Launch Your Business to the Next Level: 5 Key Strategies for Innovation
In good times and in bad times, there are always opportunities. Some days the sun is bright and shiny and others you have to find the silver lining. That’s what true innovation strategy is all about. You key into the silver lining and turn overripe bananas into banana nut cake.
Here are 5 key Strategic Components for fostering innovation. We’ll break it down and explain so you can begin implementation to acquire outstanding benefits.
Communication with your customers is always important. Survey them online, via telephone, or paper questionnaire, if necessary. Most people love to share their opinions and many like to share ideas. Ask your customers how you can improve your products or services to meet their needs. Inquire to find out if there are new needs, is something outdated, and how you can best fulfill their requests. They will thank you for listening and you will reap the benefits.
Asking doesn’t just stop at the customer level either. Question everything! Periodically every business should take a step back and re-evaluate. That means getting down to the nuts and bolts of it. What is your mission statement, your vision, and your purpose? Some of these questions might be hard to ask and answer, but they are necessary in order to assure your continued business success. If you don’t already have these written do so now. It’s where you begin to understand yourself and your business. Find out if you and/or your customers would be more benefitted by a major or minor change in direction.
Products and/or Services are what you do. These can be examined from multiple angles.
Research and Development
When you ask those questions of your customers find out:
Are you supplying the right products and services in the right way?
Can they recommend any new features, colors, sizes, etc.?
Do they have any ideas on how to improve their experience with you?
Ask your internal customers (psssst…those are your employees)
How can we do better?
What are we doing right? Wrong?
What new product or service ideas do you have?
Offer incentives for new ideas.
Use some type of software to allow input, tracking, and storage of their ideas.
Encourage personal creativity and innovation – you will be glad you did.
Consider research and development
Ties into your customers via questionnaire creation.
Investigation into new horizons.
Innovation at its heart.
Google is a prime illustration of innovation in action. They are able tap into their marketing strategy and turnaround new ideas, products, and services on a quick and regular basis. We could all learn something from Google!
Number four on our list of five great innovation strategies is commitment. That’s a word than many of us can learn from. Commitment to being better. Commitment to never growing stagnant. In some industries this concept is known as Continuous Quality Improvement or CQI, but what does that really mean?
Take action – follow-up on new ideas.
Research new ideas.
Test out new ideas, services, etc. – blind sampling, customer volunteers, etc.
Last, but beyond a doubt, not least is the critical strategy of talent. Don’t ever lose sight of the importance of your team. Scout for new and fresh talent; they bring new ideas. Help grow your own; encourage growth and education. If competitors close down because of economy or other hardships, investigate the talent that’s now open for negotiation.
Whatever you do be open and aware for new ideas, people, and possibilities!