Top tips for small business success

Every day across the British business landscape new companies are starting up and fresh ideas are being generated. 2011 has seen a plethora of bolder and better business ideas. These gems can be new products and service ideas or equally new ways to improve existing offerings. The most important thing for any entrepreneur or start up is how do you take an innovative idea and turn it into a success, delivering bottom line growth.

If the UK is to regain its role as a world leader of innovation, British companies must be at the forefront of research and development. Innovation is key for Orange and this is why it has teamed up with some of the UK’s most exciting business innovators and leaders to create a new guide for business. It will help you master the art of innovation, featuring the likes of LinkedIn and The British Library through to small nimble firms like Naked Wines, all contributing their secret tip to this guide.

Professor Dominic Swords from Henley Business School, who contributed to the guide, said: “Innovation does not just sit at the top. To innovate successfully the whole business, from product development, to sales and marketing, must be fully engaged and energised behind that goal. Companies that are always improving and investing stand a much better chance of offering their markets what they want.”

These tips include:

A full bodied business model can never disappoint. For startups to succeed against established companies, it’s vital to offer customers and suppliers something better than the status quo – the basis for which needs a sound business model. Rowan Gormley, CEO, Naked Wines
Quickly find out if your idea is unique or not. You’ve come up with a brilliant idea, which could make you millions. Before you spend a lot of time and money on developing your ground-breaking new product, it is vital to find out whether it is unique and innovative and can be protected. Steve van Dulken, information expert, British Library Business & IP Centre
Let your customers drive your innovation Innovation is central to all business growth. Always try and build new ideas around your customers and any problems they have. Anthony Keyworth, B2B Strategy, planning & products director, Everything Everywhere
Put time aside for creativity Dedicate two hours every Friday afternoon to free thinking. Everyone downs tools on their normal work and takes time to think about new ideas or concepts. They can then spend this time to develop them. Jim Shaikh, founder and CEO, yoomi
For more information please watch this video and to download the free guide, visit: