Why innovation is important for business
Small businesses and why innovation is important
Small business owners have to be multitaskers. There’s an awful lot of skills they need in their toolbox – budgeting, customer service, staff management, business processes, time management… the list goes on.
One tool that can sometimes be overlooked, but is no less important, is the ability to innovate. It may seem like a luxury that in busy times you can’t afford, but it is crucial for your business to survive all the ups and downs and still come out on top.
Five reasons how innovation can help your business thrive
- Innovation solves problems – if you identify a problem in your business, think outside the box for a solution.
- Innovation makes you more competitive – regularly trying new ideas will help you stay one step ahead of the competition.
- Innovation makes you more efficient – thinking of new ways to do things can save you time and money.
- Innovation helps you connect with your customers – being able to change how you interact with your customers will keep them engaged.
- Innovations makes you more attractive – customers and staff will appreciate a business that is vibrant and dynamic.
How to innovate - tips for small business owners
- Make it a priority
- – this means making time to innovate and investing in innovation. Creativity needs to room to grow, so make sure you have some down time to let the seeds of innovation sprout and make sure you water them when they do.
- Involve others
- – ask staff, customers, friends and family if they have any ideas. Sometimes it takes someone from a little bit further afield to spot a good idea.
- Start small
- – It doesn’t have to be ground-breaking, sometimes big things come from very small ideas. And sometimes, a small idea resulting in a small change is actually enough.
- Foster a culture of innovation
- – talk openly about new ideas, support others to come up with and develop new ideas, do lots of brainstorming, and read, watch, listen to and be inspired by global innovators.
How innovation saved a business
Tech companies are a great example of how innovation can change the game and keep a business thriving. Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo, they all look to the next big thing before they have even finished the last. Take Nintendo, it started out producing handmade playing cards. After a realisation that the playing card industry had limited potential, it branched out into video games. From Gameboy, to Wii, to Switch, now Nintendo is one of Japan’s most successful companies ever.
An industry example is Hollywood. It started with a movie. Now, the likes of Disney don’t just release a movie, they release the music, and the soft toys, and clothing and the Happy Meal toy. And it doesn’t stop there. All you parents out there know what we’re talking about.
Henry Ford also knew the value of innovation. However, his legacy is not in trying new products, it’s in trying new processes. As the founder of the Ford Motor Company, he was strongly focused on process improvement – how he could do things quicker and better. As a result, he is credited as being the pioneer of agile thinking. And the company? Well, it’s fair to say, it’s still thriving.
Keeping on doing what your doing is a sure-fire way to drive your business into the ground, even if it’s working. Sounds counter-intuitive but the thing is, everything around you is changing. So think about it, what could you do differently tomorrow?
Find out more about growing your business.
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