How To Come Up With A Winning Business Idea – My Top 3 Strategies Revealed

Any man or woman can start a business, it’s a matter of chucking your existing job in then setting up with a computer in your living room. The difficult part is making it all work. The odds are stacked against you. The most important part of succeeding with a business is starting out with the right business idea. There is no point I pouring all your effort and money into an idea which essentially is not going to capture your target audience.

So what are the best methods in obtaining a winning formula?

  1. Look Hard For Problems. The best ideas in the business world do not come from a science lab, they come due to a customers need that has not been resolved. You need to teach yourself to tune in to people’s problems. The bigger the problem the bigger your potential market. It can benefit you if you are involved with industry or consumer groups as this can get you closer to potential business ideas.
  2. Keep Your Eye On Change. Change is a great opportunity for business, there are always opportunities when your country goes through social change. Good examples of this are ‘New legislations’ in recent times there have been many around international banking laws and the way we reward bonuses. Climate change is also a big topic these days, I know of many start-ups who have taken advantage of this as there is often funding for businesses to go green and there are government incentives available if you go this route.
  3. Technology. This is a great way to get into new markets, I know of a business who setup a business wholly selling Apple products, he got in with the Apple distributors long before the iPad and iPhone 4 were released so he could pre-sell the products before anyone else in our local town. By achieving this he reached an exclusive agreement with the distributor on the price compared to anyone I know. You do have to be aware though as sometimes technology can seem too good to be true the above example is not very common and it took a lot of work. It is very easy to get seduced by new technology. What you need to answer in your own mind is whether the new technology has the ability to open up new markets.

Use your creativity to think new ways to make a valid business. Ask your friends and families what is lacking in the local area, speak with local businesses the same question. Get involved with breakfast clubs for local business.

Even in this economic climate there are always opportunities appearing out of the woodwork, you just need to ensure that you act upon them.

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Strategic Alliances for Innovation, Technology and Training

Daily, more organizations are looking toward partnering strategies to assist in global competitiveness. Business executives are realizing that their companies can no longer go it alone. Many are achieving business success and growth through methodical and strategic planning. Three important reasons for you to consider adopting the development of strategic alliances in your strategic plan are:

1. Increase in Technological Sophistication

2. Improvement in Training

3. Accelerate Your Innovation Process

Technological Sophistication

An exchange of technology to compliment your core strengths shores up your core weakness and improves production capabilities to better serve customers. An example of this type of alliance is the alliance of Kinko’s Service Corp. (copy centers) and Xerox Engineering Systems to establish a nationwide network for faxing large-format documents. This service was especially valuable to architects, contractors and advertising agencies before file transfer protocol became practical. Kinko’s gets a revenue boost and Xerox gets additional placement and unit sales.

Technical hotlines and on-site technical support are regularly available from suppliers with whom you’ve developed alliances. While much of this has been outsourced to India over the years, this type of alliance can overcome the cost benefit in outsourcing offshore.

To receive a technological contribution or possibly a technological edge in your industry like the alliance between IBM and Apple to develop a new computer operating system that allows both hardware formats to communicate, or like Nynex Corp. and Philips Electronics who joined to develop screen telephones for residential use.

Training

Learning curve commitment. Cost savings are passed along as experience is gained in producing a new product, and discounts are available on start-up products to encourage early sales.

Better sales and technical training for your employees is an important benefit in partnering with your suppliers. More manufacturers and distributors are developing training programs for dealers.

Guggenheim Dental, a dental supply distributor in Southern California is now regularly offering training programs for their top customers. Recently, at a seminar I delivered for the National Nutritional Foods Association, I suggested to the retailers that they only buy their nutritional supplements from suppliers that offer training DVDs. This is an added benefit in the seller/buyer relationship.

Innovation

The computer and electronics industries have profited greatly from alliance relationships. Innovation has become commonplace for firms that have chosen to work together. The University of Toronto’s Innovations Foundation signed an agreement with Northway Explorations Ltd. and Polyphalt, a private Ontario, Canada company, to deliver polymer-modified asphalt materials technology for longer lasting roads to the commercial market.

To differentiate oneself from the competition. Steelcase’s alliance with Peerless Lighting, located in Berkeley, California, offers state-of-the-art office lighting. The relationship has brought Steelcase an additional $15 to $35 million in annual furniture sales. Also, they received additional dollars from the light fixture billings.

