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Why is Innovation a Business Priority


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"Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." Peter F Drucker

In an environment of increasing competition, increasing expectation and increasing awareness of what's out there, the need to have innovation as a business driver is ever more prevalent.

Innovation is the art of developing something new, as opposed to creativity, which is the art of building on something that is already present/available (these are my definitions and yours may differ and that's OK)

As consultants in a crowded market, being able to innovate through product, service or process is one way of differentiating yourself and your business from that of your current competitors and will help you stand out from the crowd.

You will already know that I am a fan of "going niche" and there is a view that going really niche can be one way of getting more innovative.

So rather than write screeds on innovation for which there are thousands of pages on google, I thought I would offer some innovative and creative suggestions for new niches, new services and new processes. Some may not be 100% "new" and you may have heard of them, be doing them or know someone who is. My aim is to trigger some thought, provoke outrageous ideas and get you to "stop being a consultant" and start being an innovator for a few minutes at least. All I ask is that you take your thinking One Step Further and consider what if...

What i...

* Clients don't "pay" with money
* Consultancy marketing was only done through ice cream outlets
* Consultants had a weekly "Hit parade" (like the music/DVD charts)
* Clients would only be accepted if they donated 25% of your "fees" to a charity on top of your fees
* Proposals were not used as a means of clients selecting consultants
* Consultants had to have a minimum of an art or music qualification
* No consultancy could be bigger than 6 people
* Consultant selection was done like the X Factor or Pop Idol

Niches to Consider

* Sheep farmers who want to sell online
* Shipbuilders who need to raise finance
* Manufacturing firms of @500 people who want to expand into Eastern Europe
* Start up IT software firms who have > 10 patents to take to market
* NHS/State Doctors who want to set up private practice
* Women over 60 who want to publish a book
* >5million turnover retail outlets who want to franchise their business in Singapore
* Teenagers who want to build a social enterprise in North West England
* Construction firms building office blocks in Dubai
* Alpacca farmers in USA (too late that is already being done!)

So rather than
* Being a do everything for anyone consultant
* Marketing in the same old way
* Selling in your usual way
* Doing what you've always done
* Using the same process and model as any other consultancy

... get creative, think innovation and go wow your new niche.

Innovation often means change and that in itself can be uncomfortable, scary, confusing and take time. To ignore the need to innovate will at some point lead to you or what you "do" becoming obsolete; maybe not today or next week but with change as the only constant, to not consider innovation is foolish.

"Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation." Milan Kundera

About the Author

Beverley Hamilton works with independent business consultants to help them grow a profitable consultancy and still have time for their life. You can get my Free Ecourse Discover the 5 Most Common Incorrect Assumptions Independent Business Consultants Make and a complimentary subscription to Quickstart, the newsletter specifically for consultants. Go to One Step Further for more instantly accessible resources. Your future Your choice!

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-11-28 14:22:35 in Business Articles

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