Ready, Steady, Innovate!

Is your business starting to feel stale? Are you being left behind by the competition? If so then you may just need a boost of strategic innovation to inject some growth and enthusiasm back into the business.

So what is innovation: “Process by which an idea or invention is translated into a good or service for which people will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need”. – BusinessDictionary.com

Innovation not only relates to products and services but also to business processes. Improvements in any of these areas can help your business distinguish yourselves from the competition, create greater value to the customer, develop niche markets and ultimately it will mean you do not need to compete on price.

As a small business you don’t have a generous research and development budget or direct access to a host of thought leaders but where small business does have an advantage is in the process of implementing innovative practices.

10 Secrets to Implementing Your Innovative Ideas

  1. Look at other businesses for inspiration. They may be from your sector or another that has some similarities but if someone is being successful through innovation there may be some way to replicate this in your business.
  2. If you come up with what you think is a good idea consider giving yourself a 24 hour cooling off period to avoid rash decisions. If after a day you still think it’s a great idea start planning how to implement.
  3. To maximise the chance of successful implementation involve your team in the process as much as possible. If your team do not embrace the project then your customers will not be sold on the value.
  4. To remain a market leader, innovation should be an ongoing process of continual improvement so schedule regular time for working on your business.
  5. Several small projects can create significant benefit and do not pose the same level of risk or require as many resources as one large project. This will help generate the momentum to tackle the larger projects.
  6. Rather than jumping in ‘boots and all’ consider ways to test your concept. This might mean using a smaller client, supplier or team as the test group. This will help reduce the risk if something does go wrong.
  7. If the innovation is working well on the test group then document your processes and look for ways to scale up the process so all areas of the business can benefit.
  8. Always look to monitor your innovations, this way you will have a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t when you look to build on your successes.
  9. To maximise outcomes ensure you communicate your vision to your team, customers and suppliers showing them your passion for the new technology, process, product or service.
  10. Intellectual Property. If you come up with a great new idea consider whether you need to protect that idea from your competitors. Also if you are replicating someone else’s idea check to ensure you are not infringing on any copyright or patents they may have.

A business consultant from Watts Price Accountants could assist you today in running an internal brainstorming session with your team, be part of an Advisory Board or assist you in finding a relevant Management Forum. Call us on 03 5382 3001.

 

Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants
E: richardk@wattsprice.com.au

The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.