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If you're not innovating to keep up with the competition, chances are, you're already losing. Read on for our top 5 tips on how to stay fresh and beat the market.
If you’re not innovating to keep up with the competition, chances are, you’re already losing. Read on for our top 5 tips on how to stay fresh and beat the market.
The sequel to Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, describes a world where Alice needs to sprint just to stay in place. Perhaps Lewis Carroll was describing today’s competitive environment for small-business owners.
No matter how new or established your SME is, if you’re not innovating to keep up with the competition, chances are, you’re already losing. Read on for our top 5 tips on how to stay fresh and beat the market.
The key to making your SME more innovative is an innovation mindset. This means being opportunistic enough to look for new opportunities — especially in unexpected places. Small-business owners are often best-placed to take advantage of their small size, in terms of both understanding challenges first hand and being nimble enough to implement changes to adapt in response.
Often, this means listening to the people on the ground, who are the closest to understanding the problem, as well as coming up with the solutions. Customers know what frustrates them, and can make suggestions as to how your business could improve. Employees are another source of wisdom. Instead of implementing solutions from the top down, it can be more effective to ask employees what the best approach could be. Ask what challenges they’re facing and what could be done about them — rather than just telling people what the solutions will be.
Are you finding some successes as the owner of your own small business? Congratulations! This means you are an innovator, a prolific salesperson or a manager who can drive operational efficiency — but not all three.
No one can hit all three nails on the head. This means that the best way to grow your business is to rely on partners, employees and other people connected to your business, who can fill in the gaps by bringing skillsets you may be missing. Many sources of innovation will come from people who are skilled in the areas where you are not.
Investing in your financial and digital literacy can open the door to further innovation. Partly, this is because many of the most game-changing innovations an SME could implement are to do with driving efficiency or tapping into a new market niche. In today’s world, these often come from streamlining financial processes and embracing the power of digital technologies.
Your true insights and actions will come from the professionals who can see the best way forward when you can’t. Having said that, it pays for you to know enough to follow along, ask the right questions, and ask how your business could benefit from doing something differently. This could be looking for ways to reduce overheads or creating a more cohesive understanding of your customers.
To that end, invest in your financial and digital literacy — such as learning the basics of payroll management, cash-flow statements, HTML and CSS, conversion tracking on your website, social media marketing, customer personas and user journeys. Make sure you can follow along with key concepts to do with the development of your website and your digital marketing campaigns.
Just as you grow, you’ll be growing your business as well. This will help you make the most informed decisions when speaking with the pros.
Easier, faster, more convenient, more accurate, more complete — digital is the way to go for a stronger and more cohesive way to run your business.
If any aspect of your business is at risk of human error, think about how it could be automated. Not only will that save you time and money, but digitising your processes could prevent mistakes that lead to an even bigger resource drain. Are you adding up receipts or sending out invoices manually? There’s no reason to pore over finicky spreadsheets when you can just let a machine handle the numbers for you. Are you fielding the same customer questions over and over, on your website or social media accounts? You can invest in chatbots powered by machine learning, which can do the heavy lifting of responding to the frequently asked questions from your customers.
From accounting platforms to digital payments systems, usually, a software can handle the work better than a human can. Taking your SME to digital platforms is one the best ways to bring rapid innovation to the way you do business.
Part of being innovative is being fast. Why wait until tomorrow when you can act today?
Get started with innovation and digitisation by diving into our digital payments system. If your SME relies on recurring payments, Payleadr is the easiest way to create customised payment plans. Convenient for your customers and convenient for you — there’ll be no more paying or chasing up invoices manually!
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