Experts generally agree that it is essential for small and medium-sized businesses to invest in innovation to stay competitive.
The way to ensure that you stand out is to develop competitive advantages in relation to your competitors in the market. In other words, do something that they are not.
Innovation is about introducing something new. It can be in the way your business is structured, in the products and services on offer, or in the way you develop, produce, market and deliver those products and services.
But besides being able to stay competitive in the market, innovation in small and medium-sized businesses is vital to economic development and wealth creation.
Innovation helps companies grow and expand. When this happens it impacts on the economy through job creation and new tax revenues for government. Another plus is that as companies grow, they purchase services from other companies in the province, or in the region, or in that particular city where they do business. So not only does their business grow, but it there is a spin off as businesses around them also grow and develop.
If you’re going to remain competitive in this day in age you have to be constantly improving or you wont last long.
Here are three simple ways of spotting business innovation opportunities.
Firstly, monitor the competition. Your competition will be improving to try to beat your company, so if they make a move, you need to make a better move.
Secondly, listen to your customers. The customer is going to be telling you what they expect from you. If you’re not recieving that information, set up a formal system that will allow you to access it. For example have a suggestion box, ask customers to fill in a service evaluation form etc.
Finally, research and keep yourself up to date with what is happening in your sector. Attend networking sessions, go to conferences and sign up for short refresher courses or workshops. Keep a finger on what’s cutting edge.
- Three steps to Innovation (graphic) http://wp.me/p10F1n-4O
- What gives companies a high Innovation IQ? (leoniehallatinnovationiq.wordpress.com)
- Can social entrepreneurship provide opportunities for economic, social and cultural innovation? (ngoexcellence.wordpress.com)