InnovationWhat can most small businesses do even better than the big guys? Change strategy and direction in order to capitalize on a market need or industry trend.

Carol’s latest post on the Nextiva blog, “5 Ways to Make Your Small Business Innovate Better Than the Big Guys,” shares some suggestions for how your small business can innovate more effectively. She begins:

“There’s no escaping it — small companies must be flexible enough to continuously react to changes in the business environment. Reaction definitely keeps your business alive, but it takes a proactive, innovative approach to encourage growth. Innovation can (and should) come from anyone on your team, and your close-knit relationships actually put you in a better position to innovate than many of your largest competitors.

Big businesses would probably implode without extensive structure and discipline among thousands of employees. Your small company, on the other hand, can actually do its best work when everyone thinks outside of their defined functions, even when a smattering of chaos occasionally ensues. But, your workforce will not put forth unusual ideas if they feel that innovation is risky. The following five tips can help you foster an atmosphere of innovation throughout your company.

#1. Use your personal knowledge of your team members.

Where big company employees are typically highly-structured cogs in a wheel, you see everyone on your team as an individual. You know about each one’s talents and skills beyond what they use to do their daily jobs.

Innovation is more likely to come from those talents and skills than from everyday tasks, so try to take advantage of each whole person whenever possible.”

You can read the rest of the post here.