Have you wondered why a lot of businesses are falling behind their competitors? Maybe they are falling short of innovative ideas for business. Take for example the hospitality industry today that finds itself in deep trouble due to COVID-19 pandemic. People are losing jobs and there is a level of uncertainty all around. It’s crucial to move ahead quickly to get out of the crisis. Innovation and creativity have been fuelling most of the businesses today. In this post, we have explored 7 innovative ideas that can help all businesses including those from the troubled hospitality and tourism sector grow.
Every organisation is striving for that extra bit of creativity and innovation in order to beat the competition. The continuous flow of Innovative Business ideas ensures sustainable growth for companies.
In this article, our key focus is on how that idea or the continuous flow of innovation can be maintained.
1. Find the next ‘S’ curve of innovation
A Hotel Manager might say, what? I have ideas to transform the industry. However, to have an idea is a different thing and to work it out is a different thing altogether.
We all have an entrepreneur within us. We are talking about innovative business ideas with a clear action plan here. As an entrepreneur within your own limits, you might be exploding with ideas but can they all reach to the stage of fruition?
Let your ideas shine but let them go through the below screening process before you bring them to fruition stage.
- Do you have a huge market to sell your idea?
- Is your innovative business idea backed by a decent team?
- Is the business model novel to excite consumers and investors alike?
- Innovative business ideas need the full use of your creative imagination faculty in the brain.
Napoleon Hill has mentioned a lot about this creative imagination in his bestseller book ‘Think and grow rich’. This creative imagination leads to unusual growth through a continuous flow of ideas and innovation.
At times businesses fail to realise that they have missed a crucial innovation window. They just miss the opportunity while basking in reflected glory.
Few crucial points to consider for business growth here would be:
- It is important to look for the new growth curve before the previous one starts to diminish.
- It is surprising to know the time a lot of companies spend in decoding the minds of their consumers.
- Is it worth to invest time decoding this consumer black box? Or, is it better to concentrate on current business?
We recently heard of the launch of iPhone 12 and the next version is already under the testing mode. iPhone has moved several generations in a span of a few years. So, is Apple a successful firm? They have been successful because they have continuously managed to find the next ‘S’ curve in time. They have been best at utilizing the innovation window.
Tesla, Amazon and Marriott are few of the many other firms who have explored and utilized the innovation capital. They have displayed their creativity to stay ahead of the competition.
Not that it is an easy task to innovate at will. What is important is to have the willingness and vision of the same. There is an interesting article by Entrepreneur.com on entrepreneurial ideas that changed everything.
There are ways to develop and tap into the innovation capital.
2. Look for emergent strategies from the lower and middle management
Creating a culture of inclusiveness can help ideas coming from within your organisation.
In order to foster business growth, you need to seek help from within the organisation first.
Your team can be your best asset if used in a proper way. Not only in terms of getting the job done but also in terms of coming up with ideas for incremental as well as transformational innovative ideas.
In order to look for emergent strategies from the lower and middle management, the culture of the organisation must be growth-friendly. And how do you ensure the same? Try using some of these tips.
- Implement Kaizen or continuous improvement.
- Organise brainstorming sessions and encourage the decision-makers of the firm to listen to their peers.
- Create a culture of innovation by incorporating mini startups within the organisation.
- Reward those who fail fast.
- Foster creative activities and promote excursions for fresh input of ideas.
There are other Clues and Ideas to help your innovative business ideas prosper and flourish in cut-throat competition.
Let’s move to another crucial strategy for business growth.
3. Look for opportunities from Macro and Micro Environment to outwit competitors
- Why a few firms are better than others?
- What competitive advantages do they have over competitors and rivals?
- Why can’t other firms copy success factors easily?
A large number of entrepreneurs and intellectual giants credit innovation and invention for sustainable competitive advantage established by firms.
Not many people would undermine the importance of innovation for workplace competitive advantage. Thus, we shift our focus to a more relevant area to explore and that is the origin and usage of innovation to stay an edge ahead of the competition in personal and professional spheres.
Peter Drucker, an intellectual giant, writes in his article that, innovation is real work, and it can and should be managed like any other corporate function.
Drucker further argues that most innovative business ideas come from methodically analyzing seven areas of opportunity.
Four such areas of opportunity for the company’s success exist within a company or industry. These are:
- Unexpected occurrences
- Process need
- Industry and market changes
Three more sources of opportunity exist outside a company in its social and intellectual environment. These are:
- Demographic changes
- Changes in perception
- New knowledge
Related article from Harvard Business Review: Discipline of Innovation.
While Facebook, Twitter, Google etc. are credited to the young guns who were geniuses inspired by geniuses but the foundation on these innovation and entrepreneurship ventures were laid decades ago.
The cumulative hardship and perseverance of the IT industry over the years has made a series of innovation possible. Another reason is that IT or Pharmaceutical innovations are easy to quantify than the operational innovation by other industries.
Once you’ve identified an attractive opportunity, you still need a leap of imagination to arrive at the right response—call it “functional inspiration.”
