Why Your Small Business Needs Innovation
More and more small businesses are popping up, with everyone wanting to create their own success and be their own boss. This not only makes for a strong economy with healthy levels of competition, it forces creativity to shine. How else will every niche stand out from the many national, and in some cases, global competitors? The internet has fostered much of this corporate evolution but has also opened the doors for tougher sales and price comparison. So what are you doing to get your small business to stand out and survive?
A shocking 60% of small businesses never apply for funding to support innovation, according to this report.
The question then becomes, how many of those businesses survive in the long run?
Information All the Time
Most small businesses have found explosive success by establishing a presence online, with a website, paid ads, and social media activity. With this easily accessible storefront also comes the ability for anyone to see what new creative ideas you’ve come up with, to improve upon for themselves, as well as the ability to research new industry trends before you, 24/7.
Just think of the ways this spread of information has already completely disrupted major industries like the hotel industry with Airbnb and taxis with Uber. How can the Internet of Things (IoT) revolutionize your company or niche? Or is there potential for it to make your position obsolete? It’s estimated that at least 47% of US jobs will be at risk in the near future due to new technology, with major impacts in office & admin support positions, sales, and various services.
Surviving the Future
This doesn’t just apply to newer companies. Innovation is especially important for older businesses with repeat customers. With customer loyalty incredibly difficult to achieve, innovation to bring more value to your them and your product/service offerings can be what makes or breaks your success. You can be sure competitors will be doing their best to move with the times, so make sure you’re the one they’re following!
Enhance Your Innovation Abilities
One way to enhance your innovative abilities is to expose yourself and employees with diversity, from people to other business types. Being exposed to more ideas, especially outside the realm of traditional ideas, is the key. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, and regularly attend networking events, even if to just bounce ideas off people in other areas of the community. If you want your offerings to differentiate from that a machine can offer, creativity is the biggest and best way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Innovation is a risky direction to take, especially if it can potentially cost money, time, reputation… BUT without it, you won’t have a business to begin with. At the very least, implementing new technologies can instantly increase productivity and profitability. Experiment, measure results, fail fast and you will succeed.
It’s important to share you vision and goals with employees or freelancers you work with. Everyone must share your vision, and it must be clear and focused. And don’t forget to reward those who bring thoughtful ideas to the table. These new ideas will bring inspiration. Recognition and rewards will always spark more creativity and your business will be bound for lasting success.