Google, Tesla, Apple … These are all companies that we associate with innovation and technological advancement. Of course, we know that the developments that they make in the world of business come down to tons of research and development (R&D). With all the resources at their disposal, they have the groundwork to make innovation a breeze.
Since many small business owners are focused on their day-to-day survival in a competitive marketplace, many do not believe that R&D is possible for them, or, that even if they were to invest in research, the advances that they make would not be significant enough to achieve any real results.
This could not be further from the truth. Business owners will do well to remember that in competitive spaces, individuation is the only way to set them apart. If they are able to invest in processes, products or services that accomplish the same tasks as their competitors in a faster, more efficient way, an increased market share is sure to follow.
With effective R&D, businesses may even develop new processes, products, or services that open up a world of clients that their competitors have no access to.
Five reasons why you should invest in R&D as a business owner
Taking the time to develop a strategy for innovation can be difficult. How then can you, as a small or medium-sized business, approach R&D in a way that doesn’t waste time or money, but puts you in the driving seat of your future growth with a high return on investment (ROI)? Essentially, R&D for small and medium-sized businesses can be broken down into two paths: learning-about, and learning-by-doing.
Learning-about is about taking time to read, research and discover new ways of doing things and finding gaps that need to be filled (gaps that others have either not noticed yet, or have failed to address adequately). Learning-by-doing is all about experimentation. For instance, by attempting new approaches to your processes or services, or integrating new materials into your product to make it more efficient or environmentally conscious, you are learning-by-doing.
However, developing a strategy for knowing at which point to abandon certain avenues of research will be vital in keeping your costs and time-expenditure at a minimum. With a good strategy and focused financial advice in place, businesses of any size can reap the rewards of R&D. At the end of the day, R&D rests on progress and innovation. And so, business owners must also be willing to take on the risk of R&D to reap the rewards it holds. They must also understand that failing to invest in R&D might be the greater risk.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)