Grand Rapids startups and small businesses face the ongoing challenge of remaining relevant. Small businesses face growing competition and limited ability to grow. Startups might be able to convert their idea into a business but very few businesses survive on a single product and eventually competition will develop. The only way for these West Michigan businesses to survive is through innovation.
There is one issue that entrepreneurs need to avoid and that is taking on too much risk with their innovations. While new ideas might have a huge upside, the risk they carry can harm your business that already exists.
One of your biggest assets that you have is your team. Employees, partners, and even the professionals and other business you work with can be great resources for ideas. These people work with your business and its products as well as your customers and clients. They might see needs that you do not. You should encourage and seek out their input.
Some of the ideas you get might seem like a stretch or huge risk but it is your job as a leader to work with these ideas and brainstorm how these idea might be made viable options.
Once you have an idea or two to work with, it is important to work with them the same way you did when starting your small business or startup. When you were first getting underway, it is likely that you did everything you could to keep expenses low. You probably did some low cost planning or prototyping. You were also likely hesitant before fully committing to your small business or startup company because you wanted to be sure it was a viable financial decision. Even though you have a business that can absorb these costs of launching these new ideas, you do not want to be overly committed financially to these new ideas that can quickly become anchors.
The US economy has changed since past generations. Small businesses and startup companies cannot become stagnant. It used to be that a small business could get started and maintain the status quo and survive for decades. In today’s economy, not moving forward and improving is the same thing as moving backwards because there are competitors that are passing you by. Innovation is key to your survival. Balancing the risk with the need to grow and change is important too. An advisor or counsel can help you with this assessment.
Source: “How Successful Leaders Balance Skepticism and Openness” by Nadia Goodman of Entrepreneur