainstorming session where we’re going to have an idea as best. Let’s all join, let’s get everybody involved it. It’s amazing. What can come from it
Euan Pallister 53:17
Certainly is. A direct question for you here. Question is, could you give us some insight on what it took to create A Profit Secret?
Bob Hayward 53:28
Oh, my coach, I have a coach. Mindy. She’s her title is the book midwife. And it is like having a baby. It is incredibly painful. So the idea for the province think it started years ago when Nick balled up my best friend running buddy and sales trainer was still with us. And we started that book then that was years ago. And I struggled to finish the profit secret immediately afterwards, passing that took me a couple of years ago, I finished and now and I couldn’t bear to look at the profit secret. But when COVID hit I kind of forced myself because for me, there’s so much in it that can help people through this difficult time and through the Recovery that’s going to come hopefully very soon. So it’s, it’s a tough exercise writing the book, you can your one technique that Nick and I used to use was to get some three by five index cards. This is how old we are, and how long ago we started. And just write down an idea or a thought or a quote, or a chapter title, or subtitle or the snippet of a conversation on a three-by-five card and then stick it in shoebox. And then every now and again. Open up the shoe box and lay it all out and go and organise it. We did start like that wasn’t long before it became more electronic. And we had a shared Word document on Dropbox in those days, and we would synchronise it across two computers. And occasionally we would go away on a break. So we go away for a week. And we would do some running in the morning because we were both crazy runners, he was worse than me. And then in the afternoon, we would sit down and write to go. And those were fantastic times. So yeah, half of the profit secret was written in a hotel on a golf course in Spain. And we would run maybe half marathon in the morning, and we’d write most of the afternoon. And we drink wine and have nice food in the evenings. But writing it was the easy bit. The real tough bit is the editing. I did not enjoy the editing, I am not a detailed person, spell checking and grammar checking. Might as well hold a gun to my head to make me do it was really hard. Mindy had an awfully tough job, getting it across the line, and the book would not be finished. If it wasn’t for her, or for her team. It’s that’s an amazing team that she has a pin number press
Euan Pallister 56:08
as very interesting. Thanks for that insight. Brilliant. You mentioned about a golf course and talking about things and being able to put that into the book and being able to write the book from that. And I mean, I can definitely relate to that. I’ve never written any books. And I’m not exactly intending to guess yet. But I do remember, at the earliest onset of starting this company, I spent many five o’clock, I am swimming with my brother, down at the beach here locally, just knit down there. I go for a swim literally for 20 minutes. And the ideas that came out of that are absolutely fantastic. You just take yourself out of the office go somewhere separate. I made the idea and creativity is massively increased in that.
Bob Hayward 57:01
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, the number of ideas Nick and I will come up with whilst we were running. Yeah, I mean, we had to stop running sometimes, because we were laughing so much about things we were talking about. So we have had a ball. So that was our pastime. I can’t I like run marathons. But swimming is a bit tough for me. So which is weird. It’s got something to do with the breathing. Apparently, I swallow too much water?
Euan Pallister 57:31
Well, I guess we’re kind of running low on time now. But maybe we just cover up one more, and then we’ll wrap up. In the past, we have over complicated tables, could you give us a rough simple step-by-step guide of how to get our ideas into action? I mean, you’ve covered this already in your presentations, but just overall rough step by step.
Bob Hayward 57:52
Yeah, I think the first place I would start even if you’ve got an idea is I would go to some customers and some prospects, and not run the idea pass then asked maybe an ADA Zed question, which might, in your mind, meaning they end up talking about the need, which the product or the service can meet is that that’s really what you is best practice is, it’s too easy to take the product to someone and go would you like one of these. Whereas if you can have an extended conversation and get them to explain the need, and then you go, we might have something in our minds that could fulfil that. But it’s nowhere near prototype yet. Now, can I run the idea of plastic? So I think that’s the starting point for everything, along with the mindset that we must be able to prove a need and a want and a profit. Before we go too far. Then there’s a natural process to follow through in terms of ideation, and in terms of prioritising the features that are going to go in it and how you would manufacture and getting a prototype ready. I mean that there are some great simple processes just google it that there’s no secret, actually to identifying those steps in the process. And you’ll have a copy of these slides, I’m sure so that that one of those processes is outlined there. And it’s a pretty good one. It’s the one I would recommend. But ultimately, when we’ve got a prototype, we’ve got fire bullets, and we want to go privately to people tell him it’s a prototype, and really ask him to rip it apart and put it back together again, so that you can evolve it and improve it. And until you’re sending stuff out to these innovators, they’re not early adopters, they’re innovators. They come before the early adopters, and those innovators are going nice, but on rock and roll Can I have one until you’re getting that kind of reaction. You just got to keep testing and evolve to keep testing and evolving. Once you’ve got that kind of reaction. Now it’s time to go right Need to leverage your network. And once we’ve leveraged our network and got some credibility in the marketplace and approach moving, now we’ve thought accountable. And we go mad, like the chickens, and make a huge noise, and it’ll take off. So follow that kind of process.
Euan Pallister 1:00:17
As excellent. I love the analogy about the chickens. I’ll pass that on to my marketing department. Can we come to the chicken department? That’s printed. Excellent. Okay. And also, I’ve got to throw this in. And if you want some assistance with, you know, looking at an idea and exploring it, you can always outsource that that’s always available. So yeah, I think you know where to come from said you, perhaps want to wrap up now, if that’s okay, I think Bronwynne has or will put the link in the chat, which will be the link to download the free eBook, the profit secret. And it’s been a really good event. I’m really, really enjoyed that. Bob, it’s been, it’s been really good. Just really relate to what you’ve been saying. And it’s just very, very, very powerful. Any questions that have come in, unfortunately, I won’t be able to cover them all, we will get in touch with you directly to personally. And so with that like to thank you very much, Bob. We trust everyone’s got some really good key takeaways from that. I think you’ve made enough noise about making notes. And this recording will be made available afterwards for everyone to take home. So with that, I wish everyone the very best in the future. No doubt we’ll be in touch in due course again, Bob, and yeah. Goodbye, everyone for now.
Bob Hayward 1:01:49
Bye, everybody. Have a great evening. Bye now.