As a business owner, it’s imperative to stay ahead of the competition. The only way to do this is to *follow up on every idea and new innovation you can within your industry.* At least, that’s the mistake many of us can make.

Its called “SOS” or Shiny Object Syndrome. It can cripple your ability to move forward, so here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to avoid it’s negative effect.

How will my customers benefit?

If you’re considering a new product offering or addition to your existing services, is it something that your customers actually need or want? Often, we see some new feature or process that we think is interesting or unique and our natural inclination is the desire to add it to our own business. It’s the same emotional reaction as an impulse buy at the grocery store checkout lane. Do your customers really need that candy bar, without any context as to how it fits into your overall business plan?

Do I have the time and resources needed to make it a success?

Entrepreneurial minds are a wonderful thing but can quickly become cluttered with too many great ideas. A helpful way for prioritizing your ideas is to use the Kanban method. It’s a visual method to see how many actual tasks are involved in any idea and it helps to make sure that you are only working on one task at a time. Trello is a service that uses this technique and allows you to record both the big picture and the minute details of your ideas.

Record your ideas and then shelve them.

This is directly related to the above. In order to move forward, you need to be secure knowing you can come back to that great tool, service, or product idea at any time in the future. Whether that’s a scratch pad notebook, a Notes app, or something more robust like the Trello recommendation above, knowing that you’ve stored that idea will help you clear your mind enough to be productive on what needs to be done today instead of what “could” be done tomorrow or next week.

How will this help my business grow?

This is, of course, the most important question to ask. Will this Bright Shiny Object help my business bring in more leads, get better conversions, and ultimately generate more revenue? There’s no easy answer of course, but with a fair amount of proper due diligence and market research, you can test your market and make an educated decision.

Another method is to simply ask your current customers if a new feature or service you have in mind is something they need or want. This can be done in the form of a public survey or a private email to your list.

The bottom line is to make sure you’re limiting the negative effects of those bright shiny objects on your existing business and not derailing your progress just to keep up with the rest of the herd.

As always, if you need help managing your day to day business stability and growth tasks, we welcome you to get in touch and see how we can help.

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