Where Can Entrepreneurs Get Innovative Opportunities?
Innovation usually builds upon things that are already taking place – unless, of course, you have something truly fantastic which breaks the current mould and is a true game-changer!
Finding innovation is not an easy task, but the following sources are frequently used to get that germ of competitive advantage which can then be further developed:
- The Unexpected: unexpected success, or failure, gives an insight into new trends and opportunities. Early computers were designed exclusively for scientific purposes – an unexpected gift was interest from business and then the public for new computer equipment.
- The Incongruous: results that come about that were not expected. This often boils down to the difference between what is planned and what actually occurs which then highlights the changes that can come about. There are issues of incongruity around perception or attitudes that an entrepreneur can develop and exploit as an innovation point.
- Process need: improving the mechanics of delivery to make a better product or service. Big business regularly looks at the processes involved in their activity as a means by which to quicken/cheapen their activity and it is this type of approach that an entrepreneur can use to deliver improvements and identify new ways of doing things.
- Being aware of industry and market changes and developments: whole industry structures can change rapidly, often after a prolonged period of relative stability. Such changes give excellent opportunities for the entrepreneur to make a real impact especially where bigger organisations are slow and sluggish to adapt.
- Demographics: changes here are clear and unambiguous and are signalled well in advance. One good example is the changes in population structure caused by older people living longer, which has created a huge opportunity for the budding entrepreneur to tailor goods and services for the “grey” market.
- Changes in Perception: the entrepreneur should always be able to distinguish between temporary changes in perception or “fads” and longer lasting developments. This means spending time and effort looking for trends and issues and also being very clear how they will impact upon markets and demand.
- New Knowledge: what is happening at the cutting edge of the sector that you are operating within? How will this change what the marketplace wants and, most importantly, how can you use this to your advantage?
Innovation is the very lifeblood of your business – take every step necessary to make sure that you do not miss out.
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