Did you watch week 9 of the Apprentice on BBC1? It was another pressurised task to develop, brand and pitch a new biscuit in two days. Yet again there were a number of lessons in business.
As part of the task the teams were allocated a focus group with whom to test out their ideas. Tom suggested an ’emergency biscuit’. It bombed. He dropped it. Melody suggested the new ‘popcorn’. It bombed. She said the focus group didn’t know what they were talking about!
Last week Melody pushed through her idea because four people agreed with her. This week she said 11 people didn’t know what they were talking about because they rubbished her idea.
Melody’s mistake is one we can all make. We get an idea. We think it’s great. We nurture it. We develop it. It consumes all our waking thoughts. Then we research it and people tell us it won’t work, they don’t like it, they wouldn’t buy it and we don’t want to listen. But listen we must. An idea is not a good one just because we think it is!
There’s not much point in research if we don’t listen to it. If people don’t like our idea we need to find out why. By asking questions and being open to the answers we might well find we can adapt our original idea into a much better product or business.
So Melody start listening to what people are telling you and take note or the next thing you’ll hear is, ‘Melody, You’re fired’! And if you have a great idea just make sure your target market agrees with you or you could be pouring money and time down the drain.