Keeping a constant flow of unique business ideas coming into your business is now expected by customers.
Customers used to appreciate consistency but now they are so used to new technologies and new apps coming onto the market that they gravitate to businesses that can keep them excited with new ideas.
Being bland no longer cuts it.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs
Just because you’re not Steve Jobs doesn’t mean you can’t be innovative. You don’t necessarily need big major innovations to stay ahead of the game. A few different business ideas that tweak and improve your business may be all you need.
The key point is that innovation in your small business should be a constant process. To continue thriving you must be always be on the look out for new ways of doing things.
Reinventing your business also maintains your competitive edge.
If you’ve been running your business for a while and you’re doing it successfully, your unique business ideas will start to attract the attention of other businesses. Existing businesses may start to copy some of your initiatives and new competitors entering the market will try and emulate what you do.
It’s annoying but inevitable. And, it’s sort of flattering because other people are acknowledging that you’re doing something right and they want to be successful too.
Copy-cats have a disadvantage in the marketplace. Being the original market leader gives you an edge but it's easily eroded if you don't keep innovating.
Innovation and creativity allow you to avoid competing on price (definitely a good thing for any business unless your marketing strategy is cost leadership).
Most entrepreneurs are creative by nature and they have no problem coming up with new successful business ideas.
In fact, they are often bubbling over with so many different business ideas that they need to learn how to prioritize which ones are worthwhile implementing.
If you are this personality type, start being selective. You don’t need to say ‘yes’ to every great idea or opportunity. There will always be more ideas coming along so you will not be losing out.
It is far more important to say ‘no’ often and only say ‘yes’ to the ideas that make the biggest impact.
Business owners with technical expertise may find it difficult describing themselves as creative but everyone is creative in some way.
As the leader of your business the task of reinventing the business largely falls to you but you don't necessarily need to be a wacky creative type or a fortune-teller.
Most innovation in businesses comes from the conversations that are going on within them. Your role is to enable these conversations to be a part of the way you operate and to allow ideas to flow from any team member.
These conversations will be the source of the fresh and unique business ideas that will keep your business relevant.
Another good way for business owners to source unique business ideas is to associate with other creative people. Maybe even find a mastermind group or create one so you can tap in to other people who are creative and visionary.
Here are some ways to start thinking about reinventing your business:
This is not necessarily as difficult as it sounds. Your customers are your research and development department so get really close to them and ask lots of questions. The more you talk to them and find out what they want/don’t want, like/don’t like, the more ideas you’ll have.
This is a great way to improve your reputation – in what area of your business could you easily set a higher standard in terms of what the customer experiences?
Technology is changing at an increasing pace – are you keeping up and are you finding ways to use new technologies for the benefit of your customers?
The easier and simpler you make it for your customers to do business with you the better. They will repay you with loyalty. So, continually look for ways to simplify, streamline and automate your processes.
Are there other products that would increase the value of your product if they were sold together?
Business Coaching Questions: