Think for a moment what’s happened to your business over the last five years. Have product cycles gotten shorter? Probably. Is global trade increasing? More than likely. Has the internet introduced a bunch of new competitors into your space? Almost certainly.
The problem is that businesses slowly become more sclerotic over time. Interests get embedded, hierarchies established and things become a lot more … bureaucratic. For some companies, the process goes on for so long that by the end of it, they’re utterly incapable of change.
You don’t want to be that company. So here is some advice for getting more innovation into your business. It’s not as hard as you think.
Swim Against The Tide
What it is that separates good businesspeople from great business people? Well, good entrepreneurs know how to swim with the tide. They’re experts at finding the path of least resistance and making a healthy profit along the way. Great business people swim against the tide, fundamentally change an industry, and still make ten times as much money in the process.
So what does this look like in practice? Take HyVee, for instance, a Midwestern grocery store. It used to do things like most retailers, having checkouts for all people, no matter what they were buying. But now it’s practicing its own form of segregation, setting up VIP checkouts for people buying healthy snacks according to www.supermarketnews.com. These checkouts have proven a smash hit with health-conscious customers, and now the business has gotten a name for itself in a very competitive market.
Face Your Fear
Building a new product can seem like a daunting challenge. But as technology sites, like www.LaserLight.com have been warning, technology doesn’t stop advancing. It’s always a good idea to review your products to make sure that they actually make sense in the context of the market you are selling to. You don’t want to end up like camera maker Kodak. Kodak invented the digital camera way back in the 1970s but failed to hop on the trend as the market began to lift off in the late 1990s (making it perhaps the only company in existence that managed to kill itself). Now Kodak is nothing, barely registering on the modern tech radar.
The problem for Kodak was that they failed to face up to their fear that their market could evaporate overnight. They laughed at the idea that digital cameras could ever be a “thing” and so they never bothered to invest, change their business model and build new products. That’s something that you just have to do.
Make Your Services Unusual
Even if your business doesn’t have any “products” per se, there’s still plenty that you can do to add value to your customers. Take Duane Reade, for instance. He runs a store in New York City. Besides his general merchandise, he offers extra stuff, like a sushi bar, nail salon, cell-phone charging areas and even a stock exchange ticker for people getting off the Wall Street trading floor over lunch time. He’s realized that this wacky stuff is highly valued by his customers.