Business Innovation

Most of us work for established businesses. Over 50% of active businesses today have been around over 10 years. Good leaders are constantly asking how do we have to improve what we do to yield better and better performance. That is called operational enhancement and it requires innovation–large and small.

There are some businesses however, that face significant threats from new startups that totally change how business is done. In that case, companies can’t afford to ask how to improve they have to ask, how should we transform to exceed market place demands. Here are a few key examples of industry shaping changes:

  • Digital has changed the process of sharing information. If part of your business involves printing, you have deeply felt this trend.
  • Product enhancements such as adding wheels to luggage, eliminating dirty mops (swiffer) or enlarging golf club head size have transformed the leaders in the respective industries. They didn’t make products marginally better; they changed how we view the product.
  • Some companies have redefined the old and made it new such as Groupon’s new twist on couponing.

Innovation is not a luxury. In today’s market it is a necessity. With an increasingly competitive and technology driven marketplace driving rapid change, business models need to be updated regularly and companies cannot afford blindspots when it comes to alternative competition. Think Blockbuster and Netflix.

Here are two recent business launches active in Kansas City that create unique niches that will put pressure on existing business models.

Zaarly, Inc. was launched May 18. It is online commerce site where buyers can share what they are looking for and how much they will pay. Services are hot, such as dog walking and errand running. But you might find interest in coveted airline tickets or travel packages. Collectors could use it to find their next treasure.  According to the Kansas City Business Journal,  10,000 users were attracted on the first day and Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are investors. Could this be the next ebay? How might it impact your business?

Another start up, born of frustration with the traditional model, is Fireside Pediatrics in Overland Park. It is a mobile medical business run by a licensed doctor who prefers to do quality preventative care in the patients home over 10 minute office appointments.   Will this take over as a new model? Expand to other segments? Influence patient behavior? Alter the supply chain mechanics? Create new opportunities for ancillary businesses?

What is happening in your market that will effect your business? Business as usual is just not an option.

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