Five ways businesses can innovate to stay ahead of the competition

 

 

 

In a competitive business environment, the secret to success is to continually adapt and innovate, making the best use of new technologies to capture market share and stay ahead of rivals. Innovation boosts productivity, growth and profitability. For these reasons, it’s vital that entrepreneurs and business owners keep up to date and embrace new innovations in areas such as fintech 

 

 

Get more from customer relationships  

 

If you don’t adapt and improve your products in line with customer demand, then your competitors could steal your market share. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) technology is becoming more sophisticated and can offer a lot to businesses that use it within their operations.  

Research the market to identify which software packages will work best with your business model, helping you to engage more customers. Then, get feedback and gain insights to improve your offerings and respond better to customer expectations. By doing so, you should see higher sales and profitability. 

 

 

Reduce costs 

 

The technology is out there to help you develop and run your operations more efficiently, streamlining your work processes and lowering costs. Anything that automates repetitive tasks or eliminates unneeded processes will help you save money, reducing labour costs, administration and paperwork.  

Moving IT infrastructure into the Cloud, for instance, can remove a lot of costs and create time and space for your company to focus on the core business. Simply partnering with a fintech such as KoalaPays can make it much easier to receive and manage business payments and keep cash flowing more efficiently. 

 

 

Encourage innovation and take risks 

 

Incorporate innovation into company’s culture. Encourage your employees to come forward with feedback, ideas and suggestions on how you can do things better. If you can add incentives such as bonuses for staff that come up with new efficiencies or cost-cutting ideas, you can also introduce some competition into the business and boost staff morale. After all, it’s in the most progressive and forward thinking firms, usually small ones, where simple ideas give birth to great innovations.  

Don’t be worried about making mistakes and reassure employees that they won’t lose their jobs by taking risks. After all, every great idea starts with taking a risk. Not all will work, but at the end of the day, people remember the successes, not failures. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll do better next time. 

As a business owner, it’s your job to lead from the front by encouraging and inspiring your people. Create dialogue that feeds enthusiasm and drives innovation. Don’t be quick to dismiss ‘crazy’ ideas. It’s these ones that sometimes lead to great innovations. And try to give positive feedback, even if things didn’t work out this time.  

 

 

Copy the competition 

 

One way of keeping up with, if not ahead of the competition, is to imitate. Keep an eye on what your business rivals are doing. If you see something is working for them, try to adapt and incorporate it into your business and make it work better for your needs. By keeping tabs on the competition, you’ll also be able to identify where they are going wrong and avoid making the same mistakes yourself.  

 

 

Stay informed 

 

Of course, the best way to keep up with the latest innovations and how they can help you with your own business goals is to educate yourself. Whether that means attending conferences and seminars, signing up for webinars, going to workshops and exhibitions or following blogs and podcasts from experts – in business there’s always something new to learn. Some small learning you pick up along the way could form the basis of your next great business innovation or enterprise.  

You might also be interested in:

Fintech: revolutionising the way we do business

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Five innovative ways to grow your small business

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