The research focuses on the key factors that drive, enable and amplify small business innovation. The report is part of the ongoing Intuit Future of Small Business research series and the first of several research briefs on small business innovation.
A key finding of the research is that small businesses have six inherent attributes that make them natural innovators. These are:
- Personal passion: Personally invested, most small business owners are willing to try new approaches to make their business more successful.
- Customer connection: A deep and direct relationship with the market and customers helps small businesses understand customer needs, identify new opportunities, and fix problems quickly and efficiently.
- Agility and adaptation: Unlike large corporations, small businesses can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and implement new business practices.
- Experimentation and improvisation: When pursuing new opportunities, many small business owners and managers aren’t afraid to experiment and improvise, accepting failure as part of the path to success.
- Resource limitations: Small businesses are adept at doing more with less. And these resource constraints lend to their innovative mindset.
- Information sharing and collaboration: Small businesses traditionally rely on strong social networks to share information and inspire innovative thinking. Online social networks extend and amplify this practice.
These attributes provide small businesses with the ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions and identify and exploit new opportunities.
The research also shows that small business innovation is not limited to tech or high growth firms, but used broadly by small businesses of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy.
Interestingly enough, one of the research findings is that small business owners and managers do not consider themselves or their business innovative. Most feel that innovation is something that only large corporations or venture backed companies do.
But despite not describing or seeing themselves this way, most small businesses are natural and continuous innovators who strive to improve their businesses and provide increased value to their customers.
The entire report and related materials are available at www.intuit.com/futureofsmallbusiness.