I hope your business is going well and you are making good money. I also hope you are feeling positive about the future despite all the changes and uncertainty we see in the markets today. Despite feeling positive, is now a good time to innovate? A good time to make a change?
If you are content with the way things are going, perhaps it is time to challenge the way you think about things. Start by making some time to consider the risks in your business.
Do you think about what might be coming over the hill or what the competition are up to? How do your staff feel about things?
How do you feel, the more you think about risk? Still confident?
A new competitor could disrupt your market with new technology. A ‘big corporate’ could steam roll into town. It happens, it happens all the time. Just think about predatory supermarkets and high street retail chains, internet retailers or the new technology companies that seem to appear almost everyday.
At Joules Innovation we encourage small business owners to consider the risks en route to becoming more innovative. As you consider the individual risks, try our simple four stage “innovation process” to help develop innovative solutions:
Context – look at the world around you and within your business for risks – seek out areas of risks and understand them as best you can and the implications they could have on your business. How much time/cash would it be worth investing to manage that risk?
Concept – Generate a range of possible solutions – don’t go with the first idea you come up with. Ideas may include developing new products or services, changing processes or the way to market yourself. I know putting things into action is attractive to many, but before you act generate a wide range of ideas to compare and consider.
Development – choose the best ideas and start developing and testing them – talk to others, collaborate, involve others, don’t try to do it all yourself – keep an open mind. “Measure twice, cut once”.
Implementation – put things into action to manage the risks and review your changes over time. Don’t over commit to yourself or others – under promise, over deliver.
With change and innovation, be wary of an over reliance on ‘gut feel’.
The world is an increasingly uncertain place – make time to think about the risks that may affect your business? Make time to think about change? Make time to innovate?
In Silicon Valley, they sum it up brutally – “Innovate or Die”.