A term that is appearing in some business publications, Open Innovation really means innovation through partnering. Open innovation refers to companies admitting they do not have all the answers and are now considering strategic alliances with other companies to access their proprietorial or intellectual properties to use in new ideas for their own company. While this is simply a new name for strategic alliance, the system has been proven successful for decades. Finally, more organizations are getting on-board with the idea.

Technological sophistication, training and innovation are three of many reasons that you will want to have strategic alliances in your future strategic plans.

What Happened to Window Technology?

What happened to the grand dreams of advanced window technology we heard about 30 years ago? We were all told to expect window innovations that would revolutionize our lives. We were told to expect such things as windows that would open and close themselves according to a schedule or by some smart technology that would regulate inside temperature more effectively. There was also speculation of windows that would darken or lighten to filter out light, heat and UV by merely turning a knob or flipping a switch. Yet here we are decades after those promises were made with limited window technology available.

About the only window technology available to consumers that is readily available and cost effective is low e glass or multiple thermal pane windows. Sure we can apply electric motors to some types of windows, or add different films to windows to achieve different degrees of darkening but we don’t really consider these as high technology promise fulfillment.

When I think of high tech windows I tend to think of such things as star trek. OK so Star trek might be a little over the top but when the idea of high tech windows comes to mind I tend to think of more than a simple window that opened with a crank handle or sash pull. Granted windows have come a long way in technology that we don’t see. Low e glass is one that we often don’t think about. A technology that has been around for many years, it cuts down on the harmful UV light that enters our homes fading our carpets and furniture, it also reduces the amount of excess heat during warmer weather cutting cooling costs by a large percentage. It can also be used, depending on how the film is applied to the window, to reflect heat back into the home during cold months thus saving on heating costs.

I can remember as a child seeing those late fifties early sixties news real type shows that depicted the home of the future with smart appliances as well as smart windows and doors. Much of those shows that dealt with early concepts and early ideas about how technology might be used in the future have seen those ideas come to fruition.

You can go into almost any home and find smart appliances such as refrigerators and ranges, heating and air conditioning systems, even water heaters and washing machines. All of these types of appliances have come of age and adopted some type of smart technology. But what happened to the innovations we were told would be coming for windows?

S P G or switchable privacy glass was one innovation that was predicted to be commonplace in the home by the year 2000. That technology does exist but isn’t commonplace. Photo gray windows such as the glass used in optical lenses were believed would also be commonplace by now but are not.

The actual photo gray technology like that used in optical lenses proved to be too expensive for window application. But other tinting or automatic darkening technology does exist but is generally still too expensive to be commonplace in consumer windows. It is however a technology that is in use in some commercial applications.

Other technology such as switchable privacy glass has actually made it into consumer based product production at one time or another but with very limited success. Not for lack of interest in the technology by in large but rather because of the failure of the technology to meet the needs of consumers or simply the failure of the technology to deliver as promised.

The Milgard window company actually put a version of smart switchable privacy glass windows into production for consumer windows. The windows seemed to be well received but Milgard was forced to abandon production because of technology failures resulting in an unacceptable rate of return and general dissatisfaction of consumers with the product. They have abandoned the idea for now at least in favor of an auto tinting window technology which is still under development.

Other window companies as well have had similar experiences with switchable privacy glass. But the idea is not dead in fact it has had a recent revival at Indiana university where the largest switchable privacy glass project ever undertaken has been complete on the Health Information and Transitional Sciences Building using SPD light control film produced by Hitachi.

Although this again is a commercial application for a new technology it speaks of hope for future consumer window products. Generally speaking, new technologies that arrive in the consumer market place are first proven in the commercial arena.

Many of what were once thought of as “space age” window technologies have come to be realities, but not many of them have become consumer affordable realities yet, and I stress the word yet.

Science and Technology – Definition by Real Life Examples

How someone could define what is Science and Technology?

Science is search for the profound knowledge. Scientists investigate the world around us. They observe how things work and develop ideas about ways to make them work better. Sometimes they try to test an idea to explain how something works. Scientists perform experiments to find out how things work. The knowledge that they discover is useful for many things. It can help to build new machines. It can help scientists to develop new medicines or cure a disease. Technology is the use of scientific knowledge to create new things.

Then what is an Inventor?

An inventor is a person who creates a new idea or device to perform a task. An invention is the new technology created. An inventor with a new idea or design for an invention may decide to have the idea protected. The idea gets protection from the law in a paper called a patent. A patent prevents other people from making, using, or selling the new idea without permission from the inventor. Some inventions are simply a better way of doing or building something. They may improve an existing technology. Other inventions are much more complicated.

