5 Signs Your Business Needs To Innovate & Change

Discover 5 unmistakable signs that your business requires innovation. Stay ahead in the market by recognizing and adapting to these key indicators.

Business Innovation

It’s easy to think of businesses as static, never changing, always present and working. Some of us have seen certain brands our entire lives, from KFC to Coca-Cola to Disney and beyond. There’s a sense of timelessness about these brands and they’re even woven into our cultural fabric.

That being said, it would be a mistake to think these firms are the same as they were when they launched. Constant innovation, change, development, and the need to be relevant to the audience of today is what motivates them. Without this, it’s easy for even the most well-meaning firm to fall and suffer a slow march towards irrelevance.

Now, this is quite a dramatic framing. Your business is unlikely to crumble overnight. But it’s true that if you fail to change as appropriate with the times, other companies, happy to take your market share, will do it for you.

The first step in changing is recognizing the need for change. In this post, we hope to outline a number of methods you can use to reliably achieve that. Without further ado, please consider some of the following tips:

Signs Your Business Needs To Innovate and Change

Declining Sales Or Market Share

Declining sales can be easy to contextualize (such as in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic or straight after Christmas), or they might be due to a problem you haven’t quite identified. The latter is a sign that you need to do research and see what possible issues could be affecting you. Perhaps you’re an Italian restaurant, and a competitor has just opened half a mile down the road.

Maybe you’re offering a creative suite but your competitor has just integrated AI utilities into theirs. Researching competition, surveying your audience for feedback and satisfaction, watching online social media commentary and reviews, and tracing buying habits (perhaps consumers are just waiting for the black Friday sale?) can help you determine your path of action, or if for now, you can wait out the slump.

Stagnant Or Declining Customer Satisfaction

Any professional who has monitored social media discourse, public reviews, or customer complaints will know that sometimes feedback can be tiring, even when it’s positive. That being said, it’s an invaluable tool to use for research, understanding that each perspective is just that—one person’s perspective.

That being said, customers tend to be vocal when they dislike a change or feel the value isn’t quite what it once was. This can grant you vital information to consider the most common complaints. Even changing a delivery method or raising prices can help you determine if the change has been accepted, even with a little grumbling. It’s the repeated pain points that are most worth addressing, perhaps reverting to a change or considering a different path.

You can refer to how the Unity fiasco of last year caused many game developers and publishers to swear off a product, damaging its reputation and utility in the process. As we discussed, sometimes businesses get it wrong.

Increased Competition

New competition doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change everything about your brand. We used the example of an Italian restaurant above, but that doesn’t mean such a business needs to change its entire menu just because another competitor is on the scene.

However, using this as a learning practice can be ideal. Remember, even industry titans like Apple (and their iPhone) as well as Samsung (and their Android phones) routinely copy features from one another, like persistently on screens, gesture swipes, and more. You can learn from your competition and analyze where they themselves might be innovating and what your own take on that could be. It’s easy to assume you have everything you need right now, but sometimes all you need is a shining example to get there.

Outdated Technology Or Processes

Not all businesses will need to integrate every single technological feature out there. Your local farm shop may have a website, but they’re unlikely to implement AI features into their sales strategy anytime soon.

That being said, companies that work in competitive spaces may find that outdated technologies or an incompatibility with dominant practices can put them at a disadvantage. If you’ve ever had a customer complain about your website not accepting Apple Pay, you likely know just how difficult this can be.

As Industry 4.0 software demonstrates, understanding the interconnectedness of systems, planning for their distribution, and constantly evaluating your processes can help determine if you’re matching industry norms or not. If not, it’s important to have a focused rationale in mind. This way, you can explain to your audience why you’ve chosen one standard over another, be that for privacy, security, or a values-led approach you’ve taken. 

Employee Disengagement Or Turnover

High staff turnover is a sign that a company isn’t operating as well as it could be. Sure, some industries might have a higher turnover rate than others (the hospitality field is known for staff coming and going), but if your trends have taken a hit, it’s worth considering why.

Perhaps many staff report that they feel stagnant in their roles, and a lack of career development has caused them to seek pastures anew. Maybe some are unhappy with your management and how they deliver tasks. Or, and this is quite simple, perhaps many are frustrated with not being paid enough. We see this in certain countries, such as the United Kingdom, where salaries have stagnated and can be quite low compared to the European or US equivalents.

Getting to the root cause will help you find non-gimmick methods of retaining talent, like placement courses, hiring internally, offering better business compensation packages and integrating remote work into your processes.

In Conclusion

With this advice, we believe you’ll be a little more capable of innovating and changing your business as you need to over time. It might take a little effort and humility to get there. Sometimes, you may find that cutting costs, streamlining, or reversing your current strategy is necessary. But letting damage accrue without examination can potentially spell the end of your firm, and so being mindful and detached can be ideal. We wish you the best in your efforts.

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