Every smart business owner, manager, and executive knows that business growth doesn’t happen by itself. Sure your business can grow organically without innovation or effort, but this is a limited growth. In order for a business to experience real and long term growth it requires a deliberate growth strategy, and this strategy requires innovation and a vision of where you want your business to go in the long term.
I have heard the excuses time and time again that there isn’t time, or enough man power, that’s right I said excuses, because if you convince yourself that you cannot move forward, than you surely will not. If success was easy than everyone would be successful; those businesses that are successful and have grown into a flourishing company didn’t start out that way and most of them had the same problems that new businesses today are experiencing. The purpose of a business is to grow and in order to grow it has to be managed effectively and that requires innovation and a growth strategy. So how do you create a growth strategy when you have so little money to spend? There are ways to grow a business without spending large sums of cash; you have to use innovation to fuel your strategy and to plan your growth.
While it of course takes money to run a business and money to market products and services, there are ways to grow your business without spending a lot of money, sometimes without spending any money. For example, Social Media is being used as a large part of many marketing strategies and it is possible to utilize without spending. Using FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others doesn’t cost any money, but it can be time consuming and that is one of the biggest issues for many businesses, having the time to create innovation. One of the things that many businesses do today is they set aside a certain percentage of man hours for nothing but innovation, whether that be 10% or 20% you create the time to work on these new things, whether that be daily, weekly, hourly, whatever works for you. Having good time management will help the innovative process a lot by creating time that you didn’t know that you had. Most people spend twice as long working on projects that could have been done in a fraction of the time because they are not practicing good time management. It’s also important to remember that innovation is not just coming up with new ideas, it’s also fixing issues with existing processes and throwing money at problems more often than not will not fix it; it’s just putting a band aid on it. Coming up with new ideas for existing processes doesn’t usually cost anything, but requires innovative thought, and using the creative minds of those that work for you and with you.
Innovation is not a onetime occurrence, successful innovation is long term and continuous and can result in the long term growth that every business is striving for.