Innovation is vital to the success of your business in today’s competitive environment, which is characterized by a more demanding and informed clientele. Every business owner needs to stand out to survive. Innovation can give it advantages, improving its productivity, growth and profitability. Yet only a quarter of SMEs planned to invest in research and development in 2016, according to a BDC survey of 4,000 Canadian business owners. Innovation doesn’t have to be a revolutionary breakthrough. It is also embodied in simple and incremental improvements in any area of your business.
Improve sales and customer relations
By leaving your products and services unchanged, you risk losing customers to more aggressive competition. If you invest time and money in innovation, your customers will notice and appreciate the added value you offer them, which should translate into sales. Start with a few simple steps, like surveying your customer base to review product improvements or setting up an innovation team.
One video to explain it more:
Reduce waste and costs. Innovation can help you reduce waste in your business and better position you to focus on long-term goals, rather than always reacting to emergencies as they arise. BDC’s innovative clientele has improved operational efficiency through streamlined order processing, smooth production, and reduced machine and staff downtime. The goal is to be constantly on the lookout for new ways to eliminate waste. This can provide a host of benefits: lower costs, better profit margins, better customer service and increased competitiveness. Operational efficiency specialists can help familiarize you with such innovations.
Improve your position in the market
Innovation helps you anticipate market changes more quickly to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, to act instead of react to upheavals. It also helps you stand out from the competition. This type of innovation is experienced by constantly analyzing market trends, by remaining attentive to your customers, your suppliers and your advisers, by examining the activities of your competition in order to jump on the opportunities that are presented. It can also be useful to find out what is happening in your sector internationally. You might discover new ideas by looking at what leaders in your field are doing abroad.
Improve relationships with your staff. An innovative workplace is stimulating for staff. Having pride in your products and a desire to be a leader reduces employee turnover and improves productivity. It’s an attitude that leads to other successes related to innovation, because often in a company, the best ideas come from the people. Listen. Ask the opinion of your staff members on everything related to innovation: how to improve products, marketing, operational efficiency? Your staff can give you valuable information on ways to innovate, and they will welcome your consultation.