During an economic downturn there are many different ways a company can react. They have the option of watching their business shrink and potentially die or they can prove themselves to be business innovators and take advantage of the situation.
Sometimes the smart move is using business innovation strategy during this time to get to the next level. It requires leadership within a company and the ability to see the bigger picture. When a business is booming, companies are less likely to want to make process changes. This is why a downturn may be a real opportunity.
There are many ways to foster innovation. One way is to take the time to get to know your customers and find out what they really need. You may have provided the same service for several years only to determine that there might be other niches you could fill for them.
Questioning your Purpose
It may be beneficial to question the purpose of your company. I don’t mean asking the obvious questions. Sometimes it can be helpful to rethink some of the fundamentals of your products and your business.
Product Innovations and Organizations
Have you considered adding a new product or service to your company? What if you spoke with your customers and found out what they truly need may be new features or new products you can provide for them.
At some point you may want to spend more time and money on research and development idea creation. This would be an opportunity to provide further innovation of your new product ideas and enhance them.
Sometimes feedback can come from internal departments as well. It is always a good idea to make sure you get feedback from all departments and coordinate them through your research and development department. There are many types of idea tracking software that will allow you to keep track of these potential innovations.
If you have a product or service with a short lifecycle, there may be opportunities to upgrade your products on a more regular basis. This is going to be a factor in how quickly you can get the innovations out to your customers.
Google can be a great example for this. Their marketing strategy allows them to have very quick turnaround times and deliver to customers a regular basis.
Once you have come up with these new and brilliant ideas, it is important to give them form as soon as possible. This may mean creating a prototype or testing the service with a long-term customer you trust. This way you will have a better idea as to whether the product or service is likely to succeed.
Finding the Right Talent
When some of your competitors close their doors, it may be a great opportunity to pick up their best talent. This can help you improve your overall business innovation strategy and prepare yourself for the eventual upturn.