What Does Innovation Look Like?

Let me start by telling you what it doesn’t look like.

It doesn’t look like you.

It’s not what you’re doing now and it’s not about what you want for your business. It’s all about your customer and his/her needs and expectations of what your product or service will do. Successful innovations are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the people you serve. It makes sense that the first step to innovation is…

 

Know Your Customer

Your current clients are your most valuable ones. How well do you know them and their needs? What additional products/ services can you profitably provide to deepen the relationships with your current clients? Not sure? Ask! I have given this advice so many times over the years. Many business owners have been pleasantly surprised at how open their customers are to giving excellent suggestions to increase your revenue. Always start with your customers and ask what other needs or current challenges they’re are facing!

 

Change The Conversation

As a business leader, it’s easy to fall into the trap of rallying your troops and requesting fresh ideas. But conversations, by definition, involve two-way dialogue. So why not bring your team members together to talk about how you can get better at sparking, testing and bringing-to-life the ideas that already exist in your business? You never know, there could be a gem someone hasn’t felt comfortable vocalising yet. Incentivising and creating space for out-of-the-box thinking and risk-taking is a sure-fire way to get the creative juices flowing.

 

Create A Marketing Culture

Every business needs to be a sales and marketing business, regardless of what you are selling.  If you can’t tell the market, you can’t sell the market, no matter how good your price, product or service is. Making a long-term investment in marketing is crucial for success. Because when that big idea strikes, you need the channels, brand and audience in place to deliver it to market. If you need some help creating and embedding a marketing strategy that’s right for your business, the team at Grow Digital Marketing can help.

 

Bring In New Brains

Innovating your people process can be game-changing. Outsourcing strategic tasks bring in both outside thinking and highly trained skill sets to your business. Your business network of suppliers and business partners is the true value of your business. This innovation strategy can be applied to just about any role where physical presence is not required, be it admin, legal, accounting, marketing, processing and so on. Just remember specialists beat generalists every time.  Check out Grow’s list of service-based consultants, or give our partner Kinetic a call to access their database of highly skilled professionals.

 

Be Bold

US Management consulting firm, McKinsey, conducted a study on innovative success and concluded the best innovators are gutsy and prepared and all do these things:

  • Think big and set ambitious aspirations
  • Move into digital offerings more boldly
  • Make disciplined choices around the priorities, risk levels and resources needed to innovate
  • Are smart with budgeting and resource allocation

 

When Is The Best Time To Innovate?

All innovations involve risk, but it’s always a good idea to be calculated with your risk-taking where possible. Over the last three weeks, we’ve shared ways to get your business in tip-top condition. This is so you can take some hits from risks that don’t pay off and bounce back afterwards. This includes freeing up cash flow through restructuring or refinancing, building resilience in your business with thoughtful planning, and de-risking your business. Essentially,  the lower and more efficient your cost base is the stronger your competitive advantage and the likelihood of sustainable growth, allowing you to innovate with confidence.

The beauty of today’s digital age is you can connect with experts around the globe pretty much at any time. That is one of the main reasons we started Grow NZ Business- to help kiwi businesses connect with local and global partners that we have vetted. This ensures value and enables true innovation that helps you to grow your business with confidence!

A great place to start is on our partner page- click here to find out more about our Grow Partners.