As the COVID-19 crisis continues to cause problems around the world, many companies are wondering what they need to do to support their companies and their customers throughout this difficult time. While many questions still have no answers, there's one thing that stands out: companies that embrace innovation will notice substantial increases in their overall stability and profits, both in the middle of this crisis and beyond.
Why is Innovation Needed for This Time of Crisis?
Innovation allows businesses and private individuals alike to solve new problems with innovative solutions as well as offering new business opportunities and avenues, both in the midst of a crisis and beyond. Some innovations are simple: offering new online solutions for customers, for example. Others are more complex.
In some industries, people are looking for new ways to bring in income throughout the pandemic. Companies may turn to new, even unique profit-generating methods to help them achieve their goals in spite of current restrictions and demands.
Through innovation, you will not just keep your organization up and running throughout the COVID-19 crisis. You will also provide your business with greater flexibility and adaptability that can help carry you well beyond the current health challenge.
5 Ways Innovation Can Boost Your Business
Innovation offers a number of important advantages to your business. Consider these five important ways innovation can help boost your business:
1. Innovation can help your business stand out from the crowd.
Around the world, innovation is critically important to the fight against COVID-19. Researchers are working steadily to learn more about the virus, generate vaccines, and even find a cure--and those innovations will ultimately help the world move past the current health crisis.
You don't have to be in the healthcare industry, however, to experience the benefits of innovation for your business. Creative innovation can help your business stand out from the crowd as you work to provide new opportunities to help your customers throughout the current crisis.
2. Innovation can allow you to keep delivering vital goods and services.
People are struggling with the current crisis. Quarantine or social distancing requirements, lost or decreased wages, and the need to educate children from home are all devastating families and leaving them struggling.
Your innovations throughout the current health crisis can allow you to continue delivering vital goods and services to your customers, providing a sense of normalcy in the middle of the pandemic. They will continue to relate that sense of normalcy to your business long after the crisis passes.
3. Innovation can provide new outlets for your business.
Many businesses have already made vital shifts that will allow them to provide much-needed benefits and tools to customers suffering during the current pandemic. Many distilleries, for example, have transitioned from making alcohol products to making hand sanitizer. Companies that typically make t-shirts or other clothing items are focusing on making and delivering masks.
In Maryland, innovators are transforming breast pumps into much-needed ventilator parts to help weather the crisis. Innovative thinking can help transform the way you do business throughout this crisis, offering you new outlets that can help you build much-needed business even in the midst of the crisis.
4. Innovation can help you keep providing for your employees.
Across many industries, employees have faced layoffs and furloughs as their employers struggle to keep enough business to keep the company's doors open. Innovative techniques, on the other hand, can allow you to provide income streams for your employees, enabling them to keep providing for their families and keeping your business on track.
Some companies, for example, are offering increased delivery options, with delivery drivers chosen from their existing employees. Others are offering curbside services for the business. Innovation and creative thinking help keep your employees working, which can, in turn, increase employee loyalty and appreciation for the company as a whole.
5. Innovation helps you prepare your business for what comes next.
As great as the struggle appears right now, the current crisis will not last forever. As a result, many business owners are not only paying attention to what their business needs in the short-term, while they work to keep their businesses open throughout the crisis, but also to the future. Innovation can help you position your business for success when the crisis ends and businesses start to return to normal again.
What Your Organization Needs to Innovate During and After the Crisis
Both during and after the current health crisis, innovation is incredibly important to your business. Set your business up for success and continuing innovation with these key strategies:
1. Use online platforms to bring your people together while practicing effective social distancing.
Innovation often occurs best when you work together with the members of your team to overcome the challenges in front of you. Use online platforms and other methods to bring your team members together for effective innovation sessions while still maintaining social distancing guidelines.
2. Create a culture that encourages innovation.
Now, more than ever, it's critical for your company to have a culture that encourages, not discourages, innovation. Work with your team to increase creative problem-solving. Check in with team members who work remotely regularly.
Discuss the problems and challenges they face as well as how you can take steps to improve their current situation--not just at work, but as they navigate their lives during this crisis. Solutions that work for your team members can often be transformed to benefit your business and other people around the world.
3. Connect with the experts.
Connect with both experts within your company and those within your industry as a whole. Include them in your planning sessions to improve your team's understanding of vital industry concepts or requirements and to ensure that you keep your ideas in compliance with both normal industry regulations and those set in place to help deal with COVID-19.
4. Keep the future in mind.
You don't just have to consider innovations that will help keep your business afloat now, in the midst of the crisis. Keep your mind on future events and advances that may prove advantageous to your business. Encourage discussion about what comes after the current crisis and how it has the potential to impact your industry.
Maintaining innovation throughout the current crisis can help set your business up for success both now and in the future. By focusing on those innovations and overcoming difficulty, you will find that your business can continue to thrive in the midst of the current pandemic and after it ends.