For anyone running a business, innovation is essential to survive in a rapidly changing business landscape. One perfect example of this is what happened to the brand Kodak – which most of us are probably familiar with.

At Kodak’s peak in 1996, they held two-thirds of the global market share and reached a phenomenal revenue of almost $16 billion. You would think a brand of that calibre would remain unbeatable.

Their bankruptcy filing in 2012 served valuable a lesson for all other businesses: innovation.

Without innovation, your business remains stagnant. Your brand will disappear behind names that have brand-new and more up-to-date offerings. You’ll also miss out on technologies that could help fast-track your growth and profitability.

This is what Techweek hopes to overcome. It’s an independent platform for individuals and organisations to meet and share their innovation stories. Several events will take place for everyone to learn and gain innovative insights.

In celebration of TechWeek NZ, we’ve gathered these tips on how you can innovate for your business.

6 Tips to Funnel Innovation to Your Business

Integrate innovation as part of your strategy

Make innovation an integral part of your business by including it in your strategic planning. This will prompt you to pursue new technology and help you keep up with the fast-changing business environment. This also helps you efficiently meet increasing and ever dynamic customer demands.

Explore innovations to upgrade your performance and offer a better product and service experience. If your competitors are receiving more bookings, it’s clear that whatever they’re doing resonates well with your shared target audience. Look into how they’re innovating and find out how you can exploit it to your advantage.

Cultivate an environment of innovation

It can be hard to promote innovation in a space where people are already occupied with their daily to-dos. Start by promoting open communication in the workplace. Provide an avenue where people can freely participate, share, and team up on innovative ideas.

An example of this is to provide digital innovation boards. Get them to write important insights such as innovative opportunities they know, what user needs should be addressed, and possible solutions, among others.

digital innovation board

Then, take the planning to the workforce, not just at the management level. You can also organise events that highlight innovation and introduce what’s new and out there. This will motivate your employees to come up with their own piece and contribute.

Reward ideas

Rewarding ideas encourages creative thinking in the workplace. Which you would need to establish an innovative culture.

Honor good ideas through recognition programs such as offering tokens of appreciation, awards, monetary incentives, or even a gift voucher. When implemented, individuals behind the initiative should receive the byline and be granted the opportunity to work on it. This measure of acknowledgement will serve as a model for other potential innovators and will encourage future efforts.

Be open to new technology

Getting your business online is challenging enough. Adapting to new technology is an even bigger undertaking. It’s hard to let go of processes and tools that have served you well for the longest time.

But given that we’re now living in a digitally-driven world, it’s critical for a business to adapt. If not, you could be missing out on a lot of business opportunities and a chance to grow your business exponentially. Plus, you don’t want to get behind your competitors who are probably leagues ahead of you in digital innovation.

You don’t have to entirely change what works for you. But you can put new technology in the mix and enhance your work quality. For instance, when building your online presence, start with equipping your website with reliable hosting and a brandable domain. Even with this, you can still operate on a brick-and-mortar front. But you can now reach a wider audience and earn more online.

READ: 11 Must-Have Apps and Software Every Remote Worker Should Have on Their Device

Research the latest innovative ideas

Inspiration and eureka moments rarely come unprovoked. Ideas come when you actively seek market and business trends. This helps you generate useful insights on what improvements you can introduce to your business.

Keep a library of tech sources and open your notifications to the latest industry updates. You can also join conferences, webinars, and other events in your niche. Learn what can be beneficial for your business. The latest solutions you’ll find might also help you realise what areas in your business need improvements and will stir you to action.

Learn from your customers

Your customers’ remarks and complaints are a treasure trove of ideas. Whatever factors they’re dissatisfied with, there’s an opportunity for advancement lying there.

Communicate openly with your customers and encourage them to leave reviews. Leverage their pain points to generate innovative solutions.

However, before you push for a change, do market research. A tremendous transformation of the products and services that they’ve been using might not sit well with them. The loss of familiarity might prompt them to leave.

customer review

READ: 4 Ways to Improve Customer Trust for Your Small Business

Innovate for the Long Haul

There’s no other way around it: innovation is the key to keeping your business afloat and thriving. The business industry is fast-paced and condensed with brands vying to stand out. If you’re not consistently reinventing your business, you’re already lagging behind.

Here are ways to steadily pursue innovation for your business. Opening up to trends and encouraging active participation from your organisation steers your enterprise towards promising developments and profitable opportunities.

If you have to begin somewhere, start with your business’ online success. Leverage online marketing tools and resources that can help increase your site traffic and boost your sales.