Concept ‘Product Design’ – The Story of a New Company (Part 6)

Things have been moving on a pace here at our new venture – Freeform Software since my last post; to bring you up to date I have summarised our progress below.

This update is written as more of a commentary than an individual blog, as I intend to provide updates on our progress.

Overview: A Realigned Strategy

Freeform was created to develop software solutions.

Our initial aim was to develop a software based people management system for remote workers conducting tasks away from home, capturing the data and presenting the findings in a formalised manner to the recipient; however, after industry analysis we decided the product was no longer viable, as the market had become saturated with similar software products capable of completing the desired task.

So we were back to square one? Well not quite, we spent a great deal of time following the 24 steps as outlined in the book ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’; this gave us greater insight into what the core benefits of our idea might deliver. From here we looked for a market that isn’t currently being serviced by a software solution similar to our original concept.

This process led us to refocus the software design on the efficient management process of remote activities on a mobile device, rather than that of a laptop/desktop PC.

It also allowed us to think more generically about the actual products DNA, allowing us to identify markets where the products framework could potentially be utilised in different target markets. To this end we selected the growth industry of dog walking and related services such as dog day care, dog sitting etc. Similar industries where the framework of this product will be equally effective are those of hairdressers, beauticians etc. in essence anywhere where a service can be managed on a device such as a smartphone.

Our overall aim is to make the user more productive, effective and efficient in managing their business activities.

So what is this product going to be?

In its simplest form we are developing a replacement for many traditional tools used by dog walkers daily, such as a diary (or electronic calendar), payments by cash, the need for telephone booking calls etc. by creating an electronic management system that can be run on a smartphone, tablet or PC 24/7.

The main advantage of using our integrated solution over that of traditional tools is that it will make the user more productive by managing all elements of their business in one place. This increased level of control, along with new features such as social media integration, debit card payment at terminal, task lists, productivity reports, integration into business software accounting packages…to mention a few, will enable the user to make more efficient use of their time and ultimately become more productive; all this, in a user friendly environment that will make it simple for the user to administer.

The concept is simple, by bringing all the daily requirements of managing a dog walking business together in one application we aim to improve the performance of the dog walker/s and make their lives easier.

In my next update I will take you through the rationale behind the products/versions we will be launching and why…

*All comments are based on my personal experiences and given freely. That said, you need to make your own choices. I can’t and won’t accept liability for you employing any recommendations. Business is all about risk. It’s your choice.

Nigel stone has, over the last fifteen years, started, led, consulted and nurtured both UK and European businesses to achieve quite outstanding results. Please feel free to drop me an email at ns@leadersp.co.uk

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