Who Are Your Innovation Champions?
Innovation is key to building a resilient business. Fortunately, innovation doesn’t have to happen on a grand scale to make an impact in your business.
How to Drive Innovation
Driving innovation in any business begins with creating and encouraging an innovative and forward-thinking culture. This will allow your employees to bring new and interesting ideas to the table, and put them into effect. Empower them to feel free to contribute and acknowledge their contribution. Show them that their ideas are appreciated.
You need to break down the barriers between management and employees with regular two-way communication. Creating a team of innovation champions can help. Instead of putting innovation on the back burner until an opportunity presents itself (which it might not), task the right people in your business with driving innovation in a proactive manner. If your innovation champions have a particularly heavy workload, consider re-allocating some of their roles to allow them time to devote to driving innovation.
When things go well, it is good to celebrate success but your innovation champions shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes. Managers need to help employees to feel comfortable and ready to share.
Good ideas should be recognised but equally, ones that don’t get off the ground should be applauded as something to learn from for the future.
Driving innovation involves focusing on what you do and what products or services you sell to your customers. Customer feedback can be used to drive innovation. Customers are generally happy to tell you what it is they want from you. They may want flexibility or really value quick turnaround times. Spend time gathering feedback from your customers and share this with your innovation champions.
You don’t ever want to give your customers a reason to go elsewhere so make this the central focus of your innovation strategy. Task your innovation champions with finding new and better ways to keep your customers coming back again and again. Perhaps the solution to the problem lies in doing simple things a little bit better or by utilising technology to make your product or service delivery more efficient. Focus on your customers, listen to their feedback and let that feedback drive your innovation strategy and the activity of your innovation champions.
Research & Development Tax Credits
Remember, no matter what industry you are in, if you innovate, you could receive R&D tax credits. HMRC’s R&D tax credits could offer your business an additional tax reduction of up to 24.7p for every qualifying £1 spent on R&D. Contact us today to find out how you can claim your R&D tax credits.