How Can Small Businesses Become More Innovative?

Many small business owners are always on the lookout for ways in which they can make their companies take a step forward in some way, but the problem with this issue is that many don't know where to begin when it comes to finding ways to innovate their goods or services. However, there are a number of ways to do so that may prove to be extremely helpful.

In many ways, the idea of innovation can weigh heavily on businesses, according to a report from Innovation Excellence. Many owners may spend a long time trying to figure out ways to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, when it comes to creating a new type of product or service that will capture customers' or clients' imagination, attention and business, but that might not always be the best path toward doing so.

Instead, small business owners should focus on the smaller steps it might take to become innovative, rather than trying to find some "eureka" moment that will make them successful overnight, the report said. One way in which they may be able to do so is try to come up with ways to keep their products more or less the same, but present them differently than they have in the past. If a company makes a product, it might be wise to consider ways in which they can come up with a design that makes them stand out from the crowd. This isn't always easy, of course, because in many cases there may only be so many ways to package whatever it is that company produces, but trying to find a sleeker or more appealing look might be a good place to start when trying to innovate, rather than coming up with something entirely new.

Turn inward for more help
Further, companies that can't come up with new products, or new designs for existing ones may want to think about ways they can improve the service they offer in accompaniment with them instead, the report said. For instance, trying to find new methods for improving customer service may be a great method for helping a company stand out from a crowd of competitors in the area. Along similar lines, making the process of buying a product or paying for a service provided by a small business just a little bit easier in some way – perhaps by accepting credit cards using mobile technology – could likewise help to make customers or clients think that one small business is doing more than the others to help them.

As it relates to coming up with these kinds of ideas, owners need to know that they shouldn't be trying to go it alone, the report said. Often, asking around at an office for ideas that could help improve a company's offerings may turn up at least a few good ideas that a small business's employees came up with on their own, and which owners might not have thought of. This can simply be the result of these workers dealing with the public more regularly and thus getting a larger amount of feedback about what would be preferable to the average customer or client.

Owners may likewise want to starting thinking more about the ways in which they can find reduced costs in some instances, including finding more affordable small business insurance. Shopping around for lower-cost policies for workers' compensation or general liability insurance could give companies the added flexibility that they might need to devote a little more resources to whatever innovative plans they may come up with in the near future.