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Why Innovation is Critical to Your Business Success

Posted on: February 7, 2017
Tags: Marketing strategy, Innovation, Business tips
Why Innovation is Critical to Business Success

In the next few years much of what you do, make, fix, sell, and ship, won’t mean much to anyone. In fact, there’s a possibility that if you continue doing whatever it is your business does right now – you’ll be out of business.

If you want to thrive, let alone survive, you must tap into new trends and generate new ideas at a faster rate. 

Robots, artificial intelligence, technology and the internet will continue to threaten the way most businesses (and jobs) operate today. 

Think back 10 years ago...No one was a social media manager, app developer, or drone operator (now 70,000 exist).

And, in ten years there will be very few cashiers, travel agents, and social media managers.

This isn’t a new idea by any means. Each technological advance has done this for decades, (think cars, email, and computers) but the difference today is that evolution has been democratized. Meaning, in the past, entire industries were regulated into stability to maintain the status quo.

Today, anyone, working in the equivalent of a digital garage, can produce an innovation that can make what you do redundant or obsolete.

And, the rate of innovation is going to accelerate in ways that will catch many people off guard.

Not to suggest doom and gloom, but I do think any business that lacks a plan for intentional innovation is putting their business in a risky position.

Want proof that this is coming?

Right now, there are multi-million dollar small businesses with no offices, no employees, and no debt that are capable of competing with and beating out Fortune 500 companies. They are doing this, not simply because they offer better pricing, they are doing it because they also offer better products and better processes, and deliver results with more capable people.

It’s easy to witness the impact of this in well-known examples like, Craigslist vs. paid classified ads, Uber vs. Taxis or Airbnb vs. Hotels, but it’s also happening in obscure fields by companies you’ve never heard of unless you work in that industry.

Ironically, some of these nimble disrupters, such as Netflix, have moved into the Fortune 500.

Where to look for your innovation

Here are a few things we know for sure:

1. People are getting older and living longer

Some of the hottest markets right now are those in the field of medical technology and caring for aging adults.

How can your business look for innovation in this trend?

2. The way people pay for goods and services has forever changed

People expect to be able to pay, send, finance and split transactions using apps and online services.

How can your business meet this expectation?

3. People expect everything to be smart and convenient

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and they’ve gotten used to being able to do more and more things with that device. Not only are they using apps to communicate and pay bills, but they are also turning to their smartphone to turn on lights, adjust the thermostat, and monitor security, just to name a few.

How can your business tap into the fact that people have this powerful device with them at all times?

4. Companies no longer need offices or employees

A business is no longer a collection of people huddled in desks at a single location. Even businesses that have a physical location are finding employees using it less and less.

How can your business take advantage of this trend to run more profitably or fill the needs of companies that want and need virtual staff and freelance talent?

5. Millennials are fast becoming a significant buying force

Much has been written about the significant attitude shift in the generation that now makes up one of the prime buying demographics. Most members of the millennial generation are digital first when it comes to finding and engaging companies they buy from, but there’s also a strong need for connection to a brand’s story.

How can you make your brand more approachable and human while offering the convenience of digital technology?

The takeaway? Innovation is perhaps the most significant threat and greatest opportunity facing most small businesses today. Innovation is a strategy that must be central to your day to day planning and operations.

Click here to read the full article by John Jantsch.


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