Develop a strategy for innovation

You can ensure a steady flow of ideas that generate innovation in your business by having a strategy for innovation in your business plan. The strategy should begin with including your employees as this allows for a variety of ideas, where even the smallest may lead to an improvement.

Often the most effective innovation comes from changing the way you do things.

A nursery may look for new plant varieties to sell. A book store may make use of a reading room for customers to sit and read in. A hairdresser may want to start using less chemicals in the hair treatments they offer. A bookkeeper may seek digital technologies to drive more efficient processes.

Having a strategy for innovation will teach your business how to be more innovative, so consider these steps below as part of your strategy.

Steps towards business innovation

  • Analyse trends in the market, and offer your customers ways in which to provide feedback on your goods and services.
  • Look at ways to reduce costs by streamlining your operations. Managing your energy use is a great way to keep your costs down.
  • Attend events, training and networking opportunities. Browse our Events for networking events or workshops in your area.
  • Seek out tenders and contracts to expand your business. Check the AusTender website for business opportunities.
  • Collaborate with researchers or other businesses. Collect information from businesses, government bodies, trade publications, customers, industry associations and market reports. This information can assist you to revise your business and marketing plans, inform you about your competitors and help you identify new areas to grow.
  • Collaborate with other businesses locally or globally.
  • Implement a culture of business innovation and new ideas with employees. Innovation thrives in a culture that is not afraid of risk-taking, promotes the value of experimenting, is adaptable and rewards enterprise. Innovation usually comes from the top level of the business.
  • Invest in research & development (R&D). This enhances the productivity of your business. Grants, tax concessions and other funding programs are available to assist your business to invest in R&D so you can develop your ideas. Subscribe to the R&D Tax Incentive Information Bulletin to keep up to date.
  • Take on a business mentor or coach. Find mentoring services for business in your state or territory.
  • Review your financial performance and processes. Read finance and accounting to better understand how to analyse and improve your business finances and performance.
  • Expand your business online. Create an online strategy or one that extends into social media to collect valuable ideas and connect with your customers.

Remember, innovation is the key to giving your business an advantage.

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