We Need More Radio Shows Highlighting Small Business Innovation

I think by now everyone knows that for our economy to properly recover and to get job growth really cooking again, we need to start focusing on small business. You see, even though corporations when they do hire, hire people by the hundreds, it is the small companies that hire the most number of people. Some might contend that those jobs are not as good as corporate jobs because they may not come with all the benefits, but if you need a job, and the economy is good, a small business will be glad to have you. Okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we?

Now then, exactly how might we do more to help the situation? Indeed, I don’t believe that offering more small business loans or throwing a bone here and there for smaller companies in government contracting is the answer, oh sure that’s nice, but it’s only a drop in the bucker of what we really need to do. You see, that only helps a limited number of companies, and the vast number of smaller firms out there is astronomical. For instance, prior to retirement I was in the car washing industry, and there was an estimated 96,000 of them in the United States.

We hear a lot of talk from venture capitalists that they need less regulation so they can move new innovations forward faster. That may be so, although new innovation in the marketplace is also somewhat disruptive. However, let’s say for instance that someone developed an easier way to wash cars, a new piece of equipment for a carwash for instance. Well, if that existed then all those 96,000 carwashes would want one, and they would get a faster return on their investments by becoming more efficient, making more money, and therefore, they would hire more people. At least in theory that’s how it works right?

I mean we really are talking about free-market economics here. We need more ways to promote and highlight the smaller companies, innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs that come out with better ways to become more efficient. We have seen some interesting TV shows where they award the best innovator or the best invention with a prize at the end of the show. Those are quite good, but they can only help out perhaps 10 or 20 new inventions or innovations each show. What might be better is to have radio shows highlighting small business innovations.

Think if there were radio shows on every single night in every single market and region with local entrepreneurs, introducing them to the audience, to movers and shakers, corporations that might license those innovations, local venture capitalists, and Angel investors? It seems we just need more of that, and as others small time entrepreneurs see innovators succeeding they too are more apt to go forward and try. That would be a good thing for America, so I am bringing this to your attention. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Business Innovation Services Can Bring Life to Your Business

In business, innovation means progress. Innovation is everything! There’s never a time you should ignore it because growth in any industry means progress, and growth means a lot of money being available for expansion and success. There is nothing like tapping into progress before everyone else, and that is what any successful business does. Being a pioneer in an industry requires innovation and it’s something that every successful industry giant you might be inspired by has done. Harnessing innovation isn’t easy though, you can’t just flip a switch and come up with new ideas that can make money; at least not all of us can. The best way to start is to consider enlisting the help of business innovation services.

Human resources have always played a significant part in any company’s success. After all, who is going to be moving ideas around? Who is going to be motivating employee’s to meet not only your goals but their own personal goals? Employing exceptional people who can deliver innovations in HR can help your business stay ahead of the curve. Business isn’t just something to throw money and hope that something sticks, but investing in professional business innovation services is a move that will definitely deliver a return on your investment. Their creative ideas and solutions will save you money, solve any current or future work related problem and make your company stand out. Luckily there are many business innovation services out there that offer counseling. You can meet with seasoned veterans of many different industries and get tips and ambitious ideas that can help you meet new goals. Every business has room to innovate in one way or another but sometimes it can be difficult to see when you’re so close to it. Even if you’re a small enterprise there are ways you can make yourself stand out, but if you aren’t a veteran in the industry and don’t have the right experience, you might not always see how to improve things. It’s also helpful to over mull ideas and seek out solutions when you have someone to bounce ideas off of. These counselors are there specifically for this kind of help and can offer solutions as well as help lead you to your own.

Innovations in HR don’t just mean hiring innovative thinkers either. While hiring seasoned business professionals and counseling them can help, you need to think about progressive organization. Businesses are changing today and many of them no longer have a massive hierarchy and are instead built around a more horizontal chain. For a small business, having this horizontal management style allows you to be the owner of the business while still having your employees on a level playing field. They’ll be more like partners than simply employees, and they’ll be more motivated and enthusiastic about coming up with solutions and efficient changes by themselves because they’ll feel like a part of it all.

