As I mentioned in my first blog post last week, coming up with a creative idea is the first step of becoming a successful entrepreneur. This week I have been reading articles about how important it is to come up with something innovative, and I have realized that for startups, innovation is more determinative and powerful than for those existing big corporations because innovation brings new ways to produce products and solve problems, which are essential for the expansion of the market and the industry. Please note that the innovation I refer to here does not need to be evolutionary creations. It can also be a simple re-direction of the company’s development, or a switch of the financial distributions.
Ever since Industrial Revolution, innovation has occupied our everyday life, and we humans have gradually become used to the creation of highly advanced machines and technologies. As a result, we become more ignorant while taking innovations for granted. I, however, firmly believe that every single innovation needs to be respected so that creative ideas can be developed into actual objects to improve the quality of our life. Entrepreneurship allows such experiences to happen. At the same time, innovation guarantees the development of an enterprise by shaping its target market and establishing a strong database. Therefore we can assume the mutually powerful relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship. They work well with each other, and we have to incorporate both of them into our minds when we think about starting up a business.
Now let’s get back to my former point that innovation is more significant for small businesses and explore why. First, let’s take a look at the economy of a country that most of us are not very familiar with, Malaysia. The Malaysian economy, different from the economy from many developed countries, has survived the global economic crisis that has prevailed for about two decades and keeps improving. According to SME Corporation Malaysia, the essential reason is that the small businesses that constitute the majority of the Malaysian economy, have been able to adapt themselves to challenges by keep innovating and attempting. Service industry and manufacturers are two significant components of the Malaysian economy. The service industry often responds to the changing needs of its clients by expanding new services while manufacturers can always come up with new products from existing products and by-products. And all of these innovations have brought the Malaysian economy to a different level. Innovation usually begins with a need. For small enterprises and startups, to fulfill customers not only improve the durability of the company, but also provide solutions for some more general communal problems, such as the downfall of an industry, or a recession of the market. However, entrepreneurs should not be satisfied with one solution to a particular need. Instead, I believe that successful entrepreneurs enjoy coming up with different ideas and carrying them out. For small businesses and startups, it is especially important because it allows them to not only take a firm position in the ever-changing society but also stand out among fierce competitions.
Last but not least, I want to re-emphasize that the innovation I refer to does not need to be something huge and evolutionary such as the innovation of telephones or computers. Instead, even a change of a product in response to a customer’s need, or a switch of the target market, can be considered as crucial innovations. It is extremely important for entrepreneurs to allow their companies to step out their comfort zones, because there is unlimited potential in every single industry, and entrepreneurs ought to explore it bravely and efficiently.
Next week I will talk about how to apply the concept of innovation into my own business and some experiences I have about innovation and creation. More to come!