If you are not innovating, you are not growing. This statement is not an exaggeration these days. Business needs innovation to ensure competitive advantages.
Every business is looking for creativity for that extra bit of innovation to keep competitors at bay.
You sure know the fact that your business needs innovation.
But, you believe that your organisation has been doing good lately and is in the profit zone. Ask yourself a few questions then to check if your business needs innovation.
Are you keeping a track of your competitors? Innovation can be product or process driven.
Do you believe that as an entrepreneur or as an employee your workplace needs to be more innovative?
Has your business been struggling lately while competing with fast moving start-ups?
Is the workplace not fun anymore?
Does the passion of the team seem to be disappearing gradually?
These are indications that your business needs more innovation. It needs to innovate more rapidly.
Why is innovation important?
Have you heard about the ambulance drones? or the internet of things and 3D printing for medicinal innovations?
Well, the year that has just gone by gave us many innovative products and concepts. Top 10 business ideas of 2015 by springwise.com is dominated by innovation.
Put simply, innovation is a new method, idea or project.
When applied to business, this often means the creation of a new product or creating a new process, like streamlining an assembly line or finding a new way to pull ore out of the rock.
We are living in an era where business needs innovation, and our competitors are engaged in innovations that will change the world of tomorrow.
Why is innovation important? Can’t businesses get along just fine without innovation?
The answers to these questions are not difficult on their own, but they do vary based on several variables, like location, industry and whatever competition a business may face.
Experts believe that in the current era, organisations are not run by men and machinery, but through creativity and innovation.
In the past, many companies were able to survive with a limited amount of innovation.
What they would do normally is to focus on providing quality products and simply update them to a point that maintains their competitiveness in the market.
This method still applies to some products with long life-cycle and few opportunities for innovation.
A good example of this would be PVC piping or steel rods or cement. You can always come up with different chemical blends or designs, but other than that it’s still just a form of a pipe or a rod or cement, – there’s not much to do with that.
But, we are all obsessed to services now. Information technology seems to be the show stopper in almost all business. The internet world is changing almost every second.
Think about innovations around us.
The selfie stick GoPole has generated millions in revenue while Fitbit found itself in one of the most innovative product list of 21st century according to an article of Inc.com.
So if you are not building pipes, bricks, cement, bottles etc, you need to be breathing innovation.
Not to be unfair to pipes, bricks and other commodities; even they now thrive on regular innovation. These are not product-based innovation but are process driven.
Think about innovation in sales, marketing, positioning and design.
Most importantly, innovation is fun. Innovation brings excitement to team members, consumers and stakeholder.
There are countless reasons to innovate with increased profit being a potent reason to give us all the drive to push for innovation. I present briefly 5 key reasons which push to bring innovation to the core of all business strategies.
5 reasons why your Business needs innovation
- Globalisation and the price war is transforming businesses
Recently, some trends have emerged that drive the innovation process. Due to factors such as globalisation and outsourcing, there is an increased push to improve efficiency and effectiveness of companies.
Organisations need more than good products to survive these days; they must have innovative processes and management that can drive down costs and improve productivity.
Think of Amazon or Google. Can we tag them to a country?
They exist equally everywhere. Why are they way ahead of their competitors? They keep innovating and are way ahead in globalisation and price war.
Would you pay for a Google search? Think of the business model of Google now. Do they innovate regularly? Hell yes!!
Amazon, Tesla Motors, Marriott are ahead of their competitors as according to Forbes they were among the most innovative companies of 2015.
2. Consumers expect even more
Consumer expectations also drive the amount of innovation in the market.
Customers are used to products that continually improve and make their lives easier. Modern consumers are more informed and have more options in terms of what they buy and who they buy it from.
What this means is that customers won’t accept a product that is merely at par; a product must excel at what it does to garner the consumer’s attention and money.
Think of Apple ‘I watch’. It was innovative and way superior to most of its competitors. Yet, it couldn’t meet expected sales. It was a great product but consumers expected even more.
It is important to stay with the buzz.
3. Your competitors are innovating
Innovation is also important because it is one of the primary ways to separate your product from the competition.
If you can’t compete on price, you’ll need innovative products and ideas to make your business stand out from the crowd.
Recently Google’s parent firm Alphabet took over Apple as the most valuable company. It is a dynamic world. You miss I hit is the norm in business. Business needs innovation and that too continuously to beat the competition.
4. Disruptive innovation is on the cards- innovate rapidly
Use innovation to grow your business as innovation is the fuel to run the business effectively. Business needs innovation to perform better than competitors.
Disruptive innovation can spoil even the most prolific business runs. Regular innovation is the only tool that can help us all stay afloat in business.
Do you remember ‘Pager’? The device to send messages in real-time.
The real expensive devices which were looked to be a major innovation back then. They are thrown out by a disruption named mobile phone.
Who knew tube TVs would not exist even as an antique for our next generations with regular disruptions in the television market.
‘palmtop’ didn’t even come out of the labs as we had a disruptive innovation named iPhone at the same time.
So, brace yourselves for regular disruptions in business.
Marketplaces – whether local, regional, national or global – are becoming highly competitive.
Competition has increased as a result of wider access to new technologies and the increased trading and knowledge-sharing opportunities offered by the Internet.
5. Early bird gets the prey- get the early mover advantage
Innovation in your business can also be driven by the amount of innovation your competitors are doing.
Being first to market with a new product can give you a significant advantage in terms of building a customer base.
It is difficult to compete if your products are seen as obsolete or out of date.
An Early bird doesn’t however, mean in terms of early entry only. It needs to be fortified with regular innovation. We all know the fate of Orkut and Hi5. Facebook took them over by storm.
Both Orkut and Hi5 however, did get an early bird advantage.
Innovation- The way towards sustainable advantages in business
However, when investing in innovation, it is important to keep in mind that many businesses survive by copying and adapting the innovations of others and can benefit from your hard work.
Image Courtesy- Quint Group
In other words, innovation is important to the advancement of society around the world.
New and innovative products can increase the standard of living and offer people with opportunities to improve their lives.
Breakthroughs in medicine and technology have significantly improved living standards around the world.
Innovation has also lead to significant improvements in the way businesses operate and has even closed the gaps between different markets.
I reiterate. Your business needs innovation.
Brace yourselves for disruptive innovations and enjoy the fun-filled roller coaster ride at your workplace.