I joined RTC North in 2018 to work on the Innovate 2 Succeed programme. Having spent 13 years working in the arena of international trade support and nine years before that in international sales in the private sector, it was a fantastic opportunity to do something different. Indeed, that is what innovation is all about: doing something different.
Many companies get stuck in the rut of ‘doing what they’ve always done’; bogged down in the day to day challenges of doing business. Often this leaves no time to sit back, review the larger objective and make proper plans. Innovative management is a way to do this, a way to make strategic decisions for the long, medium and short term.
When I ask many companies if they have a business plan? They usually all reply ‘yes, we put one together when we started out’. In most cases though things have moved on since then. ‘Why’, I challenge them, ‘does a business plan not evolve with the company?’ The fact is that it absolutely should. It needs to be exactly that - a plan for the business.
Planning is the key to a successful business. Entrepreneurship is all well and good but if there is no future direction the business will stagnate.
Being Innovative doesn’t have to be hard, it just means making a few changes: whether to the way things are done or more drastically to ‘what is done’. (Just because things have been done in a particular way historically, it doesn’t mean that they should continue)!
This is never more the case in choosing countries in which to do business.
Despite the move to more ‘Innovation Management’ work the pull of the international has again exerted an influence over my career, and my role has evolved in 2019 to include Internationalisation. As an Internationalisation Specialist part of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), I am able to combine both Innovation and Internationalisation. Doing something different, somewhere different.
Innovation through Internationalisation requires a little more planning, but the rewards are far more fulfilling on both a business and a personal level: From the business point of view, there are opportunities to grow in new markets, prolong a product lifecycle or even develop collaborations. From the personal side, it brings on board fresh perspectives leading to a renewed enthusiasm. You never know it might even be fun!
EEN and Innovate UK see the huge benefits to business in incorporating International activity as part of business Innovation and have developed their programmes to merge the two areas, so if you are interested in developing your Innovation through Internationalisation. Get in touch and get on board. See your business through 2 ‘I’ s.
If you’d like to understand more about the vast array of opportunities available to North East SMEs through Enterprise Europe Network, give John and the team a call on 0191 516 4400.
Alternatively, find out more here http://www.rtcnorth.co.uk/programmes/enterprise-europe-network
Apr 09, 2019
Enterprise Europe Network
Getting a foothold in new markets can be a challenge. Enterprise Europe Network can help. Your local gateway to the European marketplace, it is Europe's largest network for small companies with a presence in 53 countries. Funded by the European Commission and Innovate UK advisors work with businesses, universities and research bodies to help them make the most of opportunities overseas.
Enterprise Europe Network helps organisations interested in;