Regardless of the industry, competition is inevitable. Competition stimulates entrepreneurs to come up with something much better than their competitors. And for a startup business to stand out, entrepreneurs need to be innovative. Innovation plays a significant role in business, especially when considering its long-term success. The changing market environment forces companies in Thailand to constantly change and adapt to the requirements and expectations and creates the need for innovation. Thus, businesses are looking for new, innovative solutions.
- new technologies and their uses
- improved industry methods
- meeting changing customer demands or needs
- better systems and processes
A company cannot expect to maintain a competitive edge if innovation is not part of the overall strategy. Sustaining operations and completing routine services may keep a business alive, but innovation is the key to staying competitive, growing profits, and nurturing development. With markets continuing to expand, creative thinking allows a company in Thailand to stay ahead of the game to retain customers and broaden its reach within its industry.
Innovation involves changing the current business model to adapt to the changes in the existing environment, delivering better products or services. Innovation should be a part of a startup business strategy, where entrepreneurs can create a culture of modernization and make a way for creative thinking, thus, increasing the likelihood of a business succeeding and creating more efficient processes that can result in better productivity and performance.
From strategic business planning to project and change management, the ability to successfully implement new ideas consists of a whole range of competencies and skills. Every entrepreneur should keep in mind that their business competitiveness and survival are directly linked to their ability to innovate. And as innovators, they see not just one solution to a need. They keep coming up with ideas and do not settle until they come up with multiple solutions. They have the capacity and can produce innovative products to meet the market’s demands and trends. However, to truly succeed, innovation needs to be supported by everyone in the business, including entrepreneurs themselves, their staff members, and any other business partners.
Economic growth is driven by innovation and technological improvements, which reduce the costs of production and enable higher output. That means if people would look at this from the perspective of an organization, different automation solutions decrease manual, repetitive work and release time for more important, value-creating tasks. Improved productivity and efficiency make work more meaningful as less time needs to be spent on low-impact tasks. The more time entrepreneurs can spend on tasks that have a direct impact on their business, such as improving processes, solving problems, or having conversations with their customers, the more likely there can reduce costs, increase turnover and provide their clients with solutions that truly benefit them.
Elevating the Market Position
Innovation can help entrepreneurs anticipate market changes more quickly and get ahead of opportunities, so they aren’t forced to react to shifts. It can also help them differentiate their brand from their competitors. Such innovation can come from continuously analyzing sales and market trends, listening to customers, suppliers, and advisors, and studying what competitors are doing to spot opportunities and jump on them.
Moreover, it is also useful for entrepreneurs to look at what is happening in their industry in other countries. They can find fresh ideas for their business by studying what leading companies are doing abroad. Entrepreneurs taking proactive measures help their businesses in Thailand to be ready for any change. This innovative practice ensures they are not being reactionary like their competitors, but instead working a few steps ahead to corner the market as new shifts arise.
Increasing Brand Value
One of the benefits of an innovative workplace is increased brand value and brand awareness. When a business uses innovative and cutting-edge practices, entrepreneurs can make a name for themselves with their clients. Entrepreneurs need to focus on what makes their business unique and should focus on that in all of their brandings and messaging. For instance, if their company has an innovative new technology they use to manufacture their products, showcasing this in their marketing helps build brand awareness of their out-of-the-box processes. They should also ensure to relate the customer benefits of the innovation as well, such as lower costs, higher quality, or unique features. When customers see how the innovation benefits them, they will surely remember the company name.
Improve Sales and Customer relationships
Entrepreneurs who fail to improve their products and services are putting themselves at risk of losing clients to more innovative competitors. To avoid such, entrepreneurs can start with simple steps like regularly surveying their customers to identify potential product improvement and setting up an innovation team to start strategizing. A large part of being innovative is understanding what customers want. When customers see that businesses value their feedback and incorporate their ideas to provide them with innovative solutions, they will be more loyal to the brand and more inclined to make repeat purchases. They may also feel a sense of ownership and refer the brand to others in their network. That should translate into more sales.
Boosts Employee Engagement
Entrepreneurs who are ahead of their competitors do not just create innovative solutions for their clients, but they also have an innovative behind-the-scenes culture. Entrepreneurs need to define innovation as a core value and encourage their employees to explore their ideas and discover unique solutions. The importance of innovation should be shared with each new employee as part of their onboarding and training. Employees should have a way to provide the business with feedback on how to improve internal processes to find efficiencies and boost productivity. Employees bring different insights than executives and managers as they are often the ones dealing directly with customers and stakeholders. Engaging employees by welcoming their ideas and incorporating them into the business helps to create a sense of innovation that permeates every level of the business. If employees feel stifled and like their creativity is not appreciated, they may not develop innovative products and services.
Increased competitive advantage and continuous innovation often have a direct impact on performance and profitability. According to Global Innovation 1000, there is a clear difference in both revenue and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) growth in favor of the more innovative organizations. This study has shown that innovative companies are not only growing faster but are more profitable than the rest. Although measuring the ROI of innovation might be challenging, especially in the beginning or when talking about disruptive innovations, investing in innovation is often a surer way to improve ROI than not innovating at all.
Takeaway: Embracing Innovation
The main purpose of innovation is to improve people’s lives. Innovation is the key to making any kind of progress, especially when it comes to managing a business. And to drive business growth, entrepreneurs must stay relevant in changing times and differentiate from the competition. They must think creatively and embrace innovation in their business models. Often, getting started is the hardest part as there are many ways to approach innovation. This doesn’t mean that a willingness to innovate is the only ingredient for success, however, entrepreneurs must simultaneously hire reliable and experienced startup specialists who can provide them with real-world, hands-on experiences that will make them effective innovators and have a solid understanding of how to go about bringing that innovation to life.
As a Business Startup Specialist and the founder of Startup in Thailand, Andy Aditya is often hired as a Representative Director to assist business owners to execute their vision.
17 Industries | 22 Startups | 6 Countries | 12 Awards