How to inject a dose of innovation into your company
It would only stand to reason that a smaller, more agile company would be best positioned to create the most revolutionary ideas. Well, this isn’t necessarily so. Deficient several key ingredients, such as money for R & D, available staff, and a lack of vision that big companies can make happen, small businesses have found that their challenge lies in learning to innovate in spite of, and sometimes because of these facts. A recent study by Erik Hurst and Benjamin Wild Pugsley of the University of Chicago called “What do Small Businesses Do?” found that fewer than 50 percent of new business startups were born from a “new idea”. Furthermore, they found that most of these new businesses are essentially more of the same, offering yet another coffee shop, bakery or tax service to a marketplace full of these services. Not much innovation, greater competition, and little chance at exponential growth.
So what does it take for a small business to go from the ordinary to a business that is leading innovative ideas in their space?
4 Tips for building a culture of innovation in your business!
- Reward and encourage innovation – Give your staff incentives and tangible rewards for coming up with and helping to implement new and innovative initiatives. Creating some enthusiasm around finding new and better ways to run your business should benefit them also.
- Understand your markets’ desires and needs – Keep abreast of current trends and ideas within your market. Make sure to be hooked in to all the news and views that are effecting your business, and take action on what you hear and see!
- Connect with existing customers – As a way to truly understand what may be a great idea for your customer, you need to talk to them. And even more than that, you need to keep the conversation centered on customer’s problems, and shape your suggestions to provide those solutions!
- Be open to new ideas – Don’t be afraid to try something totally new. A great demonstration of this in action is Behance.net, a Web-based platform for creative works, where artists can show their work irrespective of their resumes, hoping to turn more ideas into reality.