Running a Business

Innovation

Australian economies can no longer rely on cost competitiveness to drive economic development. As we proceed into the 21st Century, continual innovation has become the essential determinant of long-term economic performance in Australia and other developed countries. Innovation is a major driver of business growth and competitiveness and is essential for the commercial success of any organisation. Businesses that can capitalise on a culture of innovation are likely to be more efficient and more profitable in the long term.

Innovation is critical to all businesses, not just those that specialise in technological or scientific research. Businesses across all industries can improve the way they operate through innovation. Logistics, cash-flow management and marketing are just some of the areas that any organisation can improve by applying new ideas and technologies.

For Pittwater Council, encouraging local businesses to innovate lies at the heart of the ability of businesses to value-add in the long-term. Innovation and the commercialisation of new ideas can be nurtured by establishing and developing strong links between local businesses, government and research and learning institutions. Innovation can help you discover what opportunities exist now, or are likely to emerge in the future. Successful businesses not only respond to their current customer or organisational needs, but often anticipate future trends and develop an idea, product or service that allows them to meet this future demand rapidly and effectively. Innovation will help you stay ahead of your competition as markets, technologies or trends shift. 

People in small business often have bright ideas about new or improved products, services or processes. Generating ideas and being innovative are important to business success. Research has shown that innovation, when properly managed, produces a higher rate of return than other forms of investment. Innovation Culture provides the frameworks to evaluate ideas at each stage – from concept through to operation – and make sure that you are backing ideas that will make real difference.

A transparent and consistent measurement of concept valuation helps employees understand the business value of their input – focuses their imaginations on organisational imperatives – and sets the basis by which idea generators can be recognised and rewarded.

Harnessing the imagination and passion of your employees, directed towards your company’s goals will accelerate your bottom line growth. Implementation of an Innovation Culture provides staff with focus, and an ability to execute that empowers true business champions – and allows them to be identified and supported from amongst the crowd.

Transparent and consistent measurement practices identify and enable you to recognise and reward the staff who contribute the greatest value to the future of your organisation.

Business competitive advantage

Your competitive advantage is what sets your business apart from the competition. It highlights the benefits a customer receives when they do business with you. It could be products, services, reputation, or even your  northern beaches location. For example, do you offer online options, a money back guarantee, follow up services or  parking?

How to identify your competitive advantage

To identify your business's competitive advantage, you will need to understand more about your competitors, talk to and survey your customers.

  • Why do customers buy from us?
  • Why do customers buy from our competitors and not us?
  • Why do some potential customers not buy at all?
  • What do we need to do to be successful in the future?

Market research for example will help you to answer these questions. Good market research can reveal your point of difference from your competitors, what you have to offer that appeals to customers. Customer research will help you identify many of your customers' needs and increase your competitive edge locally and regionally.