Innovation for SMEs is setting the tone in today’s business environment, while price competition takes a backseat. Customers today clearly have access to a great deal of information thanks to the ever-increasing capacity of Internet access . Condition that in practice no longer has limitations of time or space, since they can connect wherever and whenever they want.
This makes it easier for the consumer to consider other criteria beyond cost when deciding between various options before buying what they need. Indeed, today’s customer demands added value and rewarding experiences that justify their choice of products and services. In other words, it requires much more than the obvious satisfaction of a need and sufficient reasons to prefer a brand.
For this, it is essential that companies apply innovation both in their offer and in their procedures. In this process, digital transformation must be an essential ally to attract and stay in contact with this new user profile.
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Why should we apply innovation for SMEs? A mandatory analysis
Before addressing innovation for SMEs , we need to make a very impartial and objective analysis of the current situation of the company. That is, determine their strengths and weaknesses , in addition to consciously reviewing their values and practices; also specifying its level of adaptation to the current reality of the market. Likewise, we must observe and identify the threats and opportunities in our business area, as well as those that arise from economic, political and social variables.
It is true that we should not wait for a situation as particular as the current coronavirus crisis to renew or reinvent business schemes. But the mobility restrictions in the wake of the pandemic were the turning point from which many companies began to change. To have different perspectives that allow you to stay in touch with your regular customers and attract new customers. While they put into practice more efficient forms of work and better working conditions for their human talent.
Although each of these companies experiences this transition in particular conditions and circumstances, the common denominator in this is the reflection prior to the change. Specifically, the development of a reference framework that serves as a guide to introduce innovation, giving it meaning: a why and what for.
Innovation for SMEs: diversity and goal setting
As the analysis clarifies the aspects that we must strengthen or change in the company, we can begin to clearly state the objectives. That’s right: an innovation process for SMEs needs clear purposes that define the technology and procedures that we need to introduce . And that at the same time provide us with sensible expectations in terms of results over time.
In this regard, we will only remember the convenience of establishing innovation objectives under the SMART scheme . In short: the goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to the company and the collaborators, and achievable in reasonable periods of time.
In this sense, we must set objectives in the following aspects:
Products and market
- First, constantly improve the quality and functionality of goods and services
- Expand the offer of products and services.
- At the same time, replace obsolete products or procedures.
- Research and explore new markets.
- And of course, increase our sales.
- Naturally, improve productivity in the production of goods or provision of services.
- Reduce material, energy and labor costs of production or execution of services.
Either maintain and/or expand the total workforce and the most qualified.
- On the one hand, to offer safer and healthier working conditions to our collaborators.
- Comply with tax, environmental, safety and other regulations.
- And also reduce the environmental impact of our operations.
The unique value proposition: vital in innovation for SMEs
Within the objectives focused on the offer of services and products, it is vital to include the approach or renewal of our unique value proposition . This term gives a precise focus to innovation projects for SMEs .
In a few words, the unique value proposition (USP, Unique Selling Proposition) consists of a brief and persuasive description of our main competitive advantage as a company. This must be expressly addressed to potential customers, so that they know in a timely manner why it is convenient to do business with us.
Apart from providing more clarity to our vision of the innovation to be incorporated, the USP offers, among other benefits:
- A greater impact on the identification of the brand by the public.
- In the same way, it creates a strong differential with respect to the competition.
- Helps increase leads in number and quality.
- Therefore, it boosts conversions, sales and loyalty.
Some essential connectivity solutions in innovation for SMEs
As we said, the development of the Internet together with the facilities and improvements that increase the connection frequency define the current business environment . Consequently, having the appropriate technology is essential to respond to the needs and expectations of current and potential customers. Emphasizing connectivity as a driver of innovation for SMEs, part of these solutions would be:
- Presence in the network through web page, apps , blogs and accounts in social networks. In these cases, it is essential to constantly optimize and update these channels, as well as their proper management. The attraction of potentials, the quality of the interaction with them, the number of conversions and sales and our brand image depend on this.
- On the other hand, it is relevant to have advanced connectivity solutions , supported by technologies such as 4G and 5G through fiber optics and demonstrably efficient networks. Even better if they offer unlimited data plans as is the case with Vodafone .
- Effective voice solutions supported by an intelligent network that allows the management of 90X numbers with wide coverage. In addition, it offers telephone switchboard functions and personalized configurations, among others, with the most adapted rates to the company’s budget.
- In the same perspective, it would be ideal to have access to the best remote and collaborative work platforms , such as Office 365 and G Suite. Thanks to them we can promote teleworking and greater work-life balance for our human talent.
Other important solutions
Security solutions for the transmission and management of data between branches and remote operators, based on technologies such as SD-WAN.
It is also a priority to have an online and face-to-face IP support service available , 24/7 any day of the year, with professional advice and qualified personnel. All this in order to guarantee the correct configuration and security of your computer infrastructure, networks and fixed and mobile devices.
Undoubtedly, these are part of the technological options that will support the innovation of your business to make it more competitive.