There is an old saying in business that if you fail to innovate, you will fall behind and fail, and this is something which we have seen evidence of in recent years with some huge retailers going out of business. Continuous improvement and innovation in business is therefore something which all business owners should be encouraged to do, in fact their success depends on it.
Improvement in business was the hot topic of debate recently when I attended a business expo in Portland, Oregon, where I had the great pleasure to speak to Arnon Dror about this key to business success. Arnon Dror is a high level business professional who was the Vice President of global giant Xerox, and he is a man who understands very well the importance of striving to improve. This is something which he has done all of his life and I have great respect for the man, the fact that he is a Celtics fan like me doesn’t do any harm as well! Following our informative conversation I wanted to share some key takeaways from my chat with this great business mind.
The world is constantly moving forward from a business sense and as each day passes we see new innovations in technology and business practices which we must stay on top of. Take marketing as a perfect example, if you are still marketing your business using traditional techniques such as fliers and radio ads, you will lose versus someone making use of digital marketing strategies. Failure to innovate and improve can leave you behind in an instant.
It is not only the business and the techniques that advance and change, so too do customer trends and we have a responsibility to them to stay in line with what they are looking for. For many years customers wanted to the lowest prices, then the highest quality products and these days they are looking for businesses which offer high quality service and a brand model which they can trust. If you fail to stay on top of what the customer is looking for, you will be trafficking them off to your rival who can give them what they need.
Shaping the Conversation
Staying up to date with what our consumers want is of course important but real improvement and innovation is about creating customer trends, rather than just reacting to them. Remember that the ultimate success in business is not so much about giving the consumer what they need, but giving them something which they didn’t know that they needed. If you can constantly strive to improve and innovate, you can be part of shaping the conversation and giving your customers more reasons to keep coming back to you.
Arnon Dror has found great success in his life as a result of his desire to constantly improve, and so too can you and your business.