Any business mogul will tell you that the way to be a successful entrepreneur or to manage a successful enterprise is to stay ahead of emerging trends. Once a product or technology has been launched, it’s hard to be successful if you’re second (or third or fourth) in line.
Here are four ways to help you stay ahead of the curve:
#1 – Have a team or facility dedicated to innovation.
Bringing together research and development teams creates an incubator for innovation. When the whole of your company is focusing on the day-to-day operations of running a business, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to stay on top of new technologies. By having a team whose sole purpose is to be “technology” surfers, there is a much greater chance they will uncover new technologies.
#2 – Be connected to a network of startups.
Where are some of the greatest ideas being developed? New start-ups. This is not to say that working with start-ups is a way to “rip off” ideas, but by working with start-ups, the technologies they are developing can be pipelined to more established companies. This is a win-win situation, as start-ups are able to get a leg up, while established companies benefit from the new developments.
#3 – Work with partners.
We have all heard that two heads are better than one, and when working with new technology, this couldn’t be truer. In today’s interconnected world, it has become more and more difficult to remain isolated. Many companies are hesitant to bring a partner on board, fearing a loss of control and direction with a project; however, by working with another team that compliments your services, the project will be enhanced. New ideas can be brought to the table, and you can strengthen your network, which can be called on down the road.
#4 – Combine emerging technologies.
Why rely on a single technology, when a concept could be improved by adding in one or two more? Take for example a sportswear retailer who focuses on outdoor gear for camping or hiking. On their website, they’ve created their own social network where store patrons can gather, talk about their next trip and plan. They have access to special deals and store offerings. They have also integrated third-party mapping software, so they can track their adventures. When users enter information about upcoming trips, recommendations can be made by the store and also by their friends about gear, apparel and the trip in general.
If the store has a brick-and-mortar location, they can install a screen in-house, so users can pull up information and get the input of store employees and other customers. If just a single technology were implemented, the overall experience would not be the same. By merging several different technologies to create a concept that is all encompassing, the company has a better chance of accomplishing its goals.
Staying ahead of and tapping into emerging technologies is a key component for business success now and in the future. You can implement all of these suggestions on your own, or you can work with a partner who already has this strategy in place. By working with a company that has been working on this type of strategy for years, your business can immediately begin to see results.