Community Futures Meridian

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Adopt, Adapt, Innovate

  • July 3, 2018
  • Written by Meridian Admin

Too often we get so caught up in our own personal and business lives that our thinking gets stale. One way to ensure that you are thinking outside the box, or at least your own box, is to pick up on successful ideas that are being adopted by other businesses. Then you can adapt and innovate the trend to increase the success of your own business, while at the same time keeping ahead of your competition.

So, how does that work exactly?

First, take a close look at your direct competition. Those businesses either close to you geographically, or who sell directly to your market. Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. In general, what are they doing differently from my company?
  2. More specifically, are they selling the same products and services as me? If they are, are they packaging them differently, pricing them differently, distributing them differently? If they aren’t should I diversify my product range or service offering?
  3. Is what they are doing likely to be thought of positively by my customers?
  4. How do they advertise and promote what they sell?
  5. Do they sell to the same customers as me? If not, should I be selling to that market too?
  6. What do I consider are their strengths? How do I stack up against them in these areas?
  7. What are their weaknesses? Can I make any of them my businesses strengths?

Write down your answers to each of the questions and then look for ideas and strategies that might benefit your business if you adopted them. Write down your ideas and strategies.

Now, see how you might adapt what they are doing to fit your company, your budget and your operation.

Finally, look for ways you can improve on what they’re doing—this is the innovation part of the equation.

Second, carry out the same exercise with similar businesses in other parts of the country, or even other parts of the world. Every business is different and you can use that to your advantage. Seek out innovative ideas then adopt or adapt them to your circumstances and build innovation on to their base.

Third, you can also carry out the same exercise with companies that sell different products and services to you but target the same demographic. Businesses within an industry often get stuck in a rut when it comes to marketing what they sell. The adopt, adapt, innovate exercise works well when used on non-competing businesses in different markets and industries because it shakes up your thinking. For instance the owner of a used car dealership could get ideas to adopt, adapt and innovate from a yacht broker.

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