Owning a small business comes with the challenge of finding ways to help it grow. One of the best ways to do this is with the help of innovation.
When you own a small business, you’re faced with the challenge of finding ways to help it grow. One of the best ways to do this is with the help of innovation. While this may sound easy, there are a few things you should know before diving in head first.
Small Businesses Are Prime for Innovation
Due says that while you may have a hard time believing it, small businesses are much better suited when it comes to being innovative – something most big businesses struggle with today. This is because small businesses are capable of quickly executing ideas and changing directions even mid-stream. Unfortunately, big companies aren’t well equipped for this and so they find themselves spending months, if not years, evaluating any new idea that comes their way. This is because they have so many departments that must agree to the new idea before they’re permitted to implement it. Since small businesses have fewer departments they have less hurdles to jump across when it comes time to be innovative. As such, many big businesses find themselves playing catch up.
Small businesses can also fast track new ideas. This will shorten the development time, which is critical here. At the same time, it also creates an environment wherein everyone is encouraged to be involved. This is a great way to promote creative thinking – something you can encourage even further by offering rewards for their innovative ideas.
Connect with Your Customers
Today’s world is growing increasingly dependent on technology. This is great for businesses because it means you have numerous ways to reach your specified demographic. Using this to your advantage when you’re making changes within your business is beneficial because you’re acting on feedback that you’ve received directly from your clients themselves. Some of the best examples of this include conducting customer satisfaction surveys and connecting with your clients via social media – something that 33% of clients prefer over the telephone today. It’s important to pay attention to the feedback you receive through these channels so you can leverage them to improve on the quality of your business’ products and services. Typically, your customers will tell you precisely what they want, which will save you the valuable time you’d otherwise lose if you were trying to figure these things out by yourself.
As a small business owner, you probably hear the word “networking” swirling around your head daily. This is because it’s true that networking plays a critical role in your brand’s success. The easiest way to put networking to work for yourself is to attend industry events and tradeshows. Doing so will give you a prime opportunity to grow your brand and find ways to improve upon your business. These events are ripe with opportunities in which people are willingly sharing knowledge. You can talk to like-minded people who are working in the same niche as you. By sharing ideas with them and discussing your challenges and the solutions you’ve found to overcome them you’ll help each other find ways to improve your businesses. Additionally, you never know when you’ll find someone with whom you’ll appreciate forming a new relationship. This could eventually lead to a new partnership that ushers in your next big success. Even if you don’t achieve this level with someone, you’ll still get your business out there so people will know of its existence.
Enhance Sales and Customer Relationships
You’ll lose your customers to more innovative competitors if you don’t spend time working on improving your own products and services. People will and do take notice when you invest your money into innovation. They’ll also show you their appreciation by buying more of your products and services. This is a process that you can easily start by conducting regular customer service surveys to find out how your customers think you should improve on things. Once you get their suggestions, you should do your best to make them a reality.
When you’re innovative you can also better position yourself to focus on your long-term goals instead of wasting all your time simply extinguishing fires. For instance, if you want to lower your costs so you can improve your profit margins while also improving customer service and increasing your competitiveness, you’ll want to implement operational efficiency changes. These may include streamlining the ordering process by eliminating any bottlenecks you find in your production.
Get Your Team On-Board
Get the help of conference speakers for innovation workshops that involve your entire small company’s workforce. This is a great way to come together to solve problems. Make sure you reward them when you implement one of their ideas though. Additionally, you should provide them with creativity and innovation workshops that will help them continue to grow more innovative.
Boost Your Market Position
It’s also important to be innovative if you wish to quickly anticipate market changes so you can get and stay ahead of your competition. This is much better than being reactive because it provides you with an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition. One of the best ways of doing this is by continually analyzing market trends. At the same time you’ll also want to listen to your customers and watch your competition so you can jump on any up and coming opportunities.
Keep an eye on the Competition
Bolsky says you should go a step further than just networking with your competition. You’ll want to also understand your major competitors so you don’t fall behind.
Now that you know how to make your small business more innovative, it’s time to implement some of these great tips and do so. It will blow your mind away how these simple changes can make such a huge difference in helping you establish yourself as a leader in your niche. Once you’ve been able to do so, the sky will be the limit for you from there. So, don’t delay doing this. Get started today and make your business more profitable this year. Ultimately, you and your employees will be glad that you’ve done so.
Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and startups to make effective business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well-researched content pieces. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.