Let’s talk numbersThe Healthy Business Dilemma: don’t rest in the status quo
You believe that your company is doing well. You are not losing any sleep over it. But are you forgetting something? Could you be setting your sights higher? Here are some of the best practices to take your company to the next level.
1. Make the status quo a thing of the past
Why change a winning formula? Why not! Unlike the French proverb that says “qui choisit prend pire” (‘‘he who chooses takes the worst’’), breaking away from the status quo and re-assessing business strategies can only be beneficial. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. While openness to change can provide substantial benefits (e.g. be the first to market), shutting the door on change may make your company vulnerable due to product obsolescence, loss of market share, etc. The list of repercussions for choosing the status quo may be long and be a cause for concern. Also, you are taking a passive stance regarding market fluctuations. Ultimately, you run the risk of losing profits.
The healthy business dilemma
2. Planning innovation… and taking action
Although it is crucial to be open to change, the structure to foster change must be put in place to ensure its success. Setting aside funds for innovation and any other research and development work (R&D) is the first step in the right direction. Proper funding will provide the leeway you need to hire the personnel required to do the research and analyses before a project can get off the ground. It is also important to develop a culture of innovation (and one that includes planning) within your organization—go ahead and maximize your chances of success. Encourage your employees to share their ideas. You never know; they may be the key to your company’s renewal!
Although many innovative ideas involve an element of chance (just think of the post-it, which was invented by accident), a bit of R&D can create fertile ground for the birth of new ideas and the optimization of ideas with great potential.
3. Embrace innovation and creative new ideas
Creativity and finance have long been considered concepts that did not go hand in hand. It is now high time to reconcile the left side and the right side of the brain and to embrace innovative and creative new ideas. The catchphrase “Thinking outside the box” is so popular for a reason: sometimes the most unlikely or the simplest ideas can pay off. Everyone can be creative—never be afraid to be inspired by your peers.
4. Collaborate with others
When people in different areas work together, they are a driving force for innovation. This encourages a meeting of ideas and the creation of original solutions. It is therefore important to provide a platform within the organization to foster the exchange of ideas.
One way to encourage innovation within your company is to set up working groups composed of employees and managers at all levels and from all departments. For example, a company operating in the retail sector could have sales, distribution, warehouse, marketing and finance personnel sitting around the same table, working together to develop innovative new practices. The results may surprise you!
Companies must decide either to move forward or to stay where they are. All too often, limiting yourself to the status quo can result in the potential loss of profits due to product obsolescence and loss of market share. Of course, this does not mean plunging head first into the unknown as it is crucial to maintain a focus on results.
The process must be managed and well planned, while following the key steps outlined below:
- Define the project
- Create a team
- Establish a timetable
- Measure business opportunities
- Prepare a budget
- Discuss with financial advisors
- Consult with your banker
- Develop a plan
If seeing your company grow is one of your objectives, dare to challenge yourself!