Businesses are looking for ways to increase revenue, reduce expenses, and distinguish their products from competitors in the marketplace. Many businesses follow a “me too” approach by simply copying what others are doing in their market. This approach eliminates creativity from the business development process and forces the company to compete solely on price. In an alternative approach, business leaders can use innovation strategies to increase revenue while creating a competitive edge that sets the company apart from the rest of the market.
Here are 10 reasons why you must start developing an innovation plan today:
1. Increase Revenue – A properly executed innovation plan will produce new products as well as new features for existing products. These new products and features can produce more sales to existing customers and attract new customers. The increased sales produce an increase in revenue that drives company growth.
2. Reduce Expenses – An innovation plan can reduce expenses by streamlining internal business procedures, improving the product development process, and simplifying manufacturing operations. For example, when analyzing existing business procedures, be creative by looking for ways to eliminate steps in the process or automate portions of the procedure.
3. Competitive Edge – Distinguish your business in the marketplace by identifying gaps or unmet needs in the existing products. Create new products or features that address these gaps or unmet needs. If you are first to market with a new product or feature, your business gains a strong competitive advantage.
4. Create a Buzz in the Marketplace – When a competitive edge is established with a “must have” product or feature, companies benefit from valuable word-of-mouth advertising, including social media exposure. This marketplace “buzz” can produce a significant increase in sales and publicity for the business.
5. Team Environment – Teaching everyone in your organization about creativity and innovation helps develop an innovation culture that encourages everyone to work as an “innovation team.” Rather than limiting creativity tasks to a few select employees, a successful innovation plan recognizes the creative abilities of all personnel and inspires everyone to participate in creating innovative ideas.
6. Attract Top Employees and Contractors – Many people want to work in a creative and innovative environment. Regardless of industry, less innovative companies are often perceived as “boring” or “old fashioned.” When you position your business as an innovative place to work, potential employees and contractors will seek positions with your company. This puts you in a strong position by attracting a large group of potential job candidates when your company has an open position.
7. Attract Investors – Investors look for companies with a strong market position and a competitive edge in their market. A company with a successful history of identifying and leveraging innovative ideas may be of greater interest to potential investors.
8. Position Your Business as an “Innovator” – Innovative businesses in any industry generate attention and publicity. Innovative products cause customers to talk about your products and share information online. Publications write about your company and its products. This attention strengthens your position in the marketplace.
9. Create a Steady Flow of New Ideas – Your innovation plan will encourage all employees to be creative and participate in the development of innovative ideas. These activities, along with innovation contests and other creativity events, will produce a continuous flow of creative ideas for new products and improvements to business procedures.
10. Avoid Being a “One Hit Wonder” – The flow of creative ideas is often strong when a company is getting started and looking to establish itself with a unique product or service. However, after that first idea is identified and developed, many companies stop the innovation process that created the business success in the first place. Unfortunately, they become “one hit wonders.” Developing an innovation plan that produces a steady flow of ideas accelerates your company’s growth and strengthens its competitive position in the marketplace.
Start creating your Innovation Plan today. If you have any questions about creating or implementing an Innovation Plan, click the “Comment” button or Contact Me and I will personally answer your questions.