The Driving Force of Innovation

The Federation of Small Business (FSB) has published an insightful report on innovation (The Tech Tonic, published Aug 23). What might be a business buzz word for some, is in fact driving the core of our businesses in the UK. Oak Creative has delved into the findings to see exactly what innovation is happening and why it matters.

What is innovation?

Innovation can be anything that improves business performance. The FSB class innovation as:

  • Developing new products
  • Significantly improving products
  • Introducing new or significantly improved manufacturing processes
  • Introducing new or significantly improved internal and/or customer
    facing processes

The Tech Tonic report published by FSB, revealed that almost 7 in 10 small businesses have introduced innovative changes in the last three years (with Covid being a key driver for change).

In addition, small businesses that introduced innovation have seen a 14.8% increase in revenues as a result of doing so.

The Tech Tonic report at a glance:

The statistics below reveal the top level findings of The Tech Tonic report on innovation. Continue reading below for a summary of the key findings.

Key Findings from The Tech Tonic report:

14.8% revenue increase reported by small business owners who innovated in the last three years

  • These businesses invested about 14% of their time in innovation in the past year. 
  • The average cost for introducing innovations over three years was £27,356, showcasing the positive impact and investment in innovation for small businesses.

69% of small businesses have adopted innovation in the last three years 

  • 25% creating new products
  • 38% improving existing products
  • 25% enhancing internal and customer-facing processes. 
  • Among small manufacturers, 35% have upgraded manufacturing processes during the same period.

81% of businesses innovated to boost turnover/profit

  • Other drivers for innovation included diversification (65%) and as a response to Covid 19 (19%).
  • Businesses improving internal or customer-facing processes sought to enhance resilience (53%), automate (50%), and reduce staffing costs (21%).

40% of small business owners reported that lack of time was a barrier to innovation

  • To promote innovation 50% suggest government grants and 46% recommend tax relief.
  • For manufacturing process improvements 45% prioritise skilled staff. 

74% of businesses with a turnover <£1 million per annum are innovating

  • This is compared to 55% of those with a turnover of £100,000 or less. 

How can your brand innovate your business?

Design can play a pivotal role in driving innovation within a business. Enhancing a product or service functionality, reviewing the user experience or building on the aesthetic appeal – all of these are innovating and improving your business. A thoughtful and user-centric design can streamline processes, and create intuitive solutions for customers. All of this builds into your brand, which ultimately builds connection with your customer and differentiates you from competitors.

Oak Creative can help you on your innovation journey with design, branding and web solutions. Get in touch today if you are ready for some branding innovation within your business!

Click here to read the full report from FSB.

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