12 Ways to Innovate Your Business
- Written by TechXO Team
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Everybody has the power to innovate. Innovation is thinking outside the box and coming up with new ways of doing things. Innovation can help your business by giving you a competitive advantage to grow and adapt your business in the market. Plus, it will help you save time and money.
Innovation refers to creating more effective processes, products, or ideas.
In business, it means employing new ideas, creating products, or improving your services and allowing growth and success of your business. Innovations create more efficient work processes for businesses and have better productivity performance.
Copy someone else’s idea
One of the best ways innovate is to nab an idea from someone else’s that actually works in the market and integrate it into your business.
Ford Motor Company Founder Henry Ford saw the production line working in a meat packing plant and then incorporated it to the automobile industry that has dramatically reduced assembly times and costs.
Customers will give you loads of ideas you can use to innovate by simply asking. They will usually ask for new features or that you make your product cheaper, faster, and easier to use, available in different styles and colors. Listen to their cry carefully and pick out the ones that will really pay back.
You do not just need to ask them; you have to watch and observe them. Observe how customers use your product. Have they used them in different ways than what is it really meant to be used?
Levi Strauss, Levi’s founder, found out that customers ripped jeans intentionally, so they brought a line of pre-ripped jeans. Heinz noticed that people stored their sauce bottles upside down so they designed an upside down bottle.
Use difficulties and complaints
If customers register complaints or if customers have difficulties with any aspect of using your product, then you have a strong starting point for innovations. Be sure to make your product easier to use, eradicate the existing inconveniences and introduce improvements that overcome the complaints.
Mix and match
Mix and match your product with something else to make something new. We promise you; it works at all levels. For example, a suitcase with wheels or a mobile phone with a camera or a flight with a massage.
Conduct regular brainstorm meetings where you make lots of new product ideas. Create diverse groups from different areas of your company and include a stimulating outsider like a customer or supplier.
Check out some patents that are relevant to your field. Maybe you can find something that you could license that is expiring where you can now use. Be sure to find a different way of achieving the essential idea in a patent.
Some companies may take you to other places you cannot go all by yourself/ Work with a partner that has a similar philosophy with but showcase a different skill. An example of this is when Mercedes partnered with Swatch to come up with a smart car.
Run a contest
Ask your audience to suggest great new product ideas. Run a contest and offer a prize. Provide a clear goal and you will be surprised you with novel ideas.
Watch the competition
Do not just follow the competition, watch them intelligently. Smaller companies are often the most innovative ones so make sure to see if you can adapt or license one of their ideas. You can even buy the company.
Adapt a product to a new use
Generate a different application for an existing product.
For example, De Beers produced industrial diamonds but found a new use for diamonds when they introduced the concept of engagement rings that has opened up a large new market for them.
Use social networks
Follow what is in and ask questions on social media like Twitter or Facebook. Ask your audience what they want to see in future products or what the big new idea will be. A lot of early adopters are active on social network groups and will happily respond with suggestions.