Small Business Innovation on a Shoestring Budget

Have you been thinking of developing your own small business and becoming a proud business owner? If the answer is “yes”, all you need in order to turn your thoughts into reality is an innovative idea and a modest budget. In this article, we will share six small business innovation ideas that you may find inspiring and potentially profitable, and none will cost you a fortune.

Why is innovation in business important?

Speaking of starting a small business nowadays, having an innovative business idea is the key to success. With all the improvements in technology, customer demands and expectations change, emphasizing the need for innovation on the market.

Today’s customers are not only well informed, but have more options to choose from, too. Whether it’s a product or a service they want to purchase, there are businesses that can offer what they need, either locally or internationally. Since mediocrity is not an option, offering innovative products or services is a good thing to consider.

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Innovation is also important if you want to create an original public image and differentiate your products and services from the competition in your industry. Being different is especially favorable if you can’t compete with quality or price. Offering unique products or services will help your business stand out and eventually create a profitable brand.

Small business innovation – dare to stand out

Being innovative in the business world nowadays is essential. It has become one of the main elements of starting a small business on a shoestring budget. When developing a business on a low budget, daring to be different can be the key strategy to become visible on the market.

In order to stand out from the crowd, you can start simple. You can choose a common product or service and use your creativity to change it by adding additional value. By adding a creative spin to an otherwise typical and simple product, your small business will stand out and attract customer attention. 

Small business ideas

If you want to achieve your goals in business and increase chances for success, being innovative should be a priority. However, not all industries offer an easy entry, nor an easy way to innovate and test new ideas cheaply. If you’re not certain what business to go into, here are some small business ideas where you have plenty of room for innovation. All of these businesses require little money to run, and allow for plenty of budget-friendly experimentation. 

1. Online assistant

An online assistant service is one of the small business innovation ideas that can help you develop a profitable business online. If you have previous administrative work experience or the skills of a personal assistant – this may be the right business for you to start. All you need is a professional, eye-catching website and a laptop.

Instead of working as an “ordinary” assistant for one person, you can work by online requests and complete tasks for several people simultaneously. These tasks can include reading and answering emails, customer service and following up with customers, sending invoices and paying bills.

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2. Social media specialist

There is no doubt that social media creates a great marketing opportunity for businesses around the world. If you are fond of using social media platforms, this may be the right base to develop a business as a social media specialist.

You can offer your services to already existing businesses that need help with marketing and increase their online visibility. You can help them incorporate Facebook and Twitter into their marketing strategy and develop better relations with their customers. Moreover, you can assist businesses in creating and building up a sustainable brand by presenting their services in a creative and artistic manner.

3. Interpreter/Translator

As businesses tend to expand worldwide, speaking foreign languages has become a valuable asset. Many business decision makers are often facing challenges when doing business with international companies due to language barriers. As some of them can’t afford to hire a full-time interpreter, they only hire when in need of one. If you speak foreign languages fluently, you should consider offering such services.   

4. Bookkeeper

Every business needs a bookkeeper. With the recession taking place, many businesses had to cut down on the number of employees. Hence, having a full-time bookkeeper has become expensive. Due to such unfavorable financial conditions, some businesses have decided to hire a remote accountant or a bookkeeper to take care of their business.  

If you have experience in bookkeeping or accounting, offering these services can be a great opportunity to turn your knowledge into a small business. Being a remote accountant/bookkeeper, you can work from home, using your computer.

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5. Health insurance advisor

Health insurance is undoubtedly very important for people’s wellbeing. Having the right health insurance package is even more important. As people usually need assistance in the form of advice when choosing the right health insurance plan, insurance advisor services are very popular.

During the recent recession, many health insurance businesses couldn’t afford to keep all their professional advisors. Today, most of said businesses hire insurance advisors when in need. If you have the proper knowledge in health insurance plans, being a health insurance advisor may be a great choice for your next small business.  

6. Computer maintenance technician

Do you have IT skills and knowledge? There are numerous opportunities to provide services privately. Since smartphones, tablets and laptops are part of our everyday lives now, there are many opportunities to create a profitable small business. Working as a computer maintenance technician, you can offer software download services, desktop clean-ups, anti-virus installation, printer connecting services and much more.  

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Get organized and get your small business going

If you are still wondering how to turn your small business innovation ideas into a profitable small business, it’s always good to check customer feedback. Learning what your potential customers want or need will give you a clear picture or a sure hint about what you should offer. So, get organized, surround yourself with creativity and get ready to execute your business idea based on the feedback you receive.

If you are on a good way to satisfy your customer needs and preferences, your next step should be creating a team. Your creative team should be willing to adapt to changes, as well as daring to be different and innovative. To find the right teammates for your small and innovative business, look for talented people who enjoy innovation and creativity as much as you do.

CASE STUDY: Successful Innovation – How IKEA Innovates

The simplest way to understand business innovation is to see it as a process of focused change. It means putting your creative ideas into effective use, in order to improve your products, services, and your overall business processes. However, oftentimes this practice is easier said than done. Many companies fail at managing this change and sustaining their competitiveness and growth. On the other hand, there are companies that make the most out of innovation. What’s their secret? Well, I think it’s best to explain it through a successful innovation case study.

Why do some companies fail with innovation?

When it comes to innovation, people tend to get overwhelmed by the process of generating great ideas and do not focus enough on their realisation. What they often forget is that ideas are only one small part of business innovation. New ideas can be found anywhere, even at patent offices. Every idea that solves a customer’s pain point is good enough to become a part of the innovation process.