Today’s technology has been in the process of development for thousands of years. New inventions are constantly changing how people work and play. They change how people think and live. The future constantly brings us even more changes. This will happen as we continue to learn about the world.

Do we depend on science and technology?

What did you do today? Did you talk on the telephone? Did you ride in a car or on a bus? Did you use a computer or turn on a light? If you did any of these things, you used technology.

Almost everybody uses some form of technology at work, home, or school. Computer programmers use computer technology to write a computer program. People may write letters using a computer program called a word processor. Many people work in the entertainment industry. Camera operators use television and motion-picture cameras. They use them to make TV shows and movies. Disc jockeys, or DJs, play records and CDs on the radio.

Scientists use all sorts of technology to study the Earth and the Universe. Businesses often have telephones, fax machines, and computers. Graphic designers use desktop publishing programs to create books and magazines. Doctors frequently use medical technology. They use it to treat injuries, illnesses, and diseases such as cancer. Pilots fly airplanes and helicopters. Who knows what jobs will be created by new technologies in the future!

Find Out How Old UCG Technology Really Is, and Who Created It

Over the last few years, increasing oil prices have had the public curious about whether this is the only way to fuel their cars. Considering all the technology available today, one would think at least one oil-deprived country would come up with an alternative way to get gasoline. Few people are happy with the costs and hassle of having to import oil from other countries, except perhaps the oil owners themselves. Therefore, there is plenty of motive to develop an alternative fuel source. What many members of the public do not understand is that there are plenty of ideas floating around, a few of which actually make sense. Underground coal gasification, or UCG, could be exactly what we need.

UCG is as natural as it gets, combining our natural resources, like coal, with smart technology. The process begins with two wells being drilled into the surface above the coal, referred to as the coal seam. Air gets pumped in through the first well, and the coal is ignited until it reaches extremely high temperatures. This heat creates a mixture of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide and methane. Oxidants are introduced through the first well, guiding this new synthesis gas, or syngas, out through the second well. The final step is for the syngas to be filtered to create clean fuel, absent of any impurities like carbon dioxide or sulfur.

Any issues the UCG process might possess have been worked out by its creators. For example, some environmentalists are concerned about the carbon dioxide that the UCG procedure creates. There is no need to worry, however, as proponents of the process ensure that the substance will never touch the atmosphere. This is because the UCG process creates a cavity under the surface where the solid coal once lay, and since it is now empty, it is the perfect spot for carbon dioxide storage. The gas is filtered before it is introduced to the surface, so a crisis can be averted by the simple fact that the process takes place underground. This probably sounds great, but one might wonder who the creators of UCG are.

The idea of UCG has been around since the late 19th century, when Sir William Siemens assumed that the process could eliminate any waste or unusable coal. Dmitri Mendeleyev, a Russian chemist, ran with the idea, and soon experiments were being performed in the early 20th century in the UK, under the watchful eye of Sir William Ramsay. World Wars I and II effectively shut down any further research with UCG, though the USSR’s Stalin initiated funding during that time for experimentation with the process. Though World War II did delay more research, at the end of it the Soviets were once again experimenting with UCG, leading to 14 underground coal gasification plants by the 1960s.

When few people understand a unique idea, but they see a need for it, they often continue to look into it. However, when they neither understand it nor see a need for it, they often ignore it or shut it down. Though scientists had made great progress with UCG by the 1960s, at that time, there was no energy crisis like there had been directly after World War II. Oil prices were low, as there was an abundance of it, so interest in an alternative energy source waned in Europe. However, the US wanted its turn with UCG, and worked into the 1970s and 1980s with field testing.

By 1989, the UK, Belgium, and Spain all decided to participate in trials that would either prove or disprove the commercial viability of UCG. Despite the interest of these countries, China actually has the largest program, which consists of 16 trials. The country to play a large part in UCG development most recently is Australia, which boasted the successful underground gasification of 35,000 tons of coal between the years 1999 and 2003, with no environmental repercussions.

Clearly several large countries have expressed either a renewed or brand new interest in the technology behind UCG. However, just because some countries are finally joining the interest does not make UCG a new idea. This alternative method of obtaining energy has been around for over a hundred years, passing various tests and milestones. It’s just about time that the rest of the world caught on to this unique, viable method of obtaining clean fuel.