Business Innovation — How does your business rank?

“Oga abeg na my number be this. 

You fit call me and I go 

come sew any cloth wey spoil”.

 

The tailor chimed amidst a toothy grin as he proudly showed a client of ours the part of his mobile sewing machine where he wrote his phone number with thick white paint. As our client relayed the story over a zoom call, we all agreed that the rules of innovation apply to businesses everywhere; big and small.

The heart of a business is innovation and even the hausa mobile tailor who walks miles with his mobile sewing machine to reach you in your gated estate, knows this.

Businesses have had to innovate to provide more for their audience in the face of the world’s digitisation. Even local food vendors now have online pages where they post regular pictures of their mouth watering creations with the promise of the same signature taste and warmness that street food provides.

African women in a business board meeting

It is easy to see that wherever innovation is mentioned, digitisation lurks around. For a business to effectively create solutions that are relevant for all its stakeholders(employees, investors, customers etc.) in the present world, digitisation is inevitable.

While we have seen a rise in businesses boarding the digital train for their journey to better innovation, some businesses still lag behind greatly. A good number of businesses still aren’t using digital tools to aid innovation and this unknowingly costs them money.

In order to innovate effectively, you need to find out where your business is when it comes to digital adoption. 

But how do you find this out in order to make the necessary changes and start innovating?

In 2017, Deloitte embarked on a study that examined how digital tools helped businesses in the US. In this study, they classified business owners into four digital engagement levels based on how they use online tools. 

This ranking is so accurate and can be effectively applied to businesses anywhere in the world. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Basic: Businesses at this level have an undeveloped digital presence. They rely on traditional marketing methods and have no website or social media presence. The only digital tool they use is a business email address.

  • Intermediate: Businesses here use digital tools such as a simple website but without e-commerce or mobile capabilities. They employ some basic online marketing tools, such as being listed in online directories or third-party marketplaces.

  • High: Businesses at this level have a more advanced website, with mobile, online booking, or e-commerce capabilities. They have multiple social media and online marketing channels. They utilise internal digital tools, such as videoconferencing or cloud software.

  • Advanced: Businesses here use all of the digital tools above, but at a higher level. They use really sophisticated digital tools, e.g. a mobile app. They also employ the use of data analytics.

The study showed that irrespective of industry and location, the higher your digital engagement, the better the business does overall. Businesses are more likely to innovate when they employ digital means.

The burst of innovation that occurs as a result leads to the following;

Job Innovation

Once a business decides to go from Basic to High, it will need a lot of manpower to fuel that growth. This will in turn create roles that were not once needed. The food vendors of yesterday never needed social media managers and graphic designers, but now they do. 

Product Innovation

The more a business adopts digital, the easier it is for product innovation to occur. For example, a clothing store with increased enquiries on Instagram can decide to create an app that allows users to pick clothes whenever they choose and have it delivered when they want without having to wait on the line for an agent to reply on Instagram. That’s innovation and your business can enjoy this too.

An unlit light bulb in a frame to signify innovation

Creation of Better Working Systems

Businesses who adopt digital platforms to aid innovation confess that there is a remarkable increase in productivity. A good instance will be the cooperative societies who have adopted the use of EasyCoop. They have all remarked about how easy it is to get things done and faster too. Processes like loan applications and dividend sharing, that once took forever now happens in a fraction of the original time, thus creating more time for ideation and more revenue generating activities.

Creation of a Diverse Customer Base

It is very easy for businesses who adopt digital tools to expand their audience and reach places they naturally wouldn’t have been able to reach. There is always a record of an increase in enquiries and this results in a push to innovate for new audiences.

Keeping up with innovation in the ever changing digital world can be overwhelming. As a business, you do not have to embark on this journey alone. This is why our custom innovation services allows businesses a safe place to decide what works for them and innovate effectively.

With us, keeping up with the rapid changing business landscape is easier as we have a team of professionals who dedicate everyday to making sure that your business is never behind.

You can send us an email if your business is interested in carving a niche with the power of innovation.

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