The phrase ‘business innovation’ gets banded around in boardroom meetings and on Zoom calls a fair old lot. In fact, it’s likely that you yourself have used it in one such instance, whilst discussing growth or revenue or turnover.
And whilst we know what the two words – business and innovation – mean on their own, when they appear together, do we have a real grasp of what is being alluded to? And beyond that, do we have a good understanding of why it even matters, what it looks like in practice, and the different types of business innovation that are out there?
If we’ve just unearthed a whole lot more than you originally thought of as being behind this business buzzword, then don’t worry. We’ve got you. Here’s our whistle-stop tour to business innovation…
What is business innovation?
In short, business innovation refers to the different tactics and measures put in place to boost the bottom line.
That could mean launching a new or improved product, solving an operational problem, or streamlining a company’s internal workforce. Now you may be thinking each of those business changes look to involve completely different processes, and whilst you are right – they all have one common goal… Increasing revenue, either by driving sales, saving time, or cutting costs.
Business Innovation is not making changes for change’s sake – but focused entirely on the changes needed to create revenue growth.
The top three reasons why business innovation matters.
Business innovation offers companies three main benefits:
Getting ahead of the macro environment
Optimum business innovation is about taking stock of where an industry and/or market is headed. This means assessing potential disruptors and changing consumer demands in order to anticipate how the business can adapt to meet them. The most successful businesses harness that information to make strategic changes to their business offering and to entice internal employees to be entrepreneurial and think outside of the box.
Increased efficiency with business innovation
A lot of business innovation is centred around making existing business processes less costly, less time consuming and more sustainable. By doing making those changes, a business is better equipped to be more agile and adaptable in a changing market. And ultimately, it could be the difference between them getting to market with a new product faster than the competition.
Better brand perception with business innovation
Good business innovation will have a positive impact on the way a brand is perceived by both consumers and those looking to work for a forward-thinking brand. That’s because consumers are more willing to buy from companies they perceive to be innovative and socially conscious, and highly skilled young graduates will also want to work for a mission-driven and fast-moving business.
What does business innovation look like in practice?
So, that’s all well and good but what does business innovation actually look like in practice across a variety of industries?
Well, in the notoriously paperwork heavy legal sector, it could mean a shift from manual filing to a digital system. This way lawyers will have more time to work on high-value tasks and leave the paper sifting to the algorithms. Whereas over in education, access to online classrooms and virtual learning environments could be the difference in whether someone is able to fit their learning around other commitments such as work or family.
And in finance and insurance sectors too, business innovation has totally reinvented the way someone handles their money or submits an insurance claim. Streamlining processes into the digital sphere means that people have more time to focus on their customers or clients, and ultimately better contribute to business growth.
What are the different types of business innovation?
To help set you on your way in boosting your bottom line, here are the top three types of business innovation:
Developing a completely new product that aligns with the core business offering but diversifies your product range and market opportunities.
Coining a new way to be more efficient in the core business processes.
Business Model Innovation
Strategising more ways of saving money or making more money.
And there you have it, a proper insight into the different business innovation methods and modes deployed by companies all over the world to boost their revenue streams. So that next time you drop the term into a conversation, you’ll be better equipped to suggest the tangible tactics to really contribute to business growth.