It’s no secret that small and midsized businesses need to innovate in order to compete in the modern economy. Big companies have access to vast amounts of capital, stable markets, and highly skilled employees. As a result, the competition for business is only becoming fiercer.
Innovation is the key to business success in this day and age. Big companies can afford to invest in research and development, and that’s a major factor in what leads to their success. Small and mid-sized businesses, however, can’t afford to do the same. That’s why it’s so important for these companies to look for innovative ways to compete with their larger counterparts.
To help you navigate the contours of this endeavor, RCS Professional Services provides these fundamental techniques that SMBs can develop through innovation.
Embark on a Digital Frontier with AI and BPM
In what is perhaps the most efficient way to compete in your industry is to utilize digital technology and automation wherever possible. This includes cloud computing, mobile apps, digital marketing efforts, remote workers, machine learning, and AI. Moreover, large data analysis is key in streamlining your operations and processes. And when your business is more efficient, Inc. magazine notes that productivity will naturally improve. To this end, automation is integral to business process management (BPM). BPM can automate and optimize processes and workflows by analyzing how people, systems, and data interact. By streamlining and improving previously laborious business operations, BPM technologies allow you to operate more efficiently. When creating a BPM framework, make sure you're constantly monitoring its effectiveness and then acting on monitoring information to take steps to improve the process and output.
Use Data to Drive Innovation
Data is the foundation of innovation today. It helps companies understand their customers and their competitors, and then it can be used to create new products and services. If a summer camp business has access to data about the needs of families with multiple children, for example, that business can create a product tailored to that customer base’s needs. This is where social media can be leveraged. You can use a free, existing template to create your Facebook ad and reach a huge potential audience of clients or customers. And it’s never been easier or more affordable; this Facebook ad template might come in handy. With the popularity of social media these days, any successful advertising campaign makes the most of these free resources.
It can even lead to the creation of an innovative business model. One business that uses data to drive its innovation is Zillow. Zillow is an online real estate marketplace that relies heavily on data. The company’s website is full of data visualization tools that enable users to easily see trends and patterns related to homes for sale and homes that are currently for sale. That information is crucial to enabling Zillow to discover new ways to drive innovation.
Data visualization tools are used to create a number of different types of products at Zillow. Some of these products are designed to help home buyers visualize what type of house they might be able to afford.
Other products are designed to help home sellers visualize the value of their homes based on recent trends in home prices and other metrics. But before you invest in any one product or service, you should always make sure that help is available for your investment. Contact your support department to see if someone can assist you with the product or service in the event that problems arise.
Focus on Core Competencies
Business News Daily points out that another way to develop through innovation is to focus on your core competencies. That essentially means focusing on the strengths that allow your business to be successful.
Assume for a moment that your business is successful at creating a product aimed at helping clients manage their finances. Your business has identified a strength that could be used to innovate. By focusing on that strength, your company will be better positioned to succeed through innovation. The client-finances example illustrates this concept perfectly. If your business focuses on the core competency of providing financial services, then you have a lot of potential for success.
Prioritizing innovation in your business has never been so important for not only surviving in today’s competitive business world, it’s crucial for succeeding. Follow through with the areas above – including the use of business process management, using data to spur innovation, and identifying your company’s core competencies – and set yourself apart in the marketplace.