Dealing with the challenges in your business has become increasingly urgent with the economy as it is. Yet we know that some business people thrive under any circumstances. These far-sighted business people take measures to innovate their business despite prevailing circumstances.
A business owner* who runs a media and website business was experiencing a gradual drop in his conversion rate from quotation to sales, which was leading to lower revenues. At ideaaccelerator.co.za we jump at such challenges and offered to help solve the problem using the idea-generation and ideation expertise we’ve developed over a number of years.
At first he was skeptical. “But how can creativity and new ideas work for my business when all I have is a sales conversion problem?” he asked. Our reply was, “Why not give it a try and see what happens. You haven’t come up with a solution now and who knows when you’ll stop the decline so using these idea generation techniques and processes could help you right now, wouldn’t they?”
Steps to produce amazing ideas
We started with a closer enquiry into the possible cause of the lower quotes to sales conversion. Next, we took the business owner through a series of steps to produce ideas that were imaginative and energizing. We tried to disturb the usual thinking patterns that keeps us stuck in familiar thinking ruts – the same tired ideas that get raised in brainstorm meetings that never seem to fire inspiration or let alone work.
He had an initial resistance to these new approaches but we guided him into the processes we have developed. We’ve found that it is often better to just get on with following the tools and processes and finding new solutions than to get into detailed, arcane explanations that will only really be understood once they are experienced when the results start flowing.
The tools and techniques used to assist this business person to generate ideas were suited to his temperament and natural curiosity. Knowing what works best with individual customers is important so that they remain motivated to complete the necessary steps.
Astounded at the quality of ideas
The business owner was astounded by the number and quality of ideas produced. His problem became how to sort through all the ideas and prioritise them. We gave him a simple prioritization grid which quickly helped him select the best ideas with the fastest and biggest payback that he could action in his business right away.
The result of the ideas produced and implemented was a 200% increase in quotes to sales conversion. All this was achieved through working on tangible and intangible parts of his service and increasing benefits for customers.
“We increased our sales conversion by 200%”
“Using ideaaccelerator.co.za’s ideation process, we came up with new ideas for our business that helped us increase our sales conversation by 200%,” the business owner told us afterwards. “We generated so many ideas that it will take a year to implement them all. We’re already started on actioning just three and the results are amazing.”
By generating more and better ideas small businesses can leapfrog their competitors through innovative ways to do business. Unless idea generation is purposeful and directed towards a clear, definite end goal the results will be less than spectacular. The idea generation facilitator needs to be experienced or very familiar with business and the success factors for small business because a high level of experience is required. While business is often considered a science by the business schools, it’s more of an art that requires a high level of judgement and ingenuity to activate the levers that will produce the best results.
Businesses faced with the challenges in the marketplace today with lower demand, varying customer buying patterns and price-sensitive customers have a choice to wait and do nothing until disaster strikes or innovate their businesses to produce stronger profits and stay ahead of their competition.
* Details of the business owner and managing director of this case study can be made on request to email@example.com