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Innovation Equals key to sme growth and profitability

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From my perspective, innovation is crucial. One might presume, in an uncertain economy, that SMEs may have reservations about innovation, instead prioritising stability. However, research conducted by SAP found that actually a significant proportion of SME business owners feel the recession has been a catalyst for innovation.

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Innovation Equals key to sme growth and profitability

  1. 1. Innovation = Key to SME Growth and Profitability
  2. 2. • From my perspective, innovation is crucial. One might presume, in an uncertain economy, that SMEs may have reservations about innovation, instead prioritising stability. However, research conducted by SAP found that actually a significant proportion of SME business owners feel the recession has been a catalyst for innovation. After all, innovation doesn’t necessarily mean making a 'big splash'; it could mean tweaking procedures slightly, or questioning previously accepted ways of working. But realistically, how can this be achieved? Here are five top tips which can really help make a difference to your company’s growth and attitude towards innovation.
  3. 3. 1. Work smarter • An innovative way to improve staff productivity can be achieved through implementing mobile technology. Employers are recognising the potential here to boost employee morale and efficiency by integrating these devices into the company’s infrastructure, ultimately reducing costs associated with less consumer-friendly ways of working.
  4. 4. 2. Improve Customer Experience • Today, customers expect to be able to have access to your services and products on any device at any time – or risk losing their custom to a competitor who meets these needs. In fact, despite the recession, spending in CEM is still very much at the top of the agenda for business leaders. Getting customer interaction right is critical, particularly in a volatile economy, and if you don’t consider updating your approach, your competitors could out-innovate you, making it easy to lose business.
  5. 5. 3. Make your data work harder • UK headlines are full of stories about the ‘data deluge’ and big data management, which could seem overwhelming for SMEs. The trick, however, is not to try and stop the volume of data which you collect as an organisation, but to use it to your advantage. In a competitive economy, everyone needs to find their edge and making your data work harder is one innovative way of doing that.
  6. 6. 4. Invest in cost-effective new tech • Small businesses are among the best placed to leverage some of the most recent developments in technology. Cloud computing is a prime example. Over the last few years cloud has been heavily 'talked-up', with a lot of discussion around how it will actually benefit businesses. However, latest research from the IT industry is showing the cloud computing has finally reached mainstream adoption and businesses are seeing real results. If you’re deliberating how to be innovative with your IT strategy, think about how talked about trends could really set you apart from your rivals.
  7. 7. 5. Continuous Improvement • A crucial factor for small businesses to bear in mind is that innovation shouldn’t be regarded as something to be picked up and dropped. In order to be truly innovative, companies need to continually look at how their business can be improved to rival competitors.
  8. 8. Hope for the future • With the economy suffering from the same ill- fated outlook for several years now, it’s time to recognise this climate as the ‘new norm’ – and it’s good to see SMEs already doing just this. Rather than sitting tight for fear of failure, embracing innovation can help ensure continued business growth and sustainability. It is only by thinking bigger that your business can grow, and it is this attitude which will ensure the UK’s economy goes from strength to strength.

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