INNOVATION is critical to the lifeblood of a fast moving, engaging and world-class company with ambition.
How well are we really INNOVATING and what thoughts does this drive? Every day a company must surely continually improve and grow to outrun the competition. Does your company have a system in place recording everything you can about what they are doing? Record all you can – better it. Invest relentlessly in your team will bring innovation and continual improvement to ensure your safe passage in accelerated growth. Are you really, really empowering your team to make decisions? What authorisation boundaries have you set? A company constantly seeking to build efficiencies at all levels will move faster retaining flexibility and a ‘can do’ attitude wholly valuable to big corporate.
A culture that celebrates and grasps the challenges of change remains cutting edge.
What do you do to reward small and big team suggestions that move the needle towards success? Empowered and engaged employees bring prospects. Who is bringing the best prospects that fit the company objectives? Indeed… is everyone aware of the game and the contribution that should make?
Invent from your name card and brand onwards. Everything you do must be complementary to build positive memories of you and your service. Boring titles do nothing. Innovation supports communication and marketing efforts. How well do you share developments and steps between the different parts of your company and team? Innovation need not always come from the product itself. The process for delivery can find savings, service improvements and systems security – often as valuable as the product itself?
Originality can be more memorable and will result in sales. How originally do you pitch, persuade and engage with the customer? Just another boring PowerPoint does not wash.
Every time you change a service offering – check first that the customer is considered at the heart of the reason for the possible improvement. Improvements in service efficiencies for you may not be what the customer wants; they might want something else much more: faster service over extra packaging; are better promotions worth the wait?
Effective ways to save money come in all forms. Time is literally money. Are your team wasting time building reports and doing process stuff that no one values or needs? Most companies are doing stuff that people have forgotten when they started – stop it crusade can be a really great boost.
Below are some great ways to save money and help to build your business:
- Limited sampling and controlled tiered investment standards into different customers can save time and money. Why send a brochure when the email version could rock – a page turning online brochure with a charitable donation for the saving?
- Staying focused is tough. Do you talk about the stuff you say no to, and explain why so that the whole team can learn to stay focused with their eyes on the prize?
- Traffic light stock management system – focusing on the slow moving in red makes money. What other colour codes can you apply to systems and reporting to ensure you stay focused on the stuff that matters?
- Descriptions of products and services count for brand building. Are yours boring. Does your marketing material complement the way you wish people to be impacted by your brand values?
- Sourcing the best of supplier came from a never-ending drive to offer the best of the rest. A determination to buy best means you will deliver better – this needs learning, focus and relentless drive. When did you last compare with others?
- Endless study of the competition, wins progress. Visit them, get samples, get a pitch, meet them, employ them, learn everything you can – apply the good and exploit the bad but never criticize as this is very unprofessional.
- Consider packaging (even yourself) and how it really suits the market, trends and influences, keep your eyes open for other influences that you can adapt.
- How you dress and how your dress your product all counts. Confirm and create.
- Knowledge is power, so knowing the regulations within your marketplace is important – being ahead of changes can make money. Are you in an association? Are you behaving as a consultant and coming across as knowledgably valuable.
- Have you considered redesigning your product proposition? A newly design product can save all sorts of costs – winning yourself advantage. Is your service offering as original as it might be? How cheerful?
- Size does matter. Are you oversizing or under sizing? There is always room for small tweaks. If you changed portions of what you offered or delivered in a different way would that win you more fans?
- Does the packaging of your product do the job? Is the folder naff? Does the outer carton mean you are shipping fresh air? Could you sell more with more engaging wording? Originality done well, and often combined with a sense of humour is a priceless way to complement your team.
- Cumulative small savings can massively add up over years of deliverance. Share the savings back with the team and the ideas will keep flowing. The team was ingenious in cost saving when the business was under pressure. How often do you have your windows cleaned? Where can you make savings?
- The cost of running an event may not be all that you think. Get creative, be original you’d be amazed. Often more is achieved on half the budget of a motivated team
- Gifts to the team included hiring a photographer for the day to allow each individual to have a family portrait taken, (all on site booked slots of 15 minutes invite anyone.) Have you said a proper thank you?
- We invented display originality that saved fortunes at exhibitions, and drew attention and reputation. Don’t be sucked into the way everybody else does it?
- A creative newsletter which genuinely educates, shares and celebrates can be an inexpensive way to build fans.
- Use humor to build your brand – example: expanding sponge ducks to butter up housekeepers whilst aiming to bring a memorable smile to their day.
- Send low cost interesting gifts to difficult to reach prospects to innovate past gatekeepers. A tin or a packet of to put a smile on some ones face with a cheeky note can go a long way!
Innovation needs not be beyond any budget – do not underestimate the power innovation must play in the competitive market today. Your team have suggestions are you asking for them and valuing their contribution?
Just some thoughts to remind us we all have to strive to be better, different, the best, market leading.
Have a great week and remember training and learning is everything.:
Lara Morgan is the straight talking, no nonsense entrepreneur who is best known for growing Pacific Direct from start-up through to successful exit 23years later. Her vast experience includes first hand knowledge of manufacturing, licensing, export and global sales as well as leadership and developing entrepreneurial talent.
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