Grow your ideas with business innovation

Grow your ideas with business innovation

South Africa is lagging behind when it comes to innovation, according to a recent World Bank report. But why is innovation so necessary for business? We need to empower more people to participate in the economy, and innovation is necessary to create opportunities and stimulate growth. There is also a close correlation between levels of innovation and new venture start-ups. The more a country supports new venture creation and small business the greater the rate of diffusion of innovations in that country. Innovation can also be leveraged to improve business processes to save on costs or increase the value that's being provided to clients, and innovation can also be applied to augment client user experiences or even to better manage business risks.

What’s the problem?

First of all on a human or psychological level, South African business confidence levels are at it lowest levels in over 30 years.The rate of innovation in South African businesses are being curtailed for a number of reasons. Innovation can take years to develop and comes at a tremendous cost and risk. In a depressed economy we have an environment where people are reticent because they are uncertain about the medium- to long-term prospects and this stalls the process. What follows is low investment levels, where people favour deals with established businesses with proven track records who are already earning a revenue. Then there is also a crisis in education in South Africa that’s resulting in a dearth of skills, which was evidenced in a 2016 World Economic Forum survey measuring maths and science education that placed South Africa last.

But it’s not all bad news. Our current environment is actually good for business innovation although our economy is in a bad state, there are problems in big business and government and different kinds of social pressures. All these issues create a fertile environment that encourages people to innovate so they can do things better and create opportunities. And there are also environmental issues like the drought in Cape Town being played out all over the world, driving the need to find alternative water and energy solutions.

What can be done?

You can’t innovate on your own. Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators, described how the Internet was developed from a military instrument to become the platform it is today. This couldn’t have been done without collaboration between big business and small business, government, academic institutions and social activists. [If you are a business owner, finding the right people to collaborate with is crucial].

Taking an idea to the next level

  1. If you have an innovative idea and would like to develop it, start by identifying who you want your ultimate customer to be.

  2. Then find two or three businesses or people who will typically represent that customer,  involve them in the development process and ask how they will work with you.

  3. What attracts funding is a gap in the market. [Think about how you will commercialise your product and] Come with an investment mindset from day one.

  4. Once you get your prototype built, you need to think about how you are going to manufacture and distribute it widely. The plan around how you commercialise something is important.  [If you don’t have capital yourself]

  5. You will need to find suppliers and manufacturing people and investors to come on board so you can continue the development process. They will all be asking how it will translate into a return for them and will want to see how the product will be commercialised so they know how they will get their returns.

Finding the right partner to grow your idea is crucial. Aurik Business Accelerator partners growing businesses with insights into collaboration, investment and commercialising to take your idea into the market and turn your business into an Asset of Value.



Delegate, you must: if you want to sell your business one day
Asset of Value Sales Business Exit

Delegate, you must: if you want to sell your business one day

Despite what you may think or feel, doing it on your own won’t set you on a pathway to success. You can’t build a business...

Read more

Building successful and sustainable innovative technology businesses
In the News Growing business value Asset of Value Positioning your Business

Building successful and sustainable innovative technology businesses

Aurik CEO and co-founder Pavlo Phitidis was the keynote speaker at the Innovation Bridge event in Midrand recently. With...

Read more

Think big with an Asset of Value framework
AoV Mindset Growing business value Asset of Value

Think big with an Asset of Value framework

Thinking and building big right from the start with an Asset of Value framework, enabled Atomic Oil to achieve a R60m valuation...

Read more

Business Is a Bloody Sport: Why Risk Management is Important
The Money Show Business Survival Accelerating Growth

Business Is a Bloody Sport: Why Risk Management is Important

In 2008, determined entrepreneur, Karabo Songo, established Olive Communications. I first met Karabo during the 2013 Business...

Read more

Spend more time on your business and less time in it with improved business systems
Growing business value Business Systems

Spend more time on your business and less time in it with improved business systems

We have seen a common theme emerging in our recent meetings with various entrepreneurs. As a business owner, you might be...

Read more

How effective business systems can ready your business for sale
Growing business value Growing Business Systems Business Exit Exit strategy

How effective business systems can ready your business for sale

People sell their businesses for many reasons. Fatigue from too many years in the game is one of the most common. They might...

Read more

The Asset of Value Strategy Series
AoV Mindset Pricing Growing business value Asset of Value Building your Business Finding Customers Strategy Employing people

The Asset of Value Strategy Series

Welcome to the Asset of Value Series. As part of the Nedbank Business Accelerator Campaign with 702 this year, our CEO Pavlo...

