Growing a small business is a difficult task, especially in a crowded market with competitors chasing your heels, making innovation fundamental to your success.
What is innovation?
But what is innovation? Innovation is the creation of new, new ideas, new concepts, new products and new improvements. In today’s business society innovation tends to centre around meeting the needs of customers meaning that many innovative new products are in fact just iterations of an older model - Dyson’s cordless vacuum for example or Apples new iPhone with its wide-angle lens. Though that doesn’t mean that truly new innovation is no longer possible. Do some research on the most innovative companies in your sector, such as Medtronic Covidien for health technology.
Why is innovation important for small businesses?
We live in a world that doesn’t stand still, as soon as one product is released to the market, the next is already being lined up for launch. Consumers have more demands and successful businesses are the ones that meet their growing list of needs. Here are 5 reasons that innovation is something a small business can’t ignore.
- Innovation can help to increase your market share
Innovation is the easiest way for small businesses to increase their market share, especially if it’s one in which there are only a handful of other players. If you can consistently innovate ahead of your competitors you will gain customer favour.
- Innovation can help to scale your business
Leading in innovation and fostering a culture of innovative thinking can help you anticipate market changes more quickly which will get you ahead of potential opportunities. Companies who consistently innovate are able to generate more profit and grow their businesses more quickly.
- Innovation can help you maintain a competitive advantage
In crowded markets, innovation is what sets aside the market leaders from their competitors. Customers favour companies who consistently bring out new products that meet their needs which can help you build a strong sense of brand loyalty.
- Innovation can help you better meet customer needs
At the end of the day, the people keeping most small businesses afloat are their customers, which makes meeting their needs one of the most important things you can do to ensure good customer retention. Innovating around the needs of your customers is important for the growth of your business and building a sense of customer loyalty.
- Innovation can help you to attract the top talent and improve employee retention
It’s no coincidence that some of the most innovative companies in the world tend to employee some of the worlds greatest minds. The top talent enjoys working within companies who allow them to innovate and push the boundaries of their fields. By fostering a culture of innovation and becoming a brand that is known for its innovative solutions you will attract these people to your business. Innovation is also beneficial for employee retention, by innovating you demonstrate that your company is successful, cares for its customers and is growing to become a leader in its sector, this creates an appealing environment to work in and makes you an appealing company to continue working for.