In this environment, it is important to remember the importance of innovation and the role it plays in helping small businesses remain competitive and build resilience.
Innovation is the driving force that propels us ahead, fosters growth and ensures long-term sustainability. To help local businesses better understand how innovation applies to small business, we spoke to Mo Hamdouna, the driving force behind full-service creative agency Mo Works, and these were some tips he shared with us.
The Business Model Canvas is a useful tool that allows small businesses to create, validate, and re-validate business models. It is not a one-time process, but rather a repetitive process that requires constant evaluation and adjustment.
Creating a Business Model Canvas involves identifying key components such as customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure.
Developing a comprehensive innovation strategy helps small businesses to identify opportunities for innovation, both externally and internally.
Externally, you can engage in market research, work with experts in the industry, and look out for emerging trends to identify any gaps or potential areas for innovation. This could involve staying up to date with technological advancements, regulatory changes, and shifts in consumer behaviours.
Internally, promoting a culture of creativity and problem-solving is essential. Encouraging your employees to contribute ideas and collaborate, and investing in employee training can help to encourage internal innovation.
Combining insights from both external and internal factors allows businesses to position themselves to take on new opportunities and stay ahead in the competitive market.
Creating a supportive atmosphere requires leadership, commitment, clear communication, and recognition of efforts. This type of environment encourages innovation and is incredibly valuable for small businesses.
A big part of encouraging innovation involves experimentation and viewing any failures as learning opportunities rather than setbacks. Not only does this shift in mindset help to welcome healthy risk-taking, but it also promotes a culture of continuous improvement.
Employees should feel that they can share their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgement.
Collaboration can be approached in many ways, one of which can involve partnering with other businesses, research organisations, or academic institutions. These collaborations can provide fresh perspectives, shared resources, and access to new markets. When identifying potential collaborators, it is important to take a proactive approach. Things like networking events, industry conferences, and even online platforms can be great resources for connecting with like-minded businesses or individuals.
Innovation doesn’t always happen in isolation. Small businesses can significantly increase their innovative potential by seeking collaboration opportunities.
While innovation is important for small businesses, financing these efforts can occasionally prove to be a challenge. There are many options available that could help small businesses obtain funds for innovative projects, and these should actively be sought out. Avenues such as grants and incentives, private investors, and crowdfunding platforms are all worth exploring.
Building a compelling case for potential investors or backers is incredibly important. Make sure to clearly articulate the expected benefits and impacts of the innovation to help make your project more appealing.
In a world where change is constant and demands adaptability and resilience, embracing innovation is not just a strategic choice, but also considered a necessity for the survival and success of small businesses.
Content published January 2024
The Mornington Peninsula has an abundance of talented, local people in business. As part of the Support Local campaign, we are connecting our local business community to these local experts. Through sharing their expertise and insider knowledge, these experts hope to play a part in re-energising the economy with new ideas to Support Local.