True innovation is not correlating with amount of available financials resources. SMEs do not usually have the financials means, as larger corporations, to drive innovation. Here lies an opportunity for SME owners to develop something unique and quickly.
SME leaders could drive their company in a better competitive position by searching for answers for instance to following questions:
- What is the customer experience in buying from my company?
- What else can I do for my customer?
- How critical is a short lead time in my business?
- Can I or should I keep the same lead times as my competitors?
- Should I improve the overall quality of my products?
- What services could or should I add to the offering?
- Is e -commerce the solution or do my customers like to have a different experience?
- Does my process innovation give me the edge?
Packaging ? Same box but different color as competitors have?
- For example the latest Nokia (Microsoft ) phone packaging does not convey a very innovative image, rather a “ me too” feeling
- How can I be faster with time to market?
- Is there a more innovative way to generate new customer leads?
No doubt, these are obvious questions.
My experience with SMEs as client is, that some of them have more enthusiastic employees than others. No doubt a very important differentiator, however it isn’t enough.
Too often SMEs are mainly thinking about technological innovation. This is naturally a too narrow vision for the future.
SME leader must leverage on all potential advantages of a smaller company making them truly nimble and innovative.
It is not about money, it is about how you use all of your resources for driving innovation in your value chain.