When you’re running a business, you can’t afford to let things get static. Once you stop growing and developing, it’s possible that you might fall into a downward spiral. So it’s necessary to keep innovating in one way or the other. You can either add new features to your product or service or you can try a new marketing campaign. You can get your administrative department more organized or you can try new sales tactics to see whether they work.
In certain cases, it’s easy to see exactly what innovations you should introduce. For example, if you’re having trouble balancing your books, you might need to get an accountant or outsource accounting functions. If your sales have recently fallen, you might need to put more energy into sales and marketing. If your company is doing well but your employees are overworked and unhappy, you might need to improve company culture.
In other cases, it may not be very obvious exactly how you need to improve. If your company is generally doing well and there’s no one area which is suffering, then it’s easy to lay back and relax. However, this would be a mistake, as it’s likely to make you and your employees sluggish in the long run. Innovation, on the other hand, can stop you from turning into a large-scale bureaucracy. Here are a few ideas to help you bring about innovation in your company:
1. Digital Innovation
One of the easiest ways in which to innovate is to bring your company into the digital age. If you don’t have a website, then create one. If you already have one, it might be time to update it. You can also create a blog and social media pages or add new material to the ones you already have.
If you’re having trouble keeping track of your social media pages and how effective they are, there are products that can help you by monitoring your traffic and giving you custom reports. The other option is to outsource your digital needs to a marketing agency or have a full-time social media analyst.
Moving your company to the cloud or installing innovative software that helps manage your company are all other ways of increasing your digital innovation.
Whether you choose to pour all your resources into digital innovation or just assign the task to one of your current employees, keep in mind that this field is developing by leaps and bounds. So you can look forward to a lot of changes which will eventually benefit you and your company.
2. Administrative Innovation
A lot of people feel that there can’t be much innovation when it comes to administration. In fact, it might be safe to say that administration is the most overlooked department in most companies. People enter the company as administrative assistants only to move up after a while. No one wants to do administrative tasks all the time except for career administrators who eventually become office managers.
There are many organizational tools that will make your office manager’s life a lot easier. You might want to pay your administrative assistants better, so that they’re not always scrambling to move up. Plus, make sure you train your administrative staff better in the use of Microsoft Office and other softwares that can help keep you organized. There are many softwares for different industries such as healthcare, event-planning, advertising etc. Invest in one of them and watch your company become more organized.
3. HR Innovation
Once again, people don’t think of this department as requiring innovation. But there are many new HR-related actions you can take which will help your company to thrive now and in the long run. Most of these innovations are centered around making your employees more comfortable in their jobs and improving company culture.
You can also change your hiring techniques. For example, if you don’t need a full-time employee for a certain task, you can hire more part-time or on-demand employees. It’s important to think about what your company needs at the moment and make the corresponding changes. If it’s the quality of workers that you’re trying to change, then you might want to up the requirements you include in your job descriptions.
4. Design Innovation
You could say that this is the age of design innovation, given how much people love carrying around their sleek iPhones, tablets and other gadgets. Is it possible for you to introduce any design innovations in your product? Can it be made sleeker or more appealing in some other way? Color is an easy way to make your product stand out.
But remember that design innovation should always have a purpose. You’re not just out to make your product look better; you also want it to perform better. So the two types of innovation ought to go hand in hand.
5. Brand Innovation
A lot of companies launch their products without really thinking through the idea of branding. Five years down the line, they might end up with a brand that they hadn’t anticipated and that they need to change if they want to be successful in the long run.
For example, let’s say that you’re producing a line of blenders which have become synonymous with domesticity. However, if you want to be successful in the long run, you might want your brand to become more trendy. You might want people to associate your blenders with health and fitness, not just home-cooking. This is where brand innovation comes in, forcing you to rethink the idea behind your product or service.