Unlock your inner innovator
Here’s six things to consider when it comes to innovating your business.
1. What are your problems?
Look at aspects of your business that are high-cost in terms of time or money. Think about how you can do things differently to reduce these costs. Stay abreast of new technology and consider how it could be applied to your business.
2. What are your customers problems?
Some of the most successful innovations target customer pain points. For example, the new AfterPay system is essentially a lay-by reimagined to allow consumers to get the product upfront.
It converts customers who may not have taken the plunge and eliminates a frustration with traditional lay-bys. Innovation based around customer pain points requires a thorough understanding of your market.
3. Look to industry overseas
Australian industries often have the advantage of being able to look to larger markets overseas to get a heads-up on what innovative businesses in their sphere are doing.
4. Leverage customer values in a new way
Innovation is not always about tech. It can be a change in the way you brand yourself – as sustainable or socially progressive.
5. Look to improve an existing product or service
Innovation is not about inventing, but rather, perfecting. Apple’s iPhone was not the first smartphone. And the iPad wasn’t the world’s first tablet computer.
They just improved it by focusing on convenience, ease-of-use and style. Is there anything in your business or industry crying out for reinvention?
6. The future is now
“Don’t tuck your head under your arm and wait for tomorrow. It’s here today,” says innovation adviser Ken Green.
Many SMEs make the mistake of viewing new technology as a challenge rather than an opportunity.
Look at how you can exploit it to your benefit. For example, a Perth bespoke bicycle maker was able to partner with the CSIRO to have metal parts produced on a titanium 3D printer, cutting time and costs compared to traditional manufacturing methods.