Innovation Strategy for Start-Up Businesses

We’ve been there (and got the T-Shirt) so we can better support you successfully launch your product idea. Unlike other firms we’ve designed, prototyped, produced, launched and marketed our own product so we fully appreciate the journey you are about to embark upon!

I’ve worked with Start-Ups developing new innovations for over 12 years. I have helped businesses streamline their start-up innovation strategy. I have also launched my own start-up in the nursery sectors and have learnt a lot of lessons along the way. I am constantly surprised at the lack of strategic thinking around innovation within start-ups, particularly around how this fits with wider business strategy and goals. In this article I seek to provide an overview to how you can develop a clear, deliverable innovation strategy for your Start-Up that improves your chances of success and minimises your risk.

Your overall innovation strategy should include your IP strategy and needs to dovetail with your marketing strategy. It needs to feed into your wider commercial strategy as inevitably it will impact on your financial strategy and so is a key part of your overall business plan. Considering innovation alongside the wider business strategy should enable key decisions to be taken about the priority of the planned innovation and the level of investment required and that the business can make.

It is also worth considering in the cost benefit analysis the tax rebates possible through R&D tax credits and patent box. Grants are also available to support with innovation although the time taken to apply and comply with these grant requirements need to be carefully assessed before pursuing this route.

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Rules for Successful Start-Ups Innovation Strategy

Your strategy should really include the following to maximise your chances of success:

  1. Regular review of the elements considered to select this innovation for development, including unit cost. If there is a big change then you might want to reconsider continuing to invest in this innovation.
  2. Continual market research during the development to ensure that the final product is appropriate, desirable and priced correctly by the time it launches.
  3. Integrated development between all parties critical to success. This is likely to include the manufacturer of the product.
  4. Managing all parties, inc. marketing, to create a cohesive timeline that gets the product to market as quickly as possible.
  5. Regular reviews with your Chartered Patent Attorney on IP strategy.

We would always recommend a minimum viable product approach. Launch something that is viable and then innovative that further rather than continual scope creep that pushes the launch date back.

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Innovation Strategy & Business Growth

Innovation can help you sell more of the same products by tweaking and improving the design to give the customer more reasons to buy your offering. It is critical this is done with in-depth market research. We’ve seen plenty of business grow their market share through launching better designed products.

Innovation can be used to expand your range of products meaning that each retailer meeting or web visit generates more overall return by you having more products on the shelves or appealing to more potential customers.

Innovation is a powerful tool for business owners to grow profitability and turnover. In most cases we find that some basic strategic thinking can significantly improve the chances of success and reduce the overall risk.

Find out more about how we can help your Start-Up: Product Design for Start-Ups

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