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Businesses that Have Failed Due to Lack of Innovation

Most effective businesses nowadays are striving to gain and keep a competitive edge on the market. They go out of their way to incorporate newer technologies, implement better time management skills and productivity routines, as well as create ever more innovative products. Despite the numerous benefits of having modern products, newer management strategies, tools and technology, there are businesses that refuse to change and face failure.

Why is innovation in business important?

Years ago, businesses were able to maintain their successful position on the market with limited or no innovation whatsoever. They were  focused on sustaining the standard quality of their products, improving them just enough to keep said market position.

In recent times however, with major advancements in technology including the internet, innovation has become a priority for many businesses. It can now lead any business to success and expansion. Innovation has become a modern trend in almost every industry. Most businesses are now focused on providing modern and more effective products and services to meet customer needs.

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What Can We Learn From Startup Innovation Practices?

In the past couple of years innovation has gotten mostly associated with startups. This is completely logical, since innovation and entrepreneurship usually go together. Startups are looking for ways to grow into big businesses, and innovative ideas are their best way to succeed. But, what most companies forget is the fact that innovation is not inherent to startups – it’s a result of hard work. It’s just that startups are more motivated to innovate. Companies of any size can learn a lot from startup innovation practices.

Innovation plays a huge role in all the essential aspects of every business. It affects productivity, efficiency, outputs, and overall business sustainability. However, innovation is oftentimes misunderstood and thus taken very lightly. When talking about innovation, we must keep one thing in mind: change. Change is one of the most important and defining factors of innovation.

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The Top 25 Innovation Articles of 2015

Innovation is a vital part of growth and expansion for any business. This includes innovations in knowledge, technology and product development. Every single day, effective businesses are investing money, time and effort into innovation. While innovation (and how to go about it) is mostly common sense, there are still some things you can learn about it.  This is why we went on a mission to discover the top 25 innovation articles, study them, and digest the main points for you.

Innovation is an important element in the process of providing higher value

Innovation is the process of improving things and the way they work. It is about creating a better solution or integrating a new approach within a certain project or model. The essence of innovation is development of a higher value that will increase the effectiveness of products, technology or other processes. Therefore, innovation can be very beneficial for market development, businesses, governments, and society.

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These Innovative Business Ideas will Inspire You

Have you been thinking about starting your own business as of late? If you are reading this, chances are you are probably looking for great innovative business ideas that could become profitable in the near future. But why bother with innovative business ideas, when you could just copy-paste someone else’s profitable product or service? Why not just go with an idea that’s already been proven as successful? Here is why…

Benefits of innovative business ideas

The essence of innovation is offering a new solution (product or service) that should make a difference in some particular field or sphere of life. Innovation is about discovering new opportunities and creating an effective way to meet customer needs and expectations. Innovative business ideas can help you create new trends and get ahead of competitors on the market.

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7 Essential Components of Corporate Innovation Programs

Innovation is the main catalyst behind most great corporate success and development. Along with providing for a better organisational culture, innovation improves efficiency, productivity, quality and competitiveness. Nonetheless, companies frequently fail to build and maintain their innovation capacities. Why is this happening? The reason is twofold – a lack of an innovation strategy and failure to execute. To fix this, enterprises must devote due time and effort to strengthening their corporate innovation programs and processes.

The best way to achieve this? Reliable software that supports, accelerates and advances sustained innovation practices.

The increasing emphasis on the value of innovation goes side by side with the evolution in corporate innovation models and strategies. These focus on people-powered innovation i.e. the shift in the number of people involved in the innovation process from the domain of the few to the domain of the many.

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Innovation for Small Business – What it Takes to Stand Out in 2019

If you want to better understand what the term innovation for small business means, think of yourself as a scientist doing an experiment. You’ll never be able to stand out if you simply try to copy other people’s inventions and try to sell them at a lower price. All you will manage to do is sell to a few passersby-customers who are in a hurry to buy, or people who are simply not willing to look around and see what the rest of the market has to offer.

Perhaps your small business has survived so far without an innovative strategy. Then perhaps mere survival is not on your mind and you are perfectly happy with the modest level of growth you’re experiencing by being “ordinary”. Don’t look at innovation as a life-saving trick you only have to pull out when a business is dying. Why not consider seeing yourself as a famous “business scientist” that comes up with a ground-breaking experiment and innovates?

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8 Key Factors that Make Corporate Innovation Services Succeed

What’s the one thing that all successful companies have in common? You probably know the answer – innovation. But, how can you introduce a culture of innovation in your company and use it as a mechanism that drives success? Well, the shift from traditional to innovative culture takes time and effort. Fortunately, if you want to shortcut your success, you can use corporate innovation services to tackle your biggest innovation challenges.

Why would you turn to corporate innovation services?

This is a legitimate question. Innovation itself implies putting your own creativity into action to make technology or service advancements. Using services to help you innovate can seem a bit paradoxical. But, all it takes to embrace the idea of corporate innovation services is to admit that the corporate innovation process can be daunting.

It is a continuous process that needs to be applied to every aspect of your work. Thus, the corporate innovation process requires a significant amount of energy and many financial investments in research and development activities.

The good thing about innovation is that there are no limits to what can be achieved. There are many corporate innovation ideas you can leverage, only if you are serious about doing it right.

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