Use innovation to start or grow your business

Advantages of innovation


Innovation can deliver significant benefits. It is one of the critical skills for achieving success in any business. It can help you solve problems, generate profit, increase your market share and edge out competitors.

Advantages of innovation in business

Some of the key practical benefits of innovation are:

  • improved productivity
  • reduced costs
  • increased competitiveness
  • improved brand recognition and value
  • new partnerships and relationships
  • increased turnover and improved profitability

Innovation enables problem-solving and provides creative insight that allows you to look at things from a different perspective, regardless of whether you are developing a new product, refreshing strategy or finding an original way to stay ahead of the competition.

How you approach innovation will depend on your business. Typically, it can be an enhancement to your existing product or service, an expansion to your business or a complete change of direction - see common approaches to innovation.

Risks of not innovating

Doing something new, untested or unproven may seem risky. However, the biggest risk of all for a modern business may in fact be not innovating.

Reluctance or inability to improve your products or services may leave your business unable to compete, diversify or simply operate. Businesses that fail to innovate run the risk of:

  • losing market share to competitors
  • falling productivity and efficiency
  • losing key staff
  • reduced margins and profit
  • going out of business

Innovation can be precarious but the potential benefits can be vital to the continuing success of your business. Read more on the risks and rewards of innovation.

Businesses in Northern Ireland can apply to the Innovation Accreditation Programme to receive help with, and recognition for, innovating. Simply complete the Innovate NI's online self-assessment questionnaire to join.