Only four percent of businesses stay the distance and are still standing after a decade of trading. If you study these successful businesses, one thing you will find that they almost all have in common is a policy of innovation – they don’t stand still. This makes sense because, if your remain stagnant as the world changes around you, then your products and services are going to become obsolete pretty fast.

By being a forward-thinker, planning for the future and doing things that other companies in your sector aren’t doing, and doing it consistently, you can get ahead of the competition and secure your company’s place as a market leader – it really is that simple.

Check out these very real reasons why having an innovation mindset really is the key to entrepreneurial success:

There are Always Problems to Solve

If there is one thing we can absolutely say is true, it’s that problems are never going to go away. No matter how advanced our technology gets, or how much smarter we get as a collective, there are always going to be issues that need to be overcome so we can advance even further. What that means for any business, including yours, is that there are endless opportunities to make money. If you can find ways to solve new problems in your sector as they arise, you can continue to be relevant and keep making money.

A good example of this can be found at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/heres-how-dealdash-is-revolutionizing-the-online-auction_us_5a5e8566e4b03ed177016ec0, which discusses DealDash. They are a penny auction company that realized there were many issues with similar businesses in that customers would lose any money they’d spent on bids if they were unsuccessful in the auction.They changed then game by innovating their business model so that unsuccessful bidders could “Buy it Now’ using the value of their bids towards purchasing the item they were interested in, This is just one example of how innovation can push a company to the top of the tree.

(Business) Life is Unpredictable

Another truth about life, and especially business, is that it is totally unpredictable; you can forecast all you want, but you never know exactly what is around the corner. When you have a culture of innovation in your business, that is really not a problem because you have all of the tools you need to respond to the unpredictable challenges you face with ease; you can adapt your business to fit changing circumstances as and when they happen. You will be able to think analytically to solve every problem that comes your way, and that will put you out on top when other companies, who do not value innovation flounder and sink.

You Can Take Your Business Global

Innovators don’t stay in the same place with the same people for all their lives; they understand that there are numerous lessons to be found from other companies and other business cultures all around the world from China to South Africa. So., if you’re dedicated to innovation, you will do more and be more because you will always have your eye on other markets and what they are doing; you will be able to look at trends around the world and adapt them to meet your needs in the here and now, whatever they may be. Entrepreneurship is now truly global, and it is the innovators who do the best on the global stage because they take pieces of information that is available to them from all over the world and they turn it into action.

You Can Find New Markets More Easily

When you’re open to new ways of doing things, it’s much easier to expand into other markets and set up new projects than it is if you are stagnant in your business life. If you visit www.kickstarter.com, you will see countless entrepreneurs using what is still a  pretty innovative platform to raise money for their startups, get their businesses off the ground and spread the word about the amazing products they are getting stuck into. An innovation mindset gives you more options to reach more people in more ways than ever before, and I think you can agree that is a pretty good way to almost ensure your continuing success in the business world.

Technology Changes So Rapidly

We’re in the 21st Century now, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that we are experiencing something of a technological revolution. Things that we only dreamt of being possible on science fiction novels, like driverless cars and 3D printers are now a reality, and they can make business life so much easier and productive than it ever was before. Of course, this is only going to be the case if you have an innovation mindset and you’re willing to keep abreast of and invest in the newest technologies as and when they become available and useful to you.

The Way People Work is Changing

Millennials often get a bad rap, but one area where they’re really good is at shaking up the workplace. They have grown up with technology, and they realize that the way we used to work – stuck in an office from 9-5 communicating via telephone and fax was not the best way to get things done. If you’re an innovative boss, you will learn from them and start offering a higher level of autonomy into the workplace. Using the latest innovations like smartphones, video conferencing software and shared servers, you can let employees work from home, where they will actually be more productive and boost your business. This is one area where having an innovation mindset and not being afraid to try new things can really pay off.

Customer Expectations Can be Met

When you embrace innovation, it’s so much easier to meet customer expectations than it ever was before. These days, customers expect more than just a “How can I help you?” when they enter the store and a “Have a nice day.” when they leave. Heck, a lot of customers are now doing all of their business online and they want to be able to have a smooth experience, when they’re browsing, paying and contacting customer service – which they want to be able to do in a way that suits them, whether that means via email, live chat, social media, or whatever the next big thing will be, If you can give your customers what they want by implementing the same technology that they are implementing, and ideally adopting it before they’ve even thought to do so, you really will be on to a winner.

It Keeps Your Fresh

Most obviously of all, innovation helps to keep your company, and your brand image fresh. Does Google still have the same logo it did when it first started out? No. Do Apple Macs look exactly like they did back in 1984 when they were first unleashed on the market? No. If they were, people would have quickly lost interest and moved onto the next big thing anyway. People like novelty, but they don’t like novelty for the sake of novelty – it has to offer them something more too, and that is exactly what you can achieve with an innovation mindset and a good team behind you.

Innovation Enriches Us All

Perhaps most importantly of all, we all as the human race, need innovation. Where would we be without the wheel? The car? The internet? If the people who worked on those inventions had just sat back, chilled out and ditched their innovation mindsets, we’d all be a whole lot poorer for it. The world needs innovators, and good innovators are almost universally rewarded. So, if you want to succeed, you need to cultivate an innovation mindset.

The Bottom Line

If you are passionate about what you do, and you understand the value of regular innovations, providing you have a vision and you employ the best team of people, who also have a vision and the skills to see that vision through your business is likely to not only stay the distance but to be one of the best in your industry. Even when times are tough and other businesses are going to the ground, if you have faith in innovation and you keep working on the next best thing, you will give yourself a fighting chance when fighting chances are few and far between.

In order to do this, you will need to use your own mind, the minds of other smart people and every technological advance available to you. This might seem like a lot of work, and you might think that it will cost you a lot of money, but what is the alternative? Your business failing Is that what you really want? Probably not!

We are living in an age of innovation, and it is the innovators who own the world, so develop and innovation mindset and never waiver from it if you want to be the success that you know in your heart you can be.

 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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