To be innovative in business you have to be brave and creative. You have to think about your customer. How you can make a difference in their life, career, and business. You have to be passionate about your innovative product, and service idea. So that whatever you think, create and promote, it will help your customers. You don’t have to be perfect for innovation, you just have to do your best that you can do as per the sources and tools.
Let’s learn in more details:
1. Find out and communicate with the unhappy customer:
Your unsatisfied customer is the biggest teacher to show you a path for innovation. Your customer can be unsatisfied by the speed of your website, they can be unhappy due to bad customer support, they can be due to a higher price, they can be due to the poor product experience.
Not only research on your unhappy customers but also see what your biggest competitors are unable to provide the customers and then add that problem as a solution in your product and services.
Communicate with them in meetings, seminars, events, and social get-togethers. You can also use chat rooms, video conferencing, survey forms.
You can also use data analytics or analyze data to find out the problems. You can also hire an external investigator to find the problems and loopholes in your products. The more you communicate with the customers, the better you can understand the market demands and expectations.
For innovation, you just have to improve everything. It can be design, delivery, packaging, presentation, team motivation.
To innovate you also need money. But to get that money, you have to sell more. And to sell more you have to improve the quality of your current products and services faster so that your customer doesn’t go to your competitors.
So, for innovation, consistently watch and analyze customer habits and demands, and keep making improved changes in your products and services.
Related: Importance of innovation in business
2. Think about your customer’s kids, how they will keep connected with your brand:
You have not only had to think about the quality improvement in products for current customers but also future customers. You have to plan the future. How you will compete with the future innovators, new business and technology start-ups.
Is your product, services can be purchased by the kids of your current customers? Will your business branding have transferred to the next generation from the current customers?
Tata Car is purchased by a Mr. Abcd in 2001.
Now the son of Mr. Abcd is purchasing Tata Harrier in 2019.
Apple Laptop is purchased by Mr. Abcd in 2007, now he is purchasing Apple Mac Book Pro 2019 for his child studying in college.
Mr. Abcd purchases various items from the showroom. But the kids are using the Internet to buy a new product.
Mr. Abcd using the personal network to find home repair servicemen’s’ but the kids are searching on google.
Mr. Abcd studied in xyz college, now he wants to send the kids in the same college. But the course syllabus is not as updated as the demand of today’s era. So he changed his decision and sending the kids to another college.
What do I mean? I mean are you changing and improving your business, products as per the industry, demands, customers habits. So that they keep looking relevant and valuable to buy for a new generation.
You can do the following things for change and innovation:
For coaching institute:
If you’re running an offline computer/academic institute from years and want to innovate then you can create a website to teach online or you can start recording your offline classes and then you can edit and produce them into an online course.
For local shopkeeper:
If you’re selling home appliances and accessories in the local market and want to innovate then you can innovate your selling process. For that, you can try to sell online through online selling or eCommerce platform and you can also create your website. If even you don’t want to sell, you can build the presence of your business on the internet. For that, you can list your business on online directories such as google my business, Facebook page, etc. so that you will get more exposure for your business.
For digital Marketing Company
If you’re running digital marketing agency and want to do something creative and new then you can provide digital marketing, website designing, SEO, branding, and social media marketing services to local celebrities.
If you’re running a software development company and want to innovate then you can create and build agriculture-related apps and web services that help farmers to get value for the crops they want.
There are many things that you can do to make innovation in your business. It can be an improvement in current products, price, and marketing style and it can be based on future projection.
Here you can learn more about: Business growth opportunities examples
Whatever you just have to understand the trends, data, reports, and news and have to imagine the future problems or solutions that you can create.
3. Use modern technologies and business tools:
Think and research on the new technologies that can help to reduce the cost and faster the business process. For example, when you know that you can sell your product online then why not you’re trying to do that. When you know that marketing your services on social media help you to get new leads, then why you’re not doing it.
When you know that you can create apps/software to manage your daily business operations then why you’re not doing.
When you know that you can use cloud infrastructure to manage and expand data storage capacity then why you’re not doing it.
You not only have to save money in business, but you also have to invest in the future.
And if something is there that will reduce the cost and speed the cash flow and improve the value of products and services then it’s a good decision to do that.
There are various modern technologies/platforms apps available that will be helpful for all kind businesses and organizations such as:
- Digital Marketing services to get more traffic to your business website. So that your marketing will be automated through content marketing and google ads, and reduce the cost of generating leads. It helps you to sell more and expand your business.
- You can use Cloud Services and cloud computing platforms, software and infrastructure as a service that will help you grow your business, productivity and help you to lead in the market. It will automatically expand the requirement of data storage; application speed and you have to pay when it’s in use. It will be very helpful for start-ups to build and deploy applications on cloud servers.
- Video conferencing or team collaboration tool software that can transform your entire business process and team management activities. Modern communication applications and tools help you to use video call, chat, share content and get reports, monitor the project performance and business inventory.
