Finding Innovative Ways to Grow Your Business

By Katie Takacs, Marketing Manager, Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech

How often do you hear a company executive say they don’t want to grow their business? Chances are you rarely hear this. So if 99% of companies want to grow, why is it that only some do?

Over the past several years the economy has affected business in ways that most people could not have predicted. As the economy starts to recover, many companies are left with fewer employees and customers than they had a couple of years back, a shortage of suppliers, and an increased workload. With all these factors working against them, how can companies start growing again or accelerate their current slow growth pattern?

Ask yourself these questions…Has your company developed a new product in the past three years? Have you found a new market for an existing product? Have you found a new use for an existing piece of equipment?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, then you have the opportunity for business growth. Before you can take advantage of that opportunity, you must make sure you have uncovered the right opportunities so you don’t invest a lot of time and resources in activities that won’t produce growth. In addition, new initiatives can be risky with long-term payoffs, so they must be carefully balanced against the company’s short-term needs.

An innovation management system puts into place a structured approach to keeping your business pipeline full. By generating, evaluating and vetting potential “winning” ideas using a common methodology, you will eliminate the subjective part of the evaluation process and the vetted ideas will move forward more rapidly and with less risk of failure.

By developing and implementing a measurable and repeatable process, you build a system of idea creation, communication, and commercialization within your organization. This process will keep your ideation pipeline full and make generating opportunities for sustained growth part of your company’s culture.

The GaMEP at Georgia Tech has Certified Innovation Black Belts on staff, each with experience leading organizations through this process. If you are interested in implementing an innovation management system within your organization, contact your regional manager for further details.