Read more

Assessing Franchise Opportunities
Business Opportunities The Money Show Growing business value Asset of Value Business Development Accelerating Growth

Assessing Franchise Opportunities

Building your business into an asset of value may include expanding through franchise opportunities. This week, on The Money...

Read more

A Business Strategy to Turn a Dreadful Year into a Success
Growing Strategy Accelerating Growth Business Strategy

A Business Strategy to Turn a Dreadful Year into a Success

This year has been tough for everyone, and there are just 12 weeks left before world of business winds up for 2017. There...

Read more

How to avoid a horror story when buying software for your business
Growing business value Asset of Value Business Development Building your Business

How to avoid a horror story when buying software for your business

Technology is both a driver and frustration for every person and business. Every business no matter what business you are...

Read more

Grow your ideas with business innovation
Growing business value Asset of Value Growing

Grow your ideas with business innovation

South Africa is lagging behind when it comes to innovation, according to a recent World Bank report. But why is innovation...

Read more

Play to your strengths – how the epic Mayweather-McGregor fight can take your business to the next level
The Money Show Growing business value Building your Business Growing

Play to your strengths – how the epic Mayweather-McGregor fight can take your business to the next level

Undefeated welterweight world champion Floyd Mayweather Jnr met mixed martial arts world champion Conor McGregor in Las Vegas...

Read more

Part 2: How to protect your growing business from big business theft
In the News The Money Show Business Development Building your Business Positioning your Business

Part 2: How to protect your growing business from big business theft

The tender trap   After the launch of the BLSA, and the commitments made by big business to entrepreneurs, it sparked...

Read more

Part 1: Big business commitments to small business with the launch of the BLSA
Business Opportunities The Money Show Building your Business Inspiration

Part 1: Big business commitments to small business with the launch of the BLSA

I attended the launch of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) – which is headed by former Shell CEO Bonang Mohale – last...

Read more

ANN7 sale should have entrepreneurs asking themselves what their business is worth
AoV Mindset The Money Show Sales Business Exit

ANN7 sale should have entrepreneurs asking themselves what their business is worth

On Monday, 21 August, we spoke to Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show on Radio 702 and Cape Talk of that day’s R450 million...

Read more

Shining a light on the business blind spot
The Money Show Family Business Succession Next Generation

Shining a light on the business blind spot

Smart and successful businessmen have faith in their vision for their companies, but they need to be aware of their limitations...

Read more

How to Turn a Struggling Business Around
Case Studies In the News Strategy Business Strategy Turnaround

How to Turn a Struggling Business Around

By Pavlo Phitidis  Turning a struggling business around isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. Currently, many businesses...

Read more

How changing the way you look at customers creates the opportunity to build a scalable business
Business Opportunities Growing business value Asset of Value Lead generation Generating Leads Accelerating Growth Customer Acquisition Business Strategy

How changing the way you look at customers creates the opportunity to build a scalable business

By Pavlo Phitidis Ultimately, the way you look at the world is the way that the world will turn out to be for you. Just...

Read more

Building or breaking your brand and company value through reputation
Case Studies AoV Mindset The Money Show Building your Business Positioning your Business Brand

Building or breaking your brand and company value through reputation

By Pavlo Phitidis Over the past few weeks, we’ve been shocked by the news, as McKinsey, SAP, KPMG, Bell Pottinger and so...

Read more

How to choose the right business partners
AoV Mindset Shareholders Acquisition Opportunities People Problems

How to choose the right business partners

By Pavlo Phitidis Spats between shareholders can signal the beginning of your business’ end, just as it seems to have been...

Read more

Insights from Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods to build our own businesses
Asset of Value Building your Business Strategy Scaling Digitisation

Insights from Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods to build our own businesses

By Pavlo Phitidis   Online digital retailer, Amazon spent $13. 7 billion to buy 401 brick-and-mortar Wholefoods grocery...

Read more

 Adapt to changing customer behaviour or die
Case Studies Business Opportunities Business Development Strategy Positioning your Business Business Survival

Adapt to changing customer behaviour or die

By Pavlo Phitidis A 159-year old icon of retail in South Africa closes shop on 01 August. Failing to evolve in a changing...

Read more

Building a positive frame of mind and action in a negative environment
AoV Mindset Building your Business Strategy Personal Development Inspiration

Building a positive frame of mind and action in a negative environment

By Pavlo Phitidis We live in unstable times, and a brief look at the news headlines is almost always disheartening. Constant...

Read more

 How not taking action at the right time can lead your business to failure
AoV Mindset Building your Business Family Business Business Survival Personal Development

How not taking action at the right time can lead your business to failure

By Pavlo Phitidis Your appetite for action, or tendency towards inaction, will save or sink your business. This week, on...

Read more