Innovation

Reducing costs through innovation

Innovation doesn’t have to be a massive change to a business, like a big new product launch, dramatic change to a service, or serious adaptation to the production line. Smaller innovations that improve some part of your business can make longer lasting positive effects on your business – especially if you focus on innovative cost saving ideas.

When talking about innovation, people tend to focus on things being brand new, never seen before in the market. But that’s not necessarily the case. If a product, service or process is new to your business, then that’s an innovation.

You don’t necessarily need to have had the idea for the change yourself, as long as it’s something that your business hasn’t seen before. Has another business developed a more efficient way of producing a similar product to yours? Learn from their methods and adapt your processes to suit your business.

There are lots of ways that you can use innovative cost saving ideas in your business and the best place to start is to look at the types of waste your business is producing. By looking at what you’re throwing away, you can often come up with innovative solutions to convert them into something profitable or to increase your yield.

Turn waste into profit

Anything that’s wasted in a business is an additional expense, especially if you’re having to pay to have it sent to a landfill site. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to eliminate all waste from your business, but chances are, you’ll be able to convert what you’re wasting into something commercially viable.

There’s a big market for different types of fuels, and if your business is producing a lot of food, wood or cardboard, or agricultural waste, there’s a good chance that with some innovative thinking, you can convert that into some kind of bio-fuel. You can then sell this by-product, rather than having to pay to have it taken away, meaning that you’re not only cutting costs, you’re actively making a profit.

Increase your efficiency

Sometimes, it’s necessary to spend a little to save a lot. If the way you manufacture your products or deliver your services is outdated, it’s likely that you are not as efficient as you could be. Innovations in processes to increase your yield or streamline your service can save you money in the long term. You can identify parts of your production or service that take the most time to achieve and see whether you can implement a change that reduces it.

Remove features your customers don’t use

If you offer a product or service that has lots of different functions within it, take some time to evaluate whether or not it’s actually adding value to your customers. There’s no point continuing to develop something that people don’t use or want to buy.

Take a look at the reviews of your business and see what consumers of your offer are saying. If there’s something they love, develop it further and see if you can increase its value, but if there’s something that your customers don’t like or don’t find useful, take it out. There is no sense in spending money providing something that is not valuable to your customers. You’ll still be innovating, as you’re making something new to your business that’s commercially viable.

If you think that you’ve got an innovative idea that you want to implement in your business, there might be funding available to you to help you complete the project. Contact How’s Business, the single point of contact for business support in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and speak with one of their support team about the type of support you’re looking for.

They can quickly assess what your business could benefit most from, and as they work with all the funding providers in the area, can put you directly in touch with funding providers. Email the How’s Business team at support@howsbusiness.org to find out what you could be eligible for.