It would only stand to reason that a smaller, more agile company should be best positioned to create the most revolutionary ideas. Well, this isn’t necessarily so. Lacking several key ingredients, such as money for R & D, available staff, and a lack of vision that big companies can make happen, small businesses are discovering that their challenge lies in learning how to innovate in spite of, and sometimes because of these facts. A recent study by Erik Hurst and Benjamin Wild Pugsley of the University of Chicago called What do Small Businesses Do? discovered that fewer than 50 percent of new business start-ups were born from a “new idea”. Additionally, they learned that most of these new businesses are essentially more of the same, offering an additional coffee shop, bakery or tax service to a marketplace stuffed with these services. Not much innovation, greater competition, and little chance at exponential growth.
So precisely what does it take for a small business to go from the ordinary to a business that is leading innovative ideas in their space?
4 Strategies to generate a culture of innovation in your business!
- Encourage innovation – Rewarding your employees with tangible perks for helping to try new and innovative initiatives is an easy way to help launch your company’s venture into innovation. Try to create a buzz around discovering new and better ways to conduct business and improve products and services.
- Understand your markets’ needs and desires – Keep up with current trends and ideas in your market. Make sure to be hooked in to all the news and views that are effecting your company, and take action on what you hear and see!
- Connect with existing customers – So that you can truly understand what may be a great idea for your customer, you have to talk to them. And even more than that, you ought to keep the conversation centered on customer’s problems, and shape your ideas to provide those solutions!
- Be ready to try new things! – Don’t be afraid to be innovative. A shining demonstration of a company ready to fill a need is Behance.net, a Web-based platform for creative works, where artists can show their work regardless of their resumes, seeking to turn more ideas into reality.