Think about some of the modern-day conveniences that we have today...
The service industry, for example. if you need to pick something up for dinner, you can go to a fast-food restaurant with a drive-through option or if you need something even more convenient, you can simply order dinner on your phone from your favorite place and have it delivered straight to your home.
Easy ways to get a cooked meal are so normalized to us now. It’s easy to forget that you couldn’t always get a full meal at home unless you cooked it yourself. Somewhere along the way, someone decided providing convenient food was the way to go. Look where we are now! The pandemic forced the service industry to be innovative to survive. Everyone needed to think outside the box.
While some innovations are industry-specific, some innovations spread across industries. Once convenience in food became normalized, delivery and pickup options began to spread to other industries. Suddenly, you can order clothes or home goods or whatever else you want, with options to pick it up or have it delivered to your home. You don’t have to carve out the time to walk around in the store, hoping that what you need is in stock. Businesses that aren’t fast food now offer the same options consumers are used to from fast food. And businesses that quickly adapted to those innovations in convenience, even if they weren’t in the food industry, reaped the benefits.
As a business owner, you can look to other industries to see what kind of innovations are being made. Then, you can take those ideas and blend them with your own offerings to stay relevant in your industry.
The Blend Technique
We know that being innovative is key to maintaining long-term success in business. Sometimes that only means little tweaks here and there. For your quilt shop, maybe that means acquiring new lines or brands of fabric. Or, maybe it’s a bigger change that revolutionizes the way you do business. But how can you get those new ideas? Where do you find inspiration?
Look at five businesses, outside of your industry, that you really like. . Next, for each of those companies, write down three specific things you really like about them. These might be their products, their customer service, or maybe their website. At this point, you’ll have a good list of products and services that you can identify and that you love. For the last step in the exercise, go through that list and brainstorm ways you could take what you love about those products and services, and implement them in your own business.
Go to curtisaccountingsolutions.com and download the Blend Technique Guide. The “Blend Technique” refers to how you can look at businesses outside your industry, identify their methods of innovation, and blend them to use in your own industry. The Blend Technique Guide will help you identify innovations that could work for your business.
Try New Things
You need to be willing to try new things if you want to stay in business. You need to be able to adapt to change. Embracing change will continually help you find new business opportunities and ideas. You will be able to move forward and stay relevant in your industry.
For example, maybe you can’t add a drive-through window to your building, but you can try offering a service where your customers can order online for in-store pickup. That’s relatively simple for you, and your customers will appreciate that added convenience, especially if your competitors aren’t offering it.
Make a note to go through the above exercise once a quarter. You don’t have to make huge changes every time. Even little tweaks make a difference. The point is that you’re always thinking of ways to innovate, ways to stay relevant.
Everyone in business has felt the need to innovate in the past few years. Remember, every change you make is not going to be a success. But it’s important to be looking for new ideas and to have the courage and creativity to try them out. Even something that seems like a small change could make a big difference in a few years, and that ability to be flexible will help your business endure future hardships.
Check out our Free Resource Page! Figure out your area of innovation & unique offering with our guides.