Innovations in HR come in many forms, whether it is hiring people you can bounce ideas off of or managing your employees in a new and non-traditional manner. No matter what changes you make to your business platform, make sure that it leads to the ability to think and innovate. You have to encourage the people around you as well as yourself to come up with creative solutions. That is how you become a pioneer, and that is how you become truly successful.

Launching Your Business Innovation Strategy Today

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.

Communication

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.

Commitment

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.

The Importance of Business Innovation

Innovation and creativity both play a very important role in the success of a business. Through the use of innovative ideas, business processes can be improved, efficiency can be increased, new products can be developed, and profitability can skyrocket. Companies need to continually encourage an environment of innovation, even if it means investing in it during difficult economic times. By doing so, they will be assured of being in a competitive position when the economy improves. The business world is highly competitive, making innovative ideas more important than ever before.

Advantages of an Innovative Environment

Innovative ideas can be useful to a company in a wide variety of ways. In some cases, productivity may be improved, which can help a company lower costs and become more competitive. Relationships and partnerships with other companies, customers, suppliers and sometimes even indirect competitors can often be improved through innovation. Companies also frequently find new ways to promote and more effectively advance their brand. In some cases, an innovative idea might represent the introduction of an entirely new product or service. However, in many other cases, it might simply mean a series of small changes that over time improve the way a company does business. Either way, companies that seek out and encourage business innovation are in a much better position to compete and prosper.

Lack of Business Innovation

Just as there are distinct advantages for companies who foster an innovative environment, there are also distinct dangers for companies who do not. In many cases, a lack of innovation can cause a company to lose market shares to its competitors. Efficiency and productivity can suffer, often resulting in reduced profit margins. These companies also risk a loss of personnel, ranging from key staff members right down to the basic workforce. In a worst-case scenario, businesses have even been known to go out of business due to a lack of innovation and creativity.

Business Innovation Road Blocks That Stall Business Growth

Many companies fail to identify and develop innovations that could significantly improve the bottom line. I have identified many “road blocks” to innovation – here are several of the most common issues that hold back business innovation.

Lack of Knowledge – Many business leaders lack an understanding of how innovation can improve their business. These individuals often believe that innovation is too expensive or is not appropriate for their company. In truth, innovation can have a positive impact on any business – regardless of size, industry or location. Learning how to implement a system for identifying innovations is a first step to eliminating this road block.
Fear of Change – I also call this the “We have always done it this way” syndrome. This is a common road block in many companies. Employees (including managers and company executives) are afraid to change “the system”. This is especially true when dealing with internal procedures, even though innovative thinking can reduce operating expenses and streamline those procedures. This road block can be overcome by understanding a simple approach to evaluating internal procedures, and seeing examples of simple changes to business procedures that made a dramatic impact on the company.
“What do I know about this?” Syndrome – This obstacle also comes from a lack of understanding of the innovation process. People mistakenly believe that they must be experts in a particular area or have some special training to identify innovations. But, there are countless examples of individuals who come up with great innovations outside their “area of expertise”. Children can identify creative ideas when given the proper environment to develop and express those ideas. Often, individuals who are in different departments of a company come up with great ideas, partly because they approach solutions to problems in a “fresh” way – without being limited by the knowledge of how that department operates. I’ve been in many brainstorming meetings where someone from a different department makes a casual remark “Why don’t you just…”. To them, it seemed trivial, but the people working in the department had never considered that option because it was quite different from their current systems or procedures. Encouraging people to share ideas outside their current job function can produce valuable innovations for any business.

Make an effort to learn about innovation and implement a strategy to identify innovations throughout your business. Once you overcome the road blocks discussed above, your business can begin to harness the power of innovation.

Business Finance Training and Effective Business Solutions

Business finance training refers to programs that teach individuals how to handle various financial duties. Finance training is similar to finance tips in that both help business owners make better monetary decisions, but training programs offer a more detailed explanation of finance strategies. Training programs vary in price and can be used by the owners and employees of a business.

The most basic business finance training provide information on budgeting, preparing financial statements, managing cash flow, strategizing, forecasting, improving performance, and applying basic procedures and concepts to more effectively manage a business. These programs are recommended for new business owners to help them understand standard business practices. Once these basic methods are mastered, more specific financial training may be looked into.

