The success of your small business in large part was based and will be based on the innovation that it brings in the form of value to your customers. That’s the fact.
But, as time goes on and your small business grows, the innovation cycle will become larger and larger.
Do you want to bring back innovation to your small business?
Probably your answer will be yes because you are a clever entrepreneur who knows that innovation is everything for your small business regardless of which subject it will come.
But, how you can bring back innovation as a heart in your small business?
1. Ask your own customers for innovation ideas.
Start with your customers and listen to them, they know what they want, and talking with them will tell you many secrets about them that you can easily use in your future innovation cycles. At the end of each of your actions, they will be the one and only ones who will evaluate your success.
Talk with your customers. Ask the following questions:
- Why they decide to use your products and services?
- What they like about your products and services?
- Are there some features they don’t need?
- Are there some features they want to be improved?
- Also, are there some features that are missing and that they will want to be incorporated inside your products and services?
As you can see, finding answers to these questions will help you look at your product through the eyes of your customers.
2. Look at the history of your own company. How your past innovation brings you success?
What brings you here where you are? This is an important question, and in many situations, entrepreneurs, because of the high growth rate of their own businesses, simply forget how they build their successful businesses. What was the main inspiration for your previous innovations? Can you bring back that inspiration? What is the purpose on which you build your company in the past? These questions even look simple and at this moment unimportant for you, but the responses can help you to see why you have started losing the ground under your foot.
Many times the initial enthusiasm and motivation for innovation lose the potential as time goes on. So, it is important to see why you are not the same like at the beginning when it comes to your innovation processes.
3. Start dreaming again.
One of the biggest obstacles to innovation is the lack of your entrepreneurial dreams about the future. Why you are not dreaming again? How you can inspire your own dreams that will simply look more deeply in the future? Think about these questions, because your dreams will be the perfect basis for possible innovation projects in your company.
4. Look at other industries.
Why do you not look at other industries and see what works there and is not used in your own industry? Looking at other industries and successful processes, products, or systems will give you many ideas to combine them into your business and become one of the most innovative companies.
Many entrepreneurs don’t use these processes to improve their own businesses. They think that it is not the same taking from other industries. But, you are not stealing and implementing something like it is used in other industries. You want to use only ideas that will help you make your business different on the market. You simply, combine things from other industries with things from your industry.
5. Don’t ignore your business problems, simply solve them.
Everywhere where you discover problems in your company, it is the perfect subject for possible innovation. Solving your own problems will bring more innovation to your small business.
You need to be aware, that you will always have some problems that will need to be solved inside your company. So, don’t ignore them. The solution will present new innovations in your company.
Also, think about the reasons for each problem. Ask yourself why this problem has occurred? Can I eliminate the possibility for this problem to occur again in the future? How I can minimize the risk of this specific problem in the future?
These questions will help you find what you need to do in order to prevent these problems to appear again.
6. Motivate your employees to bring as much as possible innovative ideas in your company.
Innovation isn’t something that only you as an entrepreneur have a monopoly in your company. The best innovation comes from more clever heads full of creativity. Your job as an entrepreneur is to continuously motivate your employees to improve all aspects of their own work and share their own innovative ideas with their colleagues, managers, and you.
Give your employees to freely make proposals about improvements. They are working every day on their tasks. So, everyone can have the possibility to bring ideas about possible improvements. They ask themselves every day some questions like:
- How I can do these thing in a less time?
- Why the results are like they are?
- Can I improve my own productivity?
- How can I improve my own productivity?
So, it is important to motivate your employees in order to bring more innovation inside your small business. You can reward the employees with the best ideas. Also, you can use brainstorming sessions on a monthly or quarterly level in order to officialize the whole process.
Question: Do you have experience with some of these techniques or something else in bringing back the innovation in your small business?