Consistent evidence published by the Longitudinal Small Business Survey (LSBS) and backed up by the UK’s Innovative Survey 2017, presents a consistent trend of SMEs not spending on innovative technologies, products, or services. LSBS’s research shows a decline from 53% between 2012-2014 to 49% between 2014-2016 of ‘innovative active’ small and medium sized enterprises. Research over the same period shows a decline in new marketing methods (12% to 4%), computer software (27% to 19%), and launch advertising (8%-3%).
The Innovation Survey 2017 also noted that levels of innovation differed between small and medium sized enterprises and large firms who were more likely to innovate.
The levels of innovation also varies from region to region, with England and most significantly London having the highest percentages of innovation at 51% and Northern Ireland having the lowest level at 40%.
Innovation is such an important and often times overlooked prospect for small and medium sized enterprises. Through innovating, companies can find a way of offering more in the marketplace, providing a better way of meeting customer’s demands and ultimately increasing their profits. A UK survey by the Chartered Institute of Personal Development shows how important innovation and creativity are for employees, employees have been proven to be more productive when they can engage in creative thinking and are allowed space to implement their ideas.
By providing a space to innovate within a firm, the possibilities are as endless as the potential rewards. While larger firms may have the resources more readily available to innovate than small and medium sized enterprises, allowing employees the opportunity to get creative, as well as setting aside a figure in a budget to innovate can be a beneficial first step towards a growing enterprise.