Advanced business finance training delves more deeply into a certain financial procedure or concept, usually at a higher cost than basic programs. Advanced programs may teach business owners how to set up effective business models, make decisions based on quantitative analysis, manage and control accounts, practice due diligence, measure productivity, and strategize concerning mergers and acquisitions.

Taking part in any kind of business finance training gives a business owner the resources to make more intelligent business decisions that result in increased productivity and profits. Many different types of courses are available either online or at a specified location. Some programs may even offer the option to train at the business. Taking into consideration the needs and abilities of a business is the key to finding the best business finance training.

A business finance solution generally refers to methods of funding and maintaining the finances of a business. Most solutions involve ways of obtaining working capital, but others also offer ways of protecting and increasing that capital.

To obtain working capital, business owners look to finance solutions that offer funding by several different means. The most common means are loans and financing. Asset-based loans use a business’s assets, such as inventory and equipment, as collateral. A business may also opt for a property loan in order to acquire commercial space. Invoice financing, such as factoring, involves liquidating or selling a business’s accounts receivables in exchange for quick funding. Some businesses look to trade financing to supply their inventory. The business will tell its financer the amount and cost of goods needed, and the financer will pay for the goods. The business then repays the amount financed over a specified period of time.

Most companies that provide business finance solutions also offer ways to protect and increase a business’s capital. Credit protection safeguards a business from daily risks, such as customers not paying on time, so that the business does not suffer incredible losses. This makes it much easier for the business to borrow money in the future, and it protects the balance sheet. A finance solution may also offer business insurance plans that increase the stability of a business. The most common types of business insurance are employee and public liability, car, property, and health insurance. These business finance solutions are designed to protect businesses against potential losses.

Functions of Business Finance

Strength and soundness of business depends on the availability of finance and competency with which it is used. The abundance of finance can do wonders and its scarcity can ruin even a well established business. Finance increases the strength and viability of business. It increases the resistance capacity of a business to face losses and economic depression. It is just like a lubricant, the more it is applied to the business, the quickly the business will move. Following headings explain the importance of finance to business:

(1) Initiating Business: Finance is the first and fore most requirement of every business. It is the starting point of every business, industrial project etc. Whether you start a sole proprietary concern, a partnership firm, a company or a charity institution, you need ample amount of finance. It is equally important for profit seeking and non-profit activities. It is equally important for a multinational organization and for a free dispensary.

(2) Purchase of Assets: Finance is needed to purchase all sorts of assets. Even if credit is available some down payment is to be made. Mostly finance is needed at the start of business for the purchase of fixed assets. These fixed assets consume a large amount of initial investment of the entrepreneur, so he may face liquidity difficulty in running day to day affairs of the business.

(3) Initial Losses: No business attains high profit on the first day of commencement. Some losses are normal before the business reaches its full capacity and generate enough revenue to match cost. Finance is necessary so that these initial losses can be sustained and business can be allowed to progress gradually.

(4) Professional Services: Certain business need services of specialized personnel. Such personnel have rich experience in specialized fields and they can provide useful guidance to make business profitable. Nevertheless these services are costly. Finance is always needed so that services of such professional consultants can be hired.

(5) Development: Business is always exposed to change. New innovations and emergence of new technologies replaces old techniques out of market. So in order to remain in the market, it is needed to keep the business well equipped with all emerging tools and techniques. This required finance. New technology is always expensive as it is better than others. So finance is needed to purchase new equipment and keep the business running.

(6) Information Technology: Information technology has now changed the geography of the business battle field. The home markets have now extended virtually to other comers of the world. The whole world can be your customer or competitor. To face such a fierce competition, IT is needed. Skills and competency in IT can perform miracles. But finance is again the decisive factor. It is very much needed to incorporate expensive IT products in the business.

(7) Media War: The advertisement and promotion have now become a vital elements for the success of business. The way a businessman approaches a customer and convinces him to purchase his product has become more important than the quality of product. With advertisement on International media, a businessman can reach the minds of millions of people around the globe. However, advertisement is a luxury which every business can’t afford. Huge finance is required to meet advertisement expenses.

