Blog post by: Amber Brownlow, Baer Performance Marketing Intern
What is innovation anyway? Innovation isn’t always something we keep at the forefront of our minds. We think it’s a word for tech companies and scientists. On the contrary, an innovation can actually be as simple as implementing a new system of management procedures. It is defined as the “development of a new method, idea, or product.” What I’m getting at, is that your business can innovate continuously! Make small (or big) changes that help to advance your business, and whallah, you are an innovator.
Don’t get complacent. It is often the case that when you have come far enough, you feel like you’re in a good enough place that you can stop looking for ways to improve. This is an understandable mentality, but it is not the mentality that leads to long-term success! In this world, there are always new ways to do things. Find ways to increase efficiency, implement some new technology if it is in line with your business, or integrate a new marketing tactic to help gain awareness and snag new clients. The point is, you have the power to innovate! Never stop thinking of how you can improve. Falling behind is all too possible if you don’t.
Still think innovation is a nuisance? That’s understandable—considering you have a million other things to focus on. Instead of daydreaming about what could be, you want to focus on what is – right here in the present. Unfortunately, this is going to lead you to plateau, or stunt your growth at a certain point. If you believe in your business and you have a vision for where it needs to go, get motivated, and don’t hold yourself back. Again, many have the wrong idea when it comes to innovation, thinking that it has to be some kind of revolutionary idea. This is not the case – and believe it or not, the small to medium businesses have a real edge when it comes to innovation.You can read here to find out how. Largely, it has to do with having a close relationship with customers. Understanding and always thinking about the customers’ needs and experience can help influence successful innovation.
Perhaps you feel that innovating is risky. In one of my classes last semester, Organizational Communication, we were evaluating the role that innovation plays in organizations. My professor said something that I had been thinking since we got onto the topic. He said, “It is often riskier not to innovate, than it is to innovate.” He discussed the importance of avoiding becoming stagnant. If everyone else is growing, expanding, and innovating, and you are not, the risk for your business is elevated because your competitors have the potential to pass you by.
Baby steps. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy. Innovation simply involves developing or implementing new ideas and processes within your company that will allow you to grow and improve. It isn’t something that you necessarily need to stress over or put total focus in. But it is important to keep in the back of your mind. Always look for ways to improve because as awesome as your company is, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. If my degree has taught me anything, it’s that those who settle for “good enough” are not accessing their full potential. Therefore, to answer the initial question, innovation absolutely is a necessity in today’s world. My advice would be to embrace it, and have fun with it. Make smart decisions about how to best move your company forward, and follow through! You may be surprised at the results.
If your vision for innovation includes creative, effective forms of marketing, call Baer Performance Marketing at (920) 632-7648.