Updated: October 24, 2010
A friend of mine just bought a new gadget – a Cherry Mobile triple SIM card cell phone, an innovation that’s currently not yet available in mobile phones from manufacturing giants such as Nokia, Samsung, Apple and others.
Moreover, according to my friend, these mobile phone models are selling really well in the store where he bought them.
Hearing about this made me realize how important innovations really are in today’s business.
Research, development and innovation management has certainly allowed this new player to break into the industry and attract sales despite the dominating presence of large mobile phone brands in the market.
For start-ups and small businesses, facing up to the industry giants can be a daunting task, but it is possible to succeed. For just like David who defeated Goliath, all you need is the right weapon – and your slingshot is innovation.
What is innovation?
In simple terms, innovation is about creating and doing something better from what it already good. It is about finding your edge that will differentiate your product and your business from others.
What does it mean to innovate?
Innovation can come in many forms and in several areas of the business, not just in product development. In general, innovative ideas:
Provide a better solution.
Take a product weakness or shortcoming and generate a business idea that will innovate on a solution. The optical mouse is an example – now there’s no more need to clean those roller balls.
Take two or more products and innovate on an merged product. Watch a home TV shopping channel and you’ll see examples of all those “all-in-one” kitchen products.
Improve on a business process, use alternative raw materials, adopt a new business model – these are some of the ways you can make a product cheaper without compromising quality.
Improve customer experience.
Given two stores with the same product price and quality, I think everyone will choose the one with better customer service. But more than that, some people are actually willing to pay more for quality service. Innovate on how you treat your customers and watch your sales increase.
However, it’s not enough to know what type of innovation works best to improve your business. More important is how you go by in generating such ideas and the innovation management that it would require to implement them.
How do you measure innovation? How much time and effort should a business devote to innovation? How do you know if an innovative idea will sell?
The answers to these questions and more will be given in the next article, Innovation Management: A Business Essential Part 2 which will be posted in the next few days.
So be sure to subscribe to Ready To Be Rich so you’ll get notified when Part 2 is already published.