Innovation is a term that is often coupled with success. Large billion dollar technology providers such as Apple, Google and Samsung strive for continuous innovation by developing products and brand experiences that are often described as cutting edge. However, any business of any size, can be innovative.
Innovation is more than developing new products or services. It extends to your whole business, from the ground up. It is about being dynamic, and developing strategies that meet your customers needs, while also providing your staff and stakeholders with a vision of where you want you take your business in the future.
Undertaking innovation is an investment that should provide a future return. The way you innovate should increase levels of efficiency and effectiveness within your business.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, indicates that larger businesses tend to be more innovative. Barriers to innovation, included a lack of skills, development costs, as well as the cost of introducing innovation based activities.
Cost should not be a barrier for small and medium businesses. We have worked with countless businesses, to develop strategies that make them more innovative and meet budgetary requirements. Even small changes, such as changing the colour of your product, or changing the way your staff interact with your customers, can make a lasting difference.
One of the simplest ways to start to become more innovative, is to incorporate an innovation strategy within a marketing or business plan. Having a plan, enables you to have some certainty around when you should anticipate making a return on investment on innovation based activities. Planning, also enables you to measure your success and provide staff and stakeholders with goals. If innovation is not your expertise, it may prove effective to use an expert.
Innovation is all about differentiation. It can be achieved by undertaking activities, such as developing products and services that better meet the needs of your customers, branding your business in a way that shows that you are innovative, or developing processes that can help you stand out from the crowd.
With an understanding of of their customers needs, and a focus on providing value, innovation is something that any business can work towards.