Innovation is always a good thing in business. For smaller businesses, it is even more important. With the right innovation, you can outsmart bigger competitors while achieving sustainable growth. Innovation has helped countless small businesses move beyond their struggling phase. Let’s take a look at 4 ways you can drive innovation in your small business.
1. Swift Execution
As a small business you have the advantage of being able to make faster decisions. This allows you to beat larger businesses to market with innovative ideas. Your small business doesn’t need months or years for new ideas to pass through multiple departments. According to innovation strategist Steve Sponseller, rapid execution can help out-innovate bigger companies.
So when you discover an innovative idea, move fast. Develop your ideas and launch your results quickly. All decisions can be made much faster and this swift execution will distinguish you as an innovative business. Unless you get in your own way, your flexibility will accelerate innovation at your business.
2. Quick Access to Business Resources
As you move ahead with developing an innovative idea, work on lining up your resources quickly. You need to get multiple departments involved and allocate resources quickly. Your small size enables this swift action. Personnel and money can be assigned to the project quickly.
Unlike larger companies with too many product lines, you can temporarily reallocate substantial resources to the innovative idea you are pursuing. This is often crucial for the next growth phase in your company.
3. Team Environment
Driving innovation almost always means developing a team culture. This is inherently simpler to pull off in a smaller business. Instead of focusing on creative activities with just a handful of individuals, you need to encourage creative thinking across your business.
The more people at your company are involved in innovation, the faster that innovation will result in tangible growth. Business coach Martin Holland expresses the importance of listening to your team for innovation.
4. Organization-wide Innovation Support
While important, it is not enough to just encourage innovative thinking as discussed above. You also need to create a system that actively helps people identify and develop innovative ideas.
This open, company-wide support must initiate at the top level and then push down across the business. This holds your team together and provides a framework for transforming ideas into better processes, products and services.
Author and coach Theodore Henderson talks about how innovation is crucial for long-term success. This makes innovation all the more crucial for a small business such as yours. If you get this right, you increase your odds of growing into a bigger and better company.
Fatima Mansoor is a writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. She specializes in business & entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and health & fitness. Her focus is on creating compelling web content for small and medium businesses form diverse industries. She mostly writes for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies across the US, Australia and UK.
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