- Online business course and leadership training programs can help you to learn and build the expertise of the business you’re doing. You can build your own business skills and you can use online courses for team training. There is almost all kind of online business courses that you can do to innovate.
Such as you can do online business management course that will help to learn the modern team and project management skills and tools.
You can do digital marketing courses that help you to understand how digital marketing can transform your business.
You can learn about hiring remote staff to reduce onsite infrastructure cost and get more productivity.
You just have to improve your search and knowledge to become and remain innovative in business. Such as each morning you can start with learning on how to grow my business, tools to reduce the cost, apps to manage team, platforms to launch new products, business expansion deals, innovative applications for production, etc.
So, if you spend daily 1 hour only to learn what’s happening around your business and in the market, you will get lots of information and knowledge that you can use to plan the future products, team, branches, and marketing tactics. And this is the way to innovate. You just have to refine your knowledge, skills, and imagination and it’s possible by learning and use modern business technologies and available innovation solutions for your business.
4. Create add on solutions (product/services) for future growing technologies and companies:
In the market, new companies and technologies come and go. Some become successful and some not. You can do the analysis based on facts and data. And create the add on a solution, raw material, distribution channel, infrastructure machinery and teams for that technologies.
WordPress is an open-source content management system – But there is various add-on plugin that adds the dynamic feature in the website. These plugins are created by third-party start-ups, companies, and professionals.
Similarly, you know that electric cars and transportation will be in the future. Now you can think and start creating the add – on features, services, and solutions for electric cars. It can be apps, accessories.
So, the point here is that you can bring innovation in your business, by following latest technologies and as well as future technologies.
5. Build a separate team for innovation and creativity:
To become innovative and grow the business, you need time to think and work. But if you’re busy in supplying current solutions then it’s tough to think creative.
So delegate the work that you’re currently doing. And spend your time to work on innovative and new products development.
Or you can build a team of creative people, who will bring new innovative ideas to create a new product, a new pricing model, new production process and various other things.
6. Think big about your products and services:
Connect your business goals with national goals. It will help you to connect and attract new business opportunities from government organizations and private sectors. Announce it in public. When people, companies, government organizations get to know about your goals and idea then they will contact you, if that is their organizational interest.
For example, if your national goal is to create environment-friendly products then you can attract new dealings, partnership from the companies working in this direction and providing various services.
So, think big about your product. If you’re a teacher, then think to teach your lessons to the world.
If you’re home appliance seller, then think to sell all over the country.
If you’re creating products then think to export in other countries.
Just think big. And plan to achieve it. No one can stop you to grow and innovate your business, other than your own limits.
Internet and technologies making it possible today, to spread the business across the world with minimum efforts and cost. Such as eCommerce and drop shipping. Think, what’s not in use but will be in the future:
7. Think to solve the small needs:
To be innovative in business, you not only have to focus on big problems but more on small problems. When you try to solve small problems, you will be able to solve the big problems of your customers.
For example, your product is great, but the packing is ugly. And due to this, the first expression of your product on the customer is negative. If you make a change in your packing it will make them excited and memorable experience to get your products.
So, think about what kind of small problems that your customers have to take while buying your products. Is its slow website speed? Is its poor apps User Interface or Experience? Is it recycling? etc.
8. Plan for future competition and business problems:
For consistent growth and survival, it’s very important to be innovative and creative while running any kind of business. For example, today, the prices of pipes are low and you know in the future it will increase. So, you purchase the big stock at a lower price and in the future when prices get high, you will be able it sell more at a lower price.
For example, you know such a political party or government policies will make changes in the use and purchase of raw materials in the future. Might be in future, the government will charge tax on it, or increase the price. When you’re sure it can happen, then you can start creating an alternative solution as a backup when a certain situation arises.
It means to be innovative in business you have to predict and think about future competition, business problems. So that none of things can affect your business. The companies who are running from 20 years, 50 years or from 100 years, are innovative. They plan, they have funds, and they execute.
If you’re running a small business, then it can be tough to be innovative and stable at the same time. But the investment of 20%-time, effort, and money will make a difference.
You just have to creative, competitive and growth-oriented mindset. You just have to build the power inside you that whatever the market responds, you will be get up and thrive again.
9. Higher Speed in the execution of innovative ideas and plans:
Today’s business leaders are not that much inventive as 50 and 100 years ago. Today, they copy the idea of others and even teach to copy others. And that’s the saddest aspect of doing business.
But to defeat these people in business, you have to be creative, clever, innovative in business. You don’t have to connect and group with such people who believe in copying. You have to connect and build a team of people who believe in invention, creativity, a new idea, the new solution.
You have to improve your execution speed. It’s because new become old in this era within a few months. The things you’re planning to do after 6 months are actually for today.
So, you have to learn to balance the present business and future innovation. And it will come with experience, focus, and working on your own business values.