The small business specialists
Phone: 13 12 49
In its broadest sense innovation is the development and application of ideas that improve the way you do things and what you achieve. Innovation can produce changes in many areas such as the environment, society, technology, education and community health.
In a business sense, innovation focuses on creating positive outcomes from new products, services, operational and managerial processes, markets, market segments and organisations.
Innovation is fundamental to growing and improving your business. It's about making changes that will improve the efficiency, profitability and ultimately, the viability of your business.
All aspects of your business can benefit from innovation whether it is finance, human resources, research and development, sales and marketing or logistics. The innovation does not have to be totally new or revolutionary; it may be a small but incremental improvement that results in a positive outcome.
Your business competitiveness and survival is directly linked to your ability to innovate.
Build an environment in every part of your business that fosters innovative thinking and action. By doing this, you will harness and apply the collective knowledge, experience, skills and energy of everyone in the organisation and focus this powerful collective wisdom on improving the way things are done.
Being innovative is about taking calculated risks which will require you to be positive, imaginative, fearless and undeterred by negativity, cynicism and resistance to change.
Broadly speaking, innovation in business can fall into three broad categories.
Developing and introducing new products, services or technologies. eg. researching, developing and commercialising a new product to capitalise on an identified market need.
Implementing improvements to current products or services. For example, increasing the performance capabilities, durability or appearance of an existing product.
Streamlining and improving business processes to increase efficiency, productivity and profitability. For example, financial systems, manufacturing processes, internal and external communications.
Remember that innovation is not something only practiced by large or high-tech businesses. Even minor innovations in your small business can lead to improvements in your efficiency, profitability, competitive advantage and ultimately, your viability.
To better understand the process involved in developing, producing and launching a new product or service, view a copy of the Business Guide Commercialising your Innovation.
An important element in the commercialisation process is how to protect the intellectual property inherent in your idea, innovation or invention.
The final step in the commercialisation process is getting your product or service to market. For more information go to Marketing.