The pressure to innovate is something that all business owners feel at some point. And, whether you are someone who has been in business for years and is looking to stay relevant or someone just starting a business and looking to stand out, pushing yourself to be innovative can help you reach your goals.
In today’s economy, innovation is not exclusive to businesses in the tech industry. Every day, leaders in different industries are replacing outdated pieces of their business with new ones in order to ensure that their businesses stay relevant and continue to have an impact. And, regardless of whether you are working to design the next life changing technology or building a business as a wedding planner, innovation is what sets you apart. Because innovating takes risk.
It’s easy to settle into cruise control and work to just keep the lights on (and we’ve all let ourselves get comfortable at some point) but working on building the next big thing is a beautiful mix of inspired thinking and hard work .
One of the major challenges of innovation is that you have to be willing to push yourself to work outside of your comfort zone (read “take some risk”). Even though the core of your wedding planning business may remain the same, you might reach a point where you feel compelled to either refresh, rethink, or rebuild certain aspects of what you do. Whether you need to come up with innovative ways to market your business, breathe new life into your brand identity, or even repackage some of your services, this is exactly the opportunity you have to innovate.
So today, we’ve got 4 tips on how to become an innovating expert!
Invest in Innovation
Half of the battle is having the time to think outside of the box. So, take a long hard look at your business and reallocate your budgets to include systems (or people) that open up your creative time and resources. You can use your “innovation fund” in lots of ways: consult with an industry expert for an hour; clear your calendar on a regular basis to do things that inspire you; delegate some of your administrative tasks so you can focus your energy on big picture decisions that are going to drive your business. Investing in innovation = investing in your business.
You’re already an expert in the trends that influence all things wedding but, what about in other industries? Watching the trends in industries outside of the wedding industry not only means that you can be on the bleeding edge of what’s hot, but that you have the heads-up to think about how you can incorporate them into your business. A great example is social media; early adopters now have gigantic followings with tons of reach and they didn’t have to work so hard to make that happen.
My personal favorite industries to watch? Technology (kind of obvious!), textiles, and graphic design.
Know what you do really well
And work on ways to do it better! If you are already an expert in something, why not invest some time in dreaming up ways to do things differently? Reimagining ways to do what you are already really good at is a great place to start innovating (and this was definitely one of the major reasons Aisle Planner was born)!
Plan for the future
Innovation doesn’t happen overnight so start by making smart changes that will facilitate change over time. Make little investments in learning the skills you need to create the next big thing. Take some time to educate yourself about other industries’ best practices. Constantly ask yourself, “Is there a better way to do this?” If you always keep an open mind and your eyes looking to the future, that light bulb is going to go off.
How have you innovated in your business? We’d love to hear how you have worked to push yourself and create the next big thing!