Is Innovation the Path to Growing Your Small Business? 28 Oct 2019
How does Google stay at the top of its market with so many other companies competing for attention? Constant innovation. Google created arguably the best search engine available. Then, it decided that wasn’t enough.
While developing new software and services, Google ran into a problem. The existing hardware wouldn’t support it. So, the company created its own hardware to support the innovations.
Google is willing to do anything to improve. Its devotion to bettering itself is why the Boston Consulting Group’s survey ranked Google as the most innovative company. Your small business may not be trying to beat out Apple and Amazon, but it can use innovation to grow.
Refreshing your company can attract customers, increase revenue, and expand your business. How can you keep your business innovative? Let’s discover how innovation helps your company. Then, we’ll share some tips for improving your innovation.
New Ideas and Innovations Attract Customers
Innovating, or improving, your business helps you and your customers. It attracts new customers, makes your company more productive, and increases your profits. Innovative products and services also solve your customers’ problems.
Innovation can also make your business stand out from the sea of competitors. For example, many companies sell credit card payment terminals for businesses, and most look like ugly calculators. Square stands out in their field by offering attractive payment terminals. Being different from the crowd helps Square get noticed and build their client base.
A larger customer base and more revenue don’t just help you get noticed. They also make expanding your business simpler.
Improving Your Business Keeps Your Growth on Track
Despite all the rave reviews you’re getting from customers, you may wonder why your business isn’t expanding. What’s holding you back?
Outdated work processes or products may be stopping your progress. New methods and strategies can help your business break away from the competition.
How? Innovation lowers your costs and increases efficiency. Zara, a clothing retailer, sells most of its inventory in Europe. While many brands have their clothing made in Asia to reduce costs, Zara wanted to put its products in stores more quickly. As a result, Zara owners decided to have their store’s clothing made in Europe.
Making products locally meant the company could design and produce new clothes faster. Plus, it saved on shipping costs. With this innovative manufacturing plan, Zara capitalizes on trends before they go out of style.
Your business can reach its growth goals if you innovate your products, services, or work processes. However, keeping your company innovative doesn’t come easily. What can you do to make innovation a priority in your business?
Make Innovation Part of Your Business Plan
Waiting for a burst of inspiration won’t provide the constant innovation you need. You need a plan for finding fresh ideas to bring in a steady flow of innovative options. Here are some steps to use as the basis of your plan:
Make it a business goal. Setting specific parameters lets you track your progress and make improvements as needed.
Decide what type of innovation your business needs. To know what type of innovation you need, first identify your problem areas. For example, if your business’s social media is lagging behind your competitors, you’ll need an innovative solution tailored to social media.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, where can you find innovative ideas?
Investigate market trends. Industry trends reveal where other businesses are heading. You’ll want to beat them to the punch. Concentrate on personalizing trends to your business’s needs to get the most gain.
Look at your direct competitors. Compare their improvements to the results they get.
Ask your customers for ideas. What complaints do they have about your business? What products do they want?
Question your employees and vendors. Your employees and vendors may have figured out improvements for lagging work processes.
Filter your ideas and choose the most viable ones. You’ve seen a lot of innovations, but do they all work? Will they fix the issues in your business?
Put your spin on your newfound ideas. Even if an idea seems like a good fit, it still needs some adaptation to make it work for your business’s specific needs.
Refreshing your business with innovative ideas will help it grow. Innovation expands your business, increases your customer base, and helps your company survive. By improving itself, your business can meet its growth goals.
Investing in Innovation Makes Your Business the Best It Can Be
Google isn’t content with just being the top search engine in a highly competitive market. Its leaders understand that innovation is the key to keeping the company growing.
Improving your products, services, or processes can help your business grow its client base and revenue. Adding innovation to your business plan makes it easy to see where you need to improve. After you’ve found your business’s weak spots, your market, competitors, and employees can give you innovative ideas to fix them. Putting your own twist on those ideas ensures they’re right for your business’s needs.
Why is Google obsessed with constantly innovating its software and product lineup? Because Google understands how valuable innovation is for businesses. Do you?
Robyn Kunz is the Chief Compliance Officer at Trusted Employees. She has worked in the background screening industry for over 15 years and holds Advanced Certification in the Fair Credit Reporting Act from the National Association of Professional Background.
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