(8) Resource Management: Finance is very essential for efficient resource management. Resources here include capital and human resources. Maintenance of plant and equipment and training of employees all need finance. Establishment of new industrial units, expansion of plant capacity, hiring of well learned skilful laborers – all
these factors can lead to huge revenue but at the first place they need finance to start with.

(9) Stock Investments: These investments are those which are made to hold ample stock of raw materials in hand. Bulk purchase of raw materials is profitable in a sense that purchase discount can be attained and there is no danger of production halts. So companies most often hold huge amount of stocks and raw materials. But such an investment can be made only if a company has sufficient capital or finance to carry out its daily operation easily besides holding huge stock.

(10) Combating Risks: Everything is exposed to one or more risks. A business is also exposed to variety of risks. These risks include natural hazards, burden of any huge liability, loss of market or brand name etc. Finance is needed to make business powerful, so that it can sustain occasional losses and liabilities.

The Primary Cause Of Business Financing Frustration

Finding proper business financing is not easy at the best of times for most small and medium sized business owners and managers.

There are a number of reasons that collectively explain why the business financing market can be so difficult to understand and navigate.

But probably the single biggest reason is the lack of useful information about how the business financing market actually works.

Business financing information and education sources predominantly come in two forms: 1) Text books; 2) Major bank advertising.

If you’ve ever read through a educational finance text book or taken a business financing course, you already know how difficult it can be to apply the theories, principles, and strategies to a small or medium sized business.

Our formal education system provides limited information as to how the market place works, how to plan for financing requirements, how to manage periods of growth, decline, transition, start up, etc.

Sure academic books and courses can go through all these areas in great detail, but is the information practical, real world, something you can relate to and apply yourself as a manager or owner of a small or medium sized business?

In most cases, the answer is a resounding NO.

Most finance text books speak to big business financing dynamics that are not easily transferable to small and medium sized business scenarios.

Outside of the formal education system, the next great source of business financing information is the information provided by the major banks, which they tend to make available to you by the boat load through their broad based marketing campaigns.

Unfortunately, the information by itself seldom helps you determine if a particular institution would be able to provide you with financing, or what would be required to qualify for a loan.

The good news is that business financing sources continue to grow in numbers as more and more lenders carve out a particular piece of the market to service.

In order to take advantage of these alternatives, you need to have a solid approach in place when seeking business financing.

Here’s a short list of things to consider

>>> Develop a solid, ongoing, understanding of both your personal and business assets, income, and cash flow.

Regardless of the business financing model, these elements will always come into play to some degree.

Being able to demonstrate a solid understanding of your business financials is also an indication of your ability to manage the underlying business.

>>> Monitor and manage your personal and business credit.

Small and medium sized business financing is focused on both personal and business credit histories.

Regular reviews of both personal and business credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies are important to avoid errors and credit practices that can severely damage your borrowing power.

>>> Develop your marketing position.

Yes, seeking business financing is a marketing exercise.

When applying for business financing, you’re marketing your business to lending sources and they in turn are marketing their business financing programs to you.

Think of the lender as a customer to better understand what they’re looking for. Then, develop a business proposal that addresses all their potential needs and concerns.

>>> Research Lending Sources

There are lots of business financing sources. But there is also lots of variation in the types of business applications each one is prepared to consider.

Broad based lenders rely on credit history and net worth. As you get more specific in terms of financing application and industry, lender programs become more narrow and can be harder to locate.

You need to consider things like industry, sector, and geography when looking for business financing sources.

Financing consultants and business loan brokers can be an excellent source of information to aid you in this process.

>>> Qualify The Lender

Before you make a formal application, find out if the lender has the programs and lending track record to meet your specific needs.

Too often, the lender is doing all the qualifying.

>>> Compare your options

Depending on the scenario, there can be several financing strategies that could work for your business.

Make sure you take the time to compare before making a decision. The extra time spent could save you considerable time and money in the long run.

>>> Start Today

Regardless of what your business financing needs are right now, you should regularly invest time staying on top of your business financials, monitoring your credit, and researching financing sources that fit your industry and potential future requirements.

When the time comes to acquire capital, your proactive efforts can make all the difference in getting the capital you need with terms and timing that are acceptable to your business.