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Innovation Growth Strategies for Small Business

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Presentation at Enterprise Toronto's Small Business Forum on Innovation fueled growth strategies for small business.

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Innovation Growth Strategies for Small Business

  1. 1. Innovation Based Growth Strategies Alex Blom, Innovation & Social Manager, Helix http://alexblom.com - @AlexBlom October 19th, 2010
  2. 2. <ul><li>INTRODUCTION </li></ul><ul><li>INNOVATION DEFINED </li></ul><ul><li>GENERATING INNOVATIVE IDEAS </li></ul><ul><li>INNOVATION GROWTH STRATEGIES </li></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  3. 3. INNOVATION DEFINED <ul><li>Innovation is a meaningful change that has the potential to create new growth: </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation is not just a new technology. It can be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new business model (Wal-Mart) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new experience (Starbucks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new distribution channel (Dell) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new service (iTunes) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: iPod </li></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  4. 4. INNOVATION DEFINED <ul><ul><li>Many small businesses are innovative but not aware. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation is not a tactic, it is a process and part of core business strategy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand your customer for innovation. Play to their ambitions, not just their needs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation is driven by leaders and culture. </li></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  5. 5. BARRIERS TO INNOVATION <ul><ul><li>Development Times (32%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of coordination (28%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk averse culture (26%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited customer insight (25%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor idea selection (21%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inadequate measurement tools (21%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dearth of ideas (18%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing / communication failure (18%) </li></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  6. 6. ACTING ON INNOVATION <ul><ul><li>Ask a structured set of questions (Toyota’s 5 Why’s.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize ideas based on customer expectations, competitive landscapes and industry economics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commodity -> Good -> Service -> Experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation can be as simple as positioning: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shrek DVD = $874.75 per pound, Mercedes Benz $18.98 </li></ul></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  7. 7. <ul><ul><li>What would it take to make my product at half the cost? </li></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  8. 8. <ul><ul><li>Who uses my product / service? Why? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Alternative uses? </li></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  9. 9. <ul><li>Innovation is a perfect fit for small business. </li></ul><ul><li>Constraint breeds creativity. </li></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  10. 10. INNOVATION GROWTH STRATEGY 1 <ul><li>Establish Partnerships </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The smart people do not work for us. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The smart people also run their own business. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Establish partnerships with a wide range of organizations. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulate collaboration. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade Groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talent Pools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing & Think Tanks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge Exchange </li></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  11. 11. INNOVATION GROWTH STRATEGY 2 <ul><li>Focus on innovating your business model: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, this is common sense. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look internally. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Speed is not everything. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing is not everything. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How can you boost margins? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How can you improve over competitors? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Walmart as a Distribution Company. </li></ul></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  12. 12. INNOVATION GROWTH STRATEGY 3 <ul><li>Be Iterative: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t bet the farm. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regular, incremental business changes over huge leaps. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Try new things in small doses (common in tech companies). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Only at certain times or to certain customers. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  13. 13. INNOVATION GROWTH STRATEGY 4 <ul><li>Be open to Pivots: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pivoting is a business model change. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Go where the markets are. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use your nimbleness for traction. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Actively seek out new opportunities. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linked to being iterative. </li></ul></ul></ul>© 2010 Information is not to be copied without permission by Helix Commerce International Inc.
  14. 14. Thanks. Alex Blom: [email_address] Twitter: @AlexBlom

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