I had the privilege of speaking to a room full of inspirational business owners over the weekend at the Shabach Business Fair held at the CEME Innovation Centre in Rainham. Lovely venue. You should visit if you have never been there; it is the inventor’s paradise. The venue brought about the title for my talk on the day which was ‘innovation the cure for stagnation’.
What Is Innovation?
According to the dictionary, Innovation is a new idea, more effective device or improved process.
It is a crucial requirement for the continuity of any business. Innovation is the catalyst for change in a world where changes are quite rapid. We have to embrace innovative to meet up with the demand of our customers.
Three Reasons Why You Must Innovate:
Access to a wider audience – well for starters, over 3 billion people have access to the Internet. Being innovative will give you access to this wider audience. The world is no longer satisfied with a brick and mortar business that refuses to move with the times. Not only do people want to visit your location, but they also want to gain access to what you offer at a time that suits them – 24 hours a day online.
Insatiable Customers – rising sales volume in almost every industry shows that consumers are insatiable. Their needs are expanding and so is their demands for something new.
Innovation creates sustainability – if you do not innovate, the business will die. Innovation enables you to expand your reach, revenue and increase your market share in your industry.
Great Ways To Innovate In Business
1. Be Proactive, Not Reactive.
Business owners cannot afford to be mainly reactive to the needs of their customers. You must think ahead of what your customer needs now and create a plan to provide the future need before they arise. If you provide product A, think of what your customers might need in addition to that product. You can be rest assured as soon as they become bored with Product A, Product B will be the next requirement. If you do not stock product B, they will move onto the supplier who does.
2. Find the Gap
Research is the foundation of innovation. Being able to have your hands on industry news, updates and new developments will give you an edge in the market. Constantly look for what is missing and not meeting the needs of your target market. When you locate one of those requirements, be quick to fill the gap.
3. Find Opportunities
“If your ship does not come in, swim out to it.” Author unknown.
Too many business owners wait for opportunities to knock at their door before they embrace them. In an age of stiff competition in every industry, we cannot afford to wait for those opportunities; we must go in search of them. Remember be proactive not reactive to your target market.
4. Exhaust All Uses
Have you exhausted all the potential uses of your product? There is more than one facet to every product and the more you explore, the more you will find. Get into the mind of your customer and interrogate your product. BFS Wheel of Fortune™ system is the comprehensive tool I share with my clients. It enables us to explore other ways they can offer their products.
5. Embrace Technology
With over 3 billion people online, you must bring your products and services to wherever your prospects are. Not only must you be online, but you must also be innovation and creative in the way you offer your products and services. It is not enough to have a scrolling banner and a flashy website; you must think of list building, lead generation tools, email marketing, opt-in, nurturing your customers and prospects and a lot more.
At Business First Steps we are passionate about innovation and help our clients extend their market reach by embracing new markets, services, and product options. We understand that nothing will stay the same, so we encourage our clients and associates to always think ahead of the market. Our research and product development service are some of the ways in which we help our clients achieve their innovation goals. Need to discuss your business innovation needs? Get in touch with us.
Innovation is the route to extending your reach beyond where you are now. We can no longer run our businesses as usual. Make sure you are thinking ahead of your customer needs by investing in resources, tools and information to help you identify the next step for your business. When the need arises, you will be ahead of your competitors to meet that need.
I wish you great success.
The Idea Catalyst.