Business in 2015 has been one of the most challenging for many companies. The fluctuating oil prices and terrorism are some factors that shaped business decisions in 2015. The stakes are high; and companies are racing towards out-performing each other in terms of product development and customer satisfaction. That notwithstanding, many companies have succeeded in being above board, innovating, creating new products and giving customers more value for their money. New products hardly appeal to customers for long before they start demanding for something better, and companies are out to ensure that they come to the market when it matters most. Companies like Spacex, Google, Apple, Samsung etc have done relatively well this year, and a closer look at them will show a common denominator and pattern which small businesses can adopt.
Here are a few things innovative companies have done consistently in 2015 to remain successful in the market.
They integrate their dynamic capabilities: Successful companies adapt to changing business environment using their competencies. Innovative companies make the best use of their competencies both within and outside their company to address emerging problems in the world. Samsung embraced Google’s Android operating system and other applications to run on its hardware instead of building its own. They were able to harness both their internal and external competencies to remain the market leaders.
They are continuously changing: Innovative companies are proactive. They don’t wait for problems to occur before taking steps to address it. They know when the market is saturated and it’s ready for something new. They set pace and decide the trend in the market. Alibaba is an online company that is not just into buying and selling online, but has moved from the financial industry to the entertainment industry. It is eBay-Amazon-Paypal put together. These companies are never late to the market, they know when the ovation is over, and when it’s time to move on to something new.
They invest in people: The best of the innovative companies in 2015 are those that invested in people. They are particular about supporting and challenging their employees and others with direct or indirect contact with their company to explore their innovative power. Providing an enabling environment for people to be creative is what keeps Google, Apple, Spacex etc going in business. As an entrepreneur, have you invested in yourself, how about those working for the success of your business? Innovating in business is one of the most challenging activities an entrepreneur will ever face, but with the right people and the right investment on them, you are sure your business is ready for the future.
They provide better value: Customers always love buying more for less. For a customer, an innovative company is one that will charge less for the same or even better services or products. For instance, Tesla cars are technologically developed to be affordable as well as environmentally friendly. The beauty and attractiveness of any innovative product is the value added. Yes, you cannot reinvent-the-wheel in your business, but the values you are planning to add in the forth coming year could make the difference.
Open Innovation: No company is self reliant. Successful innovative businesses have made open innovation a part of their strategy for new product development. This helps them in partnering with people outside the company in creating a new product as well as sharing the risk. Samsung as well as other companies have been engaging in relationships with global consortiums, Universities, Materials vendors, Research centres etc with the aim of advancing their technology.
For small businesses, competing in the same market with established businesses in the coming year requires identifying what they have done and will continue to do to remain relevant in the market. Those could be your guide in shaping your business strategy.