Fostering Business Innovation With Experimentation

Ruben Onsu

By Maria Thimothy, Sr. Consultant at OneIMS, helps businesses grow by creating and capturing demand and managing and nurturing relationships. getty Starting and running a successful business can be challenging, with lots of decisions to be made and risks to take. So, it is no surprise that when things are running according […]

By Maria Thimothy, Sr. Consultant at OneIMS, helps businesses grow by creating and capturing demand and managing and nurturing relationships.

Starting and running a successful business can be challenging, with lots of decisions to be made and risks to take. So, it is no surprise that when things are running according to plan, most businesses are reluctant to deviate from the beaten path once it has proven successful. After all, there is that adage: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

However, sticking to only one approach can lead to rigid tunnel vision and consequently prevent the innovations required to keep a business relevant and profitable. Innovation is the key to the evolution of business and requires an open mind and willingness to experiment.

While testing new business ideas can seem intimidating, you can mitigate the risk by understanding how to develop innovations and make calculated decisions on where and when to experiment.

Adopt An Environment Of Innovation

Most innovation is not the result of a “lightbulb” moment by a single individual. Instead, innovation is a process that happens best in an open and collaborative environment where people are encouraged to share ideas as part of a team. If you are more inclined to think, “But this is the way we have always done it,” rather than, “Sure, let’s give that a shot,” when you hear new ideas, you are probably at risk of suppressing innovation rather than fostering it.

Of course, not all new ideas are good, but the more new ideas you encourage your team to share and develop, the more opportunities and choices you have to evolve your business. Set aside time for brainstorming sessions and keep an open-door policy when it comes to new ideas and suggestions. Once you hit on a promising idea, you can take it from the sandbox to the real world.

Seek Proof Of Concept

Proof of concept is the process of gathering evidence that establishes if a new approach is potentially viable and provides feedback about what the benefits or pitfalls may be. It is testing to see if the new idea is feasible on a small scale before developing it further. This could be anything from presenting a new landing page to a select group of testers and getting their feedback to trying a new marketing strategy on a social media platform to sending out free samples of a product to customers.

Whatever the concept, the idea is to generate enough feedback to determine if it is worth rolling out on a bigger scale. Often proof of concept is right in front of us, and we do not even realize it. For example, social media marketing works for millions of businesses around the world, so strong data already supports at least trying it before writing it off as “not for us.”

Ask A Professional

If you have a good idea and evidence to suggest that it is worth exploring further but aren’t sure how, you should seek professional advice. Often the reluctance to innovate and experiment is the result of a lack of in-house expertise. This is especially true for small businesses who do not have a large staff and are therefore less likely to have dedicated team members responsible for things like website development, marketing or social media.

Professional marketing firms or consultancies work with a wide range of businesses and have experience in experimenting and implementing innovation and are therefore well placed to help you test your ideas and interpret the feedback metrics. Once you have more data, these firms can then help you with long-term implementation.

The Next Big Idea

Innovation doesn’t always mean radical changes that come with a big price tag. Sometimes just considering a different protocol or approach in one area of the business can lead to unexpected positive effects in other areas. For example, many companies have reported increased productivity during the pandemic despite employees working from home and are now considering saving money by doing away with office space altogether. 

Sometimes you are forced to innovate, and other times it is voluntary, but putting the concept to the test is key to success. At worst, you may discover that a particular change is unnecessary, but at best, you could hit upon the next big idea to take your business to the next level.

Next Post

Personal data from over 500M Facebook users leaked online

The phone numbers and personal data of over 553 million Facebook users have been published online for free by a user in a low-level hacking forum, according to Business Insider. At least 100 countries are included in this leak, with data from 32 million users in the U.S. and 11 […]