In many ways, entrepreneurship goes hand-in-hand with innovation. But how can you keep innovating? Small-business owners know that markets are always evolving and customer demands change, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.
Here are our tips on how to get creative and be in the right mindset to come up with innovative ideas this year.
Always be on the lookout for your “aha” moment.
Inspiration can come anytime, anywhere. Don't wait for inspiration to strike you; instead, seek it out. Look out for current trends inside and outside of your industry. Combining current events with your business expertise may help set you on the right track to generating new ideas. Find out what your competitors are doing well (and poorly) and look for new ways to improve on it. Remember that innovation does not have to be your responsibility. Consider creating an innovative work culture that allows you to share ideas within your small business.
Let your imagination run wild.
During brainstorming, no idea is too big or small. Consider allowing yourself to be as creative as you can during brainstorming sessions. All ideas can be a springboard for something else, no matter how farfetched the idea may be. Also consider having unstructured brainstorms, without a budget in mind. Allow your mind to wander and jot down any ideas that you flow toward.
Listening to your customers may be a top priority for your small business. Find out what your customers like and dislike about your products. Remember that not all customer suggestions will be viable, but it may allow you to gain a better understanding your customer’s values. Also, be sure to consider all your customers, regardless of age. Younger generations can help you spot new trends in the market.
Don’t be discouraged.
Not every idea is a home run. Innovation is about always improving. Don't lose motivation when an idea doesn’t pan out. See failure as an opportunity to improve and keep innovating.