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Innovation for Small Businesses

WHAT IS INNOVATION AND WHY SHOULD YOU INNOVATE? Innovation should help your company perform and grow by improving its efficiency, productivity and quality. You don't necessarily have to make a dramatic change; instead you could start by simply improving old procedures. In-no•va tion Noun 1. The introduction of something 2. A new idea, method, or device INNOVATION CAN HELP YOUR COMPANY IN A NUMBER OF WAYS WE ASKED UK SMALL BUSINESS WHAT THEY THOUGHT 41% said that "Innovation is central to a successful business". 13% think that it helps motivate employees. feel that innovation helps 33% them achieve higher profits. say that innovation 37% contributes to every part of their business. #1 FIRM said that their business is going to be 44% more successful in the future because they plan to focus on innovation. WHO IS INNOVATING? ! 33% of companies who employ 50 or less workers see innovation as a high priority within their business. Is your company making the most of its employees' innovation? 41% of small businesses have a suggestion box which has ideas 20% in it from time to time say that innovation isn't part of their business plan at all 8% Only 8% say that they capture ideas and implement them 2013 With 33% of the same businesses thinking that innovation will become more important in the next year it's time to get ahead of the crowd by starting now! CASE STÜDIES MADE Furniture retailers have transformed the industry since their founding on 21st March 2010, by offering designer furniture without the astronomical prices. They offer their customers a new and affordable way to buy furniture with no middle men, no warehouses and no physical stores. They help their customers save money by: • Connecting them directly to the designers • Only manufacturing to order • Ordering in bulk every 7 days ECOEGG The Ecoegg is an innovative laundry product that has trebled turnover in its first 12 months. Founders Dawn White and Rob Knight came up with the idea for the revolutionary product by incorporating the need for it to be: environmentally friendly inexpensive - one egg lasts 720 washes! kinder to your skin As the winner of the Smarta 100 award for Innovation last year, the Kent-based company plans to continue its expansion into recognised high street stores. GRAZE In early 2009 seven friends launched Graze, the UK's first company to deliver healthy food by post. Innovation has been fundamental to the business from the product itself, where customers have a choice of 150 different foods to create their own healthy snack boxes, to the way it is packaged and delivered, small enough to fit through a letterbox and delivered directly to the workplace when you are likely to reach for other unhealthier options. After just 6 months, Graze revolutionised the healthy snacks market, delivering 80,000 boxes a month and already has over 15,000 subscribers. HOW TO INNOVATE 2 PREPARATION Get in the habit of continually asking questions about the effectiveness of your services, products, systems. If you find areas that could be improved, do some research and 1 INVESTIGATION ? generate ideas. Now that you have found a viable innovation, it's time to roll it out. Sometimes you will need to sit on the problem for a while.. Once you have an idea or solution, you need to consider whether .and other times solutions will leap out right from the start. it is practicable. VERIFICATION 4 ILLUMINATION Innovation has helped improve some of the largest companies in the world. Google offer their employees 20 percent time' - a full day a week during which employees can work on whatever projects they want. They found that, over a six-month period, many ideas for products could be traced back to their employees' designated 20 percent time. HINTS AND TIPS FOR INNOVATION Unfortunately there is no formula to guarantee innovation; however here are some hints and tips that may help companies reassess their attitudes: innovation mc? Encourage communication and let people talk about their ideas in a social environment. 13% of small companies claim that being focused on other business areas is a major barrier to innovation within their company. This is why making innovation part of your company's ethos is so important. 13% Make sure everyone has a voice when it comes to new ideas, from the managers to the interns. 32% of companies say that senior managers contribute to innovations while only 11% say that everyone at the company has a voice. 32% Employees should be encouraged to work to their strengths. Not everyone in a company will be able to (or want to) think creatively and there is no point forcing them to. Try and have people work as a team. HOMEWORK 11% 11% of small companies say that their employees are unwilling to participate as it is seen as extra work. People shouldn't be forced to be involved. 4 Failure isn't always bad; when people feel that there are consequences for making mistakes they won't take any risks. SOURCES, premierline direct BUSINESS INSURANCE A company of Allianz D APPLICATION INCUBATION

Innovation for Small Businesses

shared by Mdeller on Mar 25
1 comment
Innovation is a great way to help develop small businesses. It is also extremely cost effective and can help a company stand out from the competition.


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