As a small business owner, you probably want to innovate because you already know that without high-potential innovation, your company can’t survive in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
But the question is how you can become an active part of innovation. How can you make the innovation to be your daily routine? It is not simple. It can’t be done with saying, but it can be done with doing.
I have seen many entrepreneurs who want to be innovative entrepreneurs, but they are stooped at their first step. Simply, they can’t see the opportunity for high-potential innovation.
Because of that, in this post, I would like to talk about some possible ideas that you can use in discovering innovative opportunities that can easily be translated into potential innovation for you and your small business.
1. Commit to working on an innovative project each day.
If you are not committed to innovating, everything else that you will try to do will not give you the results that you want to achieve with the high potential innovation in your company.
Innovation can be difficult to grasp at first but is an essential part of every business today. In fact, in order to stay competitive, businesses must continually innovate in order to continue to succeed. Innovation is a key element that helps companies become more profitable and successful in the long run. Innovations are the lifeblood of businesses because they allow them to continuously create new products and services, processes, and business models that bring in new customers and generate additional revenue.
It would be best if you committed that each next day of your entrepreneurial life will contain one or several following recommendations that I will cover in this post.
2. Spend a minimum of 20 minutes daily as your own customers.
Spending 20 minutes daily in your customers’ shoes isn’t a big sacrifice from your side as an entrepreneur. But this will help you in expanding your view to see things that, in another way, will be invisible to you and your small business.
This is the most important thing in a small business. It’s the biggest asset you can have. I’ve seen many people who have been in business for 10 years or more, and they still don’t know their customers. They don’t have the time to listen to them and know their needs. The truth is that when you have a small business, it’s very easy to forget that you are just a small part of a much bigger picture.
Make something that they are doing each day. Use your products and services as they are using them each day. Think as they are thinking. You will discover such great things that can be an opportunity for high-potential innovation in your small business.
3. What are the most significant needs of my customers today?
Start asking yourself this question each morning when you come to your office. Why? The customer’s needs as specific variables will need to be known every day from the side of an entrepreneur. The customer’s needs as specific variables will need to be recognized daily from the side of an entrepreneur. They can be relevant today but irrelevant tomorrow.
If you are going to be successful, you have to be able to change and adapt as the customer’s needs change and adapt. So, you need to start by recognizing that customers’ needs are going to change daily. So, how do we recognize the changing nature of the customer’s needs every single day?
Because of that, this question is an essential question you need to respond to as an entrepreneur. Changes in your customer’s needs, which you can satisfy, can become one of the most significant opportunities for high-potential innovation.
4. Look at the marketplace each day to identify possible opportunity gaps.
I know that you don’t have time to go outside your office and spend it in the marketplace. It is easier to look at the numbers. But, it is easier and, at the same time, a more irrelevant source for you.
You can use the numbers to get an idea of what is going on in the market, but they are not the best place to get real information. You don’t have to be afraid of the “outside world.”
If you are an app designer, spend some time of your day at app stores. If you are a restaurant supplier, devote some time to your day at restaurants. You need to understand them better to discover high-potential innovation opportunities.
- Look for trends and opportunities,
- Create new ideas for products and services, processes and business models based on trends and opportunities,
- Start the innovation engines in your company to create those new products and services, processes, and business models, and
- Always test the performance and improve based on this.
5. Listen to your customers.
Today’s customers talk. They aren’t persons who will be silent. They have their ideas, their own needs, and desires, their problems, etc. Each of these is valuable information for your small business and, at the same time, the source of opportunity if you do something about them. Let listening become one of the most critical functions in your small business. Only in such a way you can start building a pool of possible opportunities ready to be innovated.
Listening is an important function in any small business. The more people you speak to, the more ideas you can pick up from them.
6. Analyze your customers to discover their hidden needs.
The last thing I would like to recommend here is to start analyzing your customers. You need to observe them if you want to discover their hidden needs. They will not always publicly share their needs. Your customers will not always know what they really want or need for today or in the future. If you don’t analyze them to discover their hidden needs, you can’t prepare yourself and your company for the future. That’s your job. You are an entrepreneur who needs to manage today’s operations but also prepare the company for the future.
As you can already see, you don’t need to implement all six recommendations from here. It is enough to start with one of these, and you will quickly see substantial achievements in your innovation process.
Question: What are you doing to discover innovative opportunities for your company?