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  Let’s face it, in today’s business world, standing still is like walking backwards. Innovation is the bedrock of any thriving company, whether it’s crafting a product that disrupts an entire industry or simply finding a new way to delight your customers. But for many small business owners, the question remains: how do I tap into my inner innovator? In this article, I share a few practical tips to spark your creative fire and help you create an innovative business that defies boring conventions. Ready to explore them? Let’s go!
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  • Let everyone be heard

Innovation isn’t just for the “creative” types. Ditch the hierarchy and bring together people from every corner of your company. Marketers, engineers, and even your cleaner; everyone has a unique perspective that can spark a revolutionary idea. The cleaner might suggest a revolutionary recycling system, the accountant might propose a cost-saving innovation, and the marketing team might dream up a campaign that goes viral. So, encourage cross-departmental collaboration, and watch diversity become your fuel for innovation.
  • Listen to your customers

To successfully create an innovative business, you must listen to your customers. Your customers are the heart and soul of your city. They walk your streets, shop in your stores, and experience your services firsthand. So, before you embark on any grand innovation project, take a moment to listen to their voices. Conduct surveys, engage in open forums, and analyze social media trends. What are their pain points? What are their desires? What gaps exist in their lives that your business could fill? By understanding their needs, you can ensure your innovations resonate deeply and leave a lasting impact.
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  • Don’t let ideas slip away

Ideas are fleeting. That’s why capturing them is crucial. During brainstorming sessions, don’t let any idea vanish into thin air. Use technology to your advantage, record sessions, take photos, and leverage online platforms to document every scribbled note, whiteboard diagram, and outlandish suggestion. Remember, the “big idea” might be hiding in a seemingly insignificant detail, waiting to be discovered and nurtured.
  • Prioritize your projects

In a bid to create an innovative business, don’t fall into the trap of trying to build everything at once. Instead, take a strategic approach. Identify the ideas with the highest potential for success; those that are feasible, cost-effective, and likely to generate significant returns. Allocate resources wisely, focusing on “low-hanging fruit” innovations that offer immediate benefits while also setting aside resources for long-term, ambitious projects. This balanced approach ensures you reap short-term rewards while laying the groundwork for future growth.
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Final Thoughts

Innovation isn’t a one-time event; it’s a continuous process. Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to ignite the fire. Assign ownership to each project, creating clear champions who will lead the charge from ideation to execution. Regularly monitor progress, assess results, and celebrate successes along the way. There will be challenges and setbacks, but by fostering a culture of open communication, learning from mistakes, and constantly adapting your strategies, you can achieve a whole lot. Featured Image Source: IMD Business School
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This article was first published on 7th December 2023 and updated on December 11th, 2023 at 2:12 pm


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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