Years ago there were some business characteristics that, if exploited, propelled a small business into the limelight and fueled its growth for years into the future.
What were some of those characteristics?
If your business had the undisputed lowest price in town, you were often rewarded with lots of sales and the revenue to expand your operation.
Some businesses grew quickly because they had access to unique manufacturing processes – those that allowed them to produce products faster and at a lower cost than the competition.
Other businesses grew simply because they chose a hot emerging market and were “the only game in town” for a while.
Of course, such companies (when they become successful) are bound to lose that advantage in time because others will see their prosperity and join the niche as a competitor.
Still other businesses were able to fly past the competition because they created or discovered new technological breakthroughs that facilitated their “uniqueness” and allowed them to offer products of a whole different kind.
Some physical brick and mortar businesses acquired or leased the prime real estate location for their businesswhich put them in front of lots of prospects and helped them gain visibility and “presence” in a crowded marketplace.
But the most common characteristic of all that propelled one business above all the other competitors seemed to be innovation.
One company was able to introduce something new to the niche that changed the playing field or the business environment for everyone selling in that space.
We typically think of innovation as something high-tech or futuristic, but that does not have to be the case.
An innovation could simply be a new way of executing a system, a product, a delivery chain, or a supply process.
It might be bringing a system or method from one industry into another that hadn’t previously been using it.
Innovation might be opening new doors to a niche that no one else had thought of.
Companies that innovate are usually the ones that are willing to look at their business and the market they are in with an eye focused on non-traditional and untried ideas.
They think “outside the box” and wonder how they could change what they’re doing to be more effective, more dominant, and more unique.
There are innovators in every niche. And regardless of what your competitors may tell you to scare you away, innovation is open and available to anyone that claims it.
So as you contemplate ways to grow your business, don’t think just in terms of how you can gain more customers, or how you can produce more with less, or how you can charge more for your products and services.
Look at all your business products, systems, execution, activities, and tasks to see if there are ways to introduce change that will allow you to be better at executing your business than your competitors. If what you come up with is embraced by your customers and prospects, it may just be that you have a “disruptive” innovation – something that could turn your own marketplace on its head!
Some have called this approach “working on your business . . . instead of working in your business.”
To your online business success!