Innovation and strategic planning are the keys to promoting growth in your SME. It is a common belief that a small or medium-sized company, especially if it is recently created, should not allocate resources to innovation since it supposedly exists thanks to it, but it is not necessarily so.
If from the start the company was based on an innovative service or product and that is what makes it different and puts it at an advantage over many others, you should precisely consider continuously innovating in the company to consolidate growth and conserve the land gained.
Keep your competitive advantage
The following recommendations apply both for large companies with many years in the market and for SMEs in general that want to innovate:
1. Innovation as a key element within the culture and general strategy of the company
All employees should be aware of its importance and take every opportunity to use their creativity and communicate their ideas. To make them feel confident and encourage their participation, you must make it clear that their proposals will be heard and, if feasible, they will have the support to carry them out.
2. Assign people and allocate resources from the budget to innovation
Although all staff must be involved, it is necessary to assign trained managers to capture, develop and follow up on ideas, with a budget to carry them out. It is convenient to assign these leaders a Business Credit Card in which they can dispose of the assigned item so that they are not stopped by internal bureaucratic procedures.
3. Form projects and collaborate with external institutions
Based on the ideas of the technical, commercial and financial areas, project protocols must be established for which both internal and external support (universities, researchers, suppliers, and clients) can be requested and offer information exchange and mutual cooperation.
4. Assign responsibility to the senior managers of the company
An involved and committed management guide, encourages, protects and controls innovative projects through InventHelp, since it has the ability to make the decisions it deems most appropriate, which are those that are within the know-how of the company, without wanting to cover areas that do not correspond to it.
It is the managers who must indicate what must be done and for what purpose, but they must trust their technicians and managers to develop it since they are the ones who know how to do it.
5. The market as a guideline for innovation, based on a “calculated risk”.
It is essential to rely on the changing needs of the market, to respond not only with improvements in technology but also with the aim of offering services and products that adapt to new ways of living and consuming.
At the same time, you should not take too many risks, but rather based on market-trends and reliable-statistics that allow you to predict a certain percentage of acceptances and probability of success. Continuously innovating will allow you to stay one step ahead of your competitors and maintain the success of your business.
Listen to your employees, they are operational and contact part of the client and they will surely provide very good ideas about what can be done to improve your processes or your product or service to stay competitive.