An often-forgotten part of business practice is the need for innovation and evolution. Here in Nigeria, we see businesses consistently move on from the ‘old way’ to embrace changes in global markets, new consumer tastes, and emerging technologies. These new tech innovations allow business owners to access international consumers who are often just a click away.
We use innovation to simply mean the realization of new ideas, products, services, and processes. There is no doubt that new or improved products or processes of production continue to afford businesses a competitive advantage over others in the market at home and abroad.
Small businesses that have been innovative with their business have created or adopted processes to make their business run smoothly and effectively. For example, some food vendors now advertise their products on apps, and customers can simply access these apps via their phones and order the meal they want.
In the most basic sense, there are clear advantages to adopting IT solutions like e-commerce for small businesses. In Nigeria for example, 52.4% of internet users aged 16 – 64 buy something online each week. There are also a growing number of unicorns online that provide B2B and B2C tech-related solutions from fintech to business optimisation.
- There is no limit to innovation in business. Look for ways to solve a need in your industry by being innovative or adopting and repurposing existing innovations in new and unique ways. Take Uber for example. Uber saw a need: getting people from one place to another in a safe and convenient way. Public transportation, including taxis, already existed. Uber focused instead on creating a platform that connected drivers to customers in a modern and convenient way. Uber does not own any taxis, but they have created an enabling environment for this business and millions of people around the world have benefited from this service.
- Encourage innovation in your workforce. Let the great minds that you have brought onboard help you see new ways to deploy your products or services. Don’t forget to incentivize their innovation with a reward system that ensures they will be inspired to pitch their unique ideas to you.
- There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of existing technology to make running your business easy. Resources exist to make everything simpler, from bookkeeping to scheduling. Take a look at our resource page to see some useful tools.