Innovation Principles For Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs usually start with an idea and then try to find a market for it. Ideas are prompted by personal experience or the knowledge that things can be done in a better, more efficient way.
Entrepreneurial innovation tends to flow from inventions that find a new home in the marketplace rather than careful consideration and research that can then be translated into new products or services.
Innovation be an “unnatural” process as it is consciously moving away from the accepted norms of here and now!
- Entrepreneurial innovation usually starts with incremental adjustment to existing products and services which then generates a competitive edge, especially if this can be done across an existing range of offers. For example a restaurant can easily grow and innovate by adding new dishes to the menu, offer distinctive services to the local business community (business lunches and account facilities) and develop special events for regular customers (wine tasting, gourmet evenings). None of these individually represent major change but collectively they make for big innovation!
- Previous experience will drive forward any entrepreneur so it is likely that the first tentative steps to launching the business will mean offering a product or service similar to that already in the marketplace or from the entrepreneur’s own working career.
- Speed of decision making also separates the entrepreneur from the existing organisations: here actions speak louder than words and show a keenness to get on with the issue and exploit the market before anyone else does!
- Focus on both invention (something new and very different, but which successfully meets a need) and Innovation (taking an existing idea or concept and then modifying it to make it appeal to new customers).
- Look for innovation that does not require new products or services to be created: this centres around new products that consumers are not yet familiar with, new methods of production which give the product an edge, opening up a new market and using new raw materials/using new half-manufactured goods to create an edge.
- New ideas have a footprint in what already exists: here innovation then becomes the “new normal” from the unique way in which they are designed and delivered.
- Innovation is a gradual process: ideas form over time and go through different growth phases.
Make sure that you and your business are always open to the possibilities and challenges that innovation will create for you.
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