Innovation and invention is the specific function of entrepreneurship, whether in an existing business, a public service institution, or a new venture started by a lone person in the family kitchen.
Today, much confusion exists about the proper definition of entrepreneurship. At the heart of that activity is innovation: the effort to create purposeful, focused change in an enterprise’s economic or social potential.
4. Promote Intrapreneurship within the organisation
Creating entrepreneurs within the firm is the secret sauce of success for a lot of IT firms these days.
Recently, Intrapreneurship has been introduced as a term somewhat synonymous to entrepreneurship but the former refers to within organization innovation and display of entrepreneurship.
A lot of companies now stress on innovation and the organizations with a cumulative effort prove themselves as entrepreneurial and creative.
This brings us to the point of hard work versus inspirations and chances. Without undermining the importance of chances or sudden revelations, the business fraternity still counts on hard work as a propellant of innovation and invention.
Getting back to the argument by Peter Drucker, there are, of course, innovation and invention that spring from a flash of genius.
Most innovations, especially the successful ones, result from a conscious, purposeful search for innovation opportunities, which are found only in a few situations.
Genuinely entrepreneurial businesses have two “first pages”—a problem page and an opportunity page—and managers spend equal time on both.
5. Learn from the Giants- Follow the most innovative companies in your sector
Which company would not love the tag of the most innovative company?
After all its innovation that provides company and individuals with the desired competitive advantage. Forbes lists the top 100 most innovative companies from the past many years. Check them out to know what’s in store in the future and what these amazing companies are doing.
In the current age of competition and the need for sustainable advantage, every company desires to be on this list. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
- It is important to remember that an invention or a new technology can only be termed an innovation if it can be effectively monetized.
- Further, the innovation must also have usability and marketability to connect it effectively with the users.
- Not all innovations connect well with the users.
- It is the usability and compatibility of the innovation with consumer’s experience that makes the innovation distinct and special.
iPhone was a revolution because of its connectedness with what users desire.
Tesla, with its massive Solar panel factories, friendly robots, and new much improved electric cars is reshaping the technological landscape of the industry. With its space research and energy-related innovations, this firm is one of the most impactful companies in the world. Tesla is also investing a lot on research to innovate further and the innovations they are coming up with are innovations with impact. They truly deserve to be the numero Uno on the most innovative companies list.
Amazon along with Google and Apple have been movers and shakers of industries globally. With its disruptive business models, Amazon continues to dominate e-commerce and to a large extent, the software industry. Its prime subscription model earns a huge amount of revenue. Amazon has also got itself into cloud computing and with its innovative models, has started to make disruptive innovations in the technology industry as well. Amazon has innovated in terms of logistics and has expanded well across the globe.
Marriott has come up with a quote ‘See how we are innovating travel’. The quote in itself portrays the intent of Hotel chain. Marriott has become one of the most innovative companies as it has understood the user experience and like Apple has delivered innovations relevant to the consumer needs. The list below provides some of the many innovations the Hotel chain has come up with to woo its customers across the globe.
- Get Teleported- The virtual travel experience using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
- The new Smart guest room- an innovation with the guest in mind
- Marriott Mobile app
- VR Postcards- A new view of travel
One of our posts covers these amazing hospitality innovations and more in greater details.
We have limited our discussion to only 3 companies, but all businesses should follow the footstep of giant firms like these to achieve success.
Learning from them provides an unparalleled opportunity to understand uncertainties and market dynamics better.
6. Understand your users and market segment
It is evident from the examples above that the most innovative companies are also the smartest in terms of understanding what their consumers expect.
Innovation without integration to the user needs is an invention that will go unnoticed.
Heard of 7Cs, 4Ps and more. Time to get your best brains in evaluating the user demands better.
It is crucial to stay close to your targeted market.
Feedbacks are more important than ever now.
Listening to the customer can be crucial to stay competitive.
Innovation and improvements must be customer-centric and not owner-centric.
7. Embrace Technology and use it more than your competitors
Everyone is speaking about automation.
From Big Data to Artificial Intelligence; from Blockchain to Data analytics; there is a lot that you can explore as business owners.
Whether it’s about improving internal processes or about staying connected with your users or about securing data and payments; you would need more of technology in the future.
Automating routine tasks with the help of technology is not only cost-effective and more error-free but also leaves the scope of more creative activities by the workforce.
We would love to elaborate further on this but the topic has been beaten to death now.
Just search on Google on best practices for incorporating technology into processes within your sector. And, do not forget to reach out to the tech-savvy team members within the organisation.
You would be surprised by how much you can save and how much more efficient your organisation can become using technology effectively.
Here you go, a few of the innovative ideas for fostering your business growth.
Entrepreneurs are more tech-savvy now and future innovation would be more tech-alined. So, it’s better for businesses to prepare for the same.
‘Early bird gets the prey’. So, better to be ready.
It’s not if you accept it or reject it. It’s about when you accept it. Try these ideas and see if you notice an increase in your business stature and profits. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.