Did you know that as of mid-2019, there were over 4.2 million companies registered in the UK?
That's a whole lot of competition! It's even scarier when you consider how global modern business is, so you also need to look at America, Australia, and every other country in the world when sizing up your competition.
It goes without saying, therefore, that to become successful you need to stand out from the millions (or billions!) of other businesses out there. This is where innovation consulting comes in.
Find out why you need it and how it will help you get ahead in our guide.
What Actually Is Innovation Consulting?
It's a good idea to learn what innovation consulting actually is before we get into the ins and outs of why you need it. Essentially, it's exactly what it says on the tin; innovation consulting! It's the process of hiring a team outside of your company to help you spot new opportunities that could propel your brand to the heights of success.
Your team can be brought into to help develop new products, help your business branch out into a new industry, or create more effective ways of running your organisation, for example. Wherever you think you're lacking some imagination, they can help.
You can bring in innovation teams for startup consulting or for businesses that have been up and running for decades.
Why Would You Need an Innovation Consultant?
In the McKinsey Global Innovation Survey, only 6% of executives were happy with the innovation in their business, whilst 86% identified it as a key growth strategy. That's a pretty bad statistic if you ask us! If you know that something is going to be vital to the growth of your brand, surely you'd make sure you're happy with the amount of work you're putting into this area?
But in reality, it isn't that simple. It's very easy to let innovation slide off of your radar when you have so many other things to focus on. Whilst your business may have started with an innovative idea, it's common to quickly start to focus more on keeping your brand afloat that innovating.
The job of innovation consulting for startup companies and long-running businesses is to make innovation a priority and help you develop innovative ideas. You need to keep working on new and unique ideas if you want your brand to keep pushing forward, and it's the job of your consultants to help you get there.
How Does It All Work?
You should be starting to get the picture of why you need a traditional or digital innovation consultant on your side (if you're not convinced, there is more on this later so don't worry!).
Now, it's time to take a look at how the process can work. This can vary depending on your needs and the team you're working with, but here's a look at some of the different processes you might encounter.
Identify Your Needs
Every consultancy team will start by identifying your needs.
Whether you're looking for product development or looking to develop your business team, your consultants will make sure you're clear on your aims for your partnership before they start their work. They can then pair you with the right people, such as a digital consultant to switch up your automated processes.
One of the ways that you can work with your innovation team is through strategy creation.
Your consultants will help you create a clear and concise mission statement that includes the importance of innovation in your company and your goals. This will likely be created with the executives of your organisation before being passed through the rest of your team, making sure everyone's on the same page.
Looking to the Future
Whether you hire an innovative digital consultant or one to help you develop products, your team should spend a lot of time researching future trends. A key part of becoming an industry leader and growing your brand is staying ahead of what your target market wants and meeting their needs before your competitors do. A good innovation consultancy will predict what's going to affect your customers, services, and products and how you can use it to your advantage.
You can then use this information to create new products or services that push you ahead of your competitors. This step is critical if you're looking to become a leading brand in your industry.
Analyse Your Processes
If your business is stuck in a tired routine, innovation consultancy is exactly what you need. Your team will take a look at which business processes are no longer working to the best interest of your company and which habits you might need to break.
They'll also suggest alternatives to your current processes that are designed to put your business in a position of growth.
What About the Benefits?
We've touched a little on why you need all of the ideation tools and techniques that an innovation consultancy has, but we've barely scratched the surface. There's a whole wealth of benefits to hiring a team for innovation!
Here are just a few that you can take advantage of.
Boost Your Efficiency
An innovation consultancy team can rapidly boost your efficiency, helping your brand become more productive.
They'll help you implement effective processes that will boost your growth and streamline your systems. In the long-run, this could save - and earn - you a lot of money and time, both of which are crucial factors in a profitable company.
Provide a New Perspective
Most innovation consultants have worked with a whole range of businesses in different industries, giving them insight into a broad range of different ways of running a company. This means that they'll join your team with a new and fresh perspective. They haven't been trained for your industry and so can bring something completely new.
Systems that businesses in your market have always done can be thrown out and replaced with something better. The organisation of your teams can be reshuffled for efficiency. What's worked for another company in a whole different industry can be rearranged to suit your own.
A consultant can open your eyes to completely new ways of doing business, which is invaluable if you don't want to become stagnant.
Give You Focus
It's easy to push business challenges aside for another day. But, by hiring an innovation consultancy, you simply won't be able to do that! You'll have dedicated time planned into your schedule to focus on the obstacles in your industry and how you can overcome them, which is vital if you want to grow.
From having an overpacked schedule, you'll suddenly have time to sit and look at problems you haven't been able to. You can focus your attention and help your business become better than ever.
Clarify Your Vision
Everyone has a vision for their brand. But, in between 24/7 meetings and not being sure where to even start, it can be hard to get that vision down on paper and clarify exactly where your business should be going.
An innovation consultant can help you.
They're trained in taking your ideas and turning them into a clear goal that you can work towards. They can create a north star for you to follow, so to speak, and work with you to create smaller targets to help you get there. They'll make it easier for you to articulate the future of your brand and share it with your organisation. You can then rally your team and get working!
One of the great benefits of hiring innovation consultants how well connected they are. If you own a business, you'll already know the importance of knowing the right people! Your consultants will probably have a pretty full contact book of business associates.
If you need to engage with other companies and individuals to help your business grow, your consultant might have someone that they can connect you with. For example, if you need new digital marketers to shake up your marketing game, your consultant will probably be able to recommend a talented, reliable team that you can trust.
Learn From Your Consultant
By watching your innovation consultant at work, you can be sure you and your team will pick up many new skills and techniques! You can use these long after your consultant has gone to continue the great work they've started.
By including your team in the work, they'll be able to learn too and pass down these new practices through your organisation.
Start Pushing Your Business Forward
For a modern business, innovation consulting is essential to prevent your brand from becoming stuck in a rut. It's a competitive world out there, but this can help you stay ahead!
At Danger Farms, we work with businesses just like yours to create innovative digital strategies that help you thrive and flourish. If you're ready to succeed, find out more about how we work or get in touch with our team today.