Recently, we surveyed readers to find out what issues are really keeping them up at night. The responses were kept anonymous so we could encourage honest replies. Some of the survey’s findings were predictable. For example, 73 percent of respondents said their spouse or significant other is supportive of their businesses and nearly a quarter of owners felt they need to work on their ability to delegate effectively. You can read the rest of the results here.
But some of the other findings were surprising, even to me (and I speak candidly with fellow business owners every day). According to the survey, 64 percent of our readers believe their businesses need to be more innovative in order to become more competitive in their industry.
The more I think about this, maybe it isn’t so surprising. I mean, whose job is it within our companies to be innovative? Well I guess that is rhetorical. Even if we don’t have to come up with innovative ideas ourselves, we certainly need to encourage our team to be innovative.
Innovation comes in largely two categories. The first is new products and solutions. I recently heard a few CEOs talking about how their industry is suffering from diminishing margins. In response, one of them is developing new services that come with high margins and the other is “hoping the current trends will pass.” My prediction? The former will acquire the latter (and not pay a whole lot).
The second category of innovation is how we do business, meaning best practices. At our annual Small Business Awards, which will be held on October 10th, we will recognize eight organizations that have successfully implemented unique best practices that helped them grow their businesses. To find out who this year’s finalists are, visit www.nyreport.com/awards.
Robert Levin is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The New York Enterprise Report. Levin has extensive experience with midsize and small businesses, having previously held CEO, CFO, and COO positions with companies in several industries. He is also a contributor for The Huffington Post. Levin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (212) 307-6760.