Business management

Take control of your business: opportunity through innovation

In an evolving world where customers always expect more, innovation can accelerate growth. Here’s some ideas from our Business Show series.

Business-led innovation – improving, creating, or doing it differently – happens in many ways. They might include:

  • Responding to customer demand and reinventing products or services. 
  • Developing skills, so the business is ready to adapt and grab opportunities. 
  • Improving organisational structures to attract diverse talent. 
  • Coming up with new ideas for a more sustainable future or social good.
  • Or commercialising research and ideas to increase productivity.

Whatever form innovation comes in, we know it can unlock potential and accelerate growth with the right support and tools. Innovation has often been at the heart of the conversation on our Business Show series this year. 

Let’s look at some approaches that have been effective for these business owners.

Choose to be fearless

Harpreet Kaur, the 2022 The Apprentice Winner and founder of Oh So Yum, tells Angellica how she gave her small business a new spin by hitting refresh and changing its name from Barni’s World. Rebranding and an innovative outlook have helped Harpreet scale the business she co-founded with her sister to another level. “Running a business for the long-term is very different to setting up and making some money,” she adds. Get her tips on training for a  positive mindset.

Create a talking point

Daniel Ashville Louisy, founder of Ashville Aggregates & Concrete and Ashville Construction is well known for his huge social media following on TikTok and YouTube. He made a conscious decision to take the lead on how his business is perceived by sharing his business lessons on social media. By describing and presenting the things he wished he had known when he was starting out, he has innovated in a space not particularly known for having these kinds of conversations. The result? Ashville is accelerating towards becoming one of “London’s leading construction superpowers”. Listen to Daniel’s creative strategy and how it works for his business.

Set out to solve a problem

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE is founder of Stemettes, an award-winning social initiative helping young women enter science and technology sectors. Diversity is important in any industry – and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) especially. Diversity of thought leads to innovation, she says. Because these industries are by their nature future-looking, doing something differently, creating something nobody has thought of before, or solving a problem within these spheres offers huge opportunity for innovation. “There are so many problems to be solved,” says Anne-Marie. “We’ve got the UN Sustainable Development Goals for a start. Tap into the technology which can help with some of the solutions to those problems.” Listen to Anne-Marie’s tips on disrupting successfully.

Create competitive tension

Tech entrepreneur Alex Depledge MBE is the founder and CEO of Resi, the UK’s first online residential architect practice. Her drive to fix things means she and business partner Jules Coleman have innovated in spaces they had no prior business experience of. They convinced people they were worth investing in. “The only thing you really have is you,” she says. “When your back’s against the wall, are you going to be the person to figure a way out of that?” Such challenges can be key to innovation, she adds. If there’s a hole in your finances, you tend to innovate your way out. Listen to Alex’s top tips on creativity and raising funds.

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