Business innovation is generating and successfully employing new ideas within your business. This can be in the form of creating and bringing a new product or service to the market, or a series of smaller innovations, for example, finding a more efficient way of working to become more profitable.

Innovation is generally a creative process and many business ideas need significant time, energy or money in order to develop and become commercially viable. Developing a culture of innovation in a business can be vital to its long-term success and profitability.

There are several reasons why the generation of new ideas can be critical to a business’s success. Although every organisation will have its own priorities and specific issues to balance, businesses that fail to innovate may ultimately lose market-share to their competitors, lose key staff, or simply be operating inefficiently. Innovation can often be a key differentiator between market leaders and their rivals.

Innovation can help businesses 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 ideas, products or services that allows them to meet a future demand rapidly and effectively. Innovation will help companies to stay ahead of their competition as markets, technologies or trends shift.

Innovation is not only about developing a new product or service to promote, but it can also look at existing business practices to improve efficiency, develop new customers, reduce waste and increase profit.

Continually improving business practices and seeking to innovate is also likely to help you attract better team members and retain more of your existing staff – something which can be vital to the long-term performance of your business.

Consumers often view innovation as something that adds value to a business or to its services and products. Executed well, innovation can give businesses a commercial advantage – especially in saturated or readily evolving markets. Studies show that consumers may even be willing to pay more for well-designed, novel and innovative product or service offerings, rather than choosing a cheaper, but less interesting rival.