Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
Always be Innovating | Extraordinary Business
Business mindset altering for continued growth and success
Innovation is more than a cool buzzword that is touted from the heights of multinational corporations, such as 3M and Apple computers. It is more than coming up with a cool idea and throwing some resources at it to try to bring it to the market. It is more than launching a new website with an affiliate program to bring in some additional cash…although it could be.
As a business owner seeking to build an extraordinary company, innovation should be part of your everyday thinking.
Below are some thoughts on how you can build an company whose mantra is, “Always be Innovating.” Influences come from a variety of sources, including “Dealing with Darwin” by Geoffry Moore and “Closing the Innovation Gap” by Judy Estrin. However, innovation has always been a key component of the Aepiphanni 6S Hierarchy.
- Innovation is, essentially, successfully binging a new idea to the marketplace, which means that it could be a new way of doing business, a new way of providing your offerings, a cost reduction methodology which may allow you to compete differently, rebranding, entering new markets or developing new products for new or existing markets. Innovation doesn’t imply that you are stuck just doing one of them, or that you have to do all of them, but rather, to do something that will strategically advance your company into the marketplace in a way that is sustainable. Think of Apple. They didn’t invent the personal computer, the telephone or portable music players, but are now a (the) dominant brand in each segment.
- Keep in mind – the newness or uniqueness of an innovation isn’t endless. Like a business or a product, innovation goes through a lifecycle, which means that at some point, if it is good, other people and businesses will copy it, and at some point, it will no longer make sense to continue offering it (end of lifecycle). The of the television, the PC, the radio or the telephone are examples of these. VHS tapes and machines and tube televisions are at end of lifecycle.
- Innovation should be a part of your business model. It is much less an event and more a continuous seeking out of opportunities in the marketplace or in the business that will provide value for the marketplace. People and businesses will, of course, pay for those things for which they find value. However, what the market sees as being valuable changes over time. As a result, it is imperative that your company continues to evolve – on multiple levels – in order to meet the present and future value of the marketplace. Think of Google, a company that constantly seeks to bring new products or ways of doing things to market.
- Your business must support innovation, which means that you must not only have the resources to be able to bring the ideas to market, you have to be willing to try things out, accept input and ideas, to take wild guesses and even fail from time to time. If you think about Thomas Edison and the invention of the light bulb. He discovered more than 9,000 ways not to make it work, and finally succeeded after over 10,000 trials.
- Like Edison, you have got to see it through. Products that we see on the shelves, speakers who are world-renown, marketing firms that are responsible for the greatest campaigns ever are not born over night. Sometimes, when you hear of them are their first time in the marketplace, and sometimes they resolve to being unknown one-hit-wonders after their five minutes of fame. What you often don’t hear about are the trials and tribulations that it takes to get there.
Brining a mindset of “always innovating” into your business is an intentional act that will, if your company is truly committed to it, create separation between your company and many of your competitors. This is one component of what we call an extraordinary business.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders DESIGN| CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses. We support our clients with financial management, product and service production and delivery, outsourced services management, sales & marketing and business growth. We provide them with a number of flexible solutions to help them reach their goals.
Join us for a 30-minute complimentary Coffee & a Consult, to learn more about Aepiphanni and how we might help you move your company from existing to extraordinary.