How Not to be Scared of Creativity
Published: October 2011
What’s so scary about creativity?
Creativity need not take the form of an attention-grabbing publicity stunt or an expensive piece of advertising.
Neither should it deter from the founding values of your business. Creative thinking should embrace the aims and objectives which support your business and be used to improve your balance sheet in the years to come.
The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality
This is a logical thought process and it’s probably what’s kept your business going for a number of years, but don’t forget you need to keep one eye on external influences. For example, many businesses are feeling the pinch of the recession. Your current long-term customers may be able to afford your services at the moment but what about in 6 months? It may be worth implementing a back-up strategy so if they postpone their monthly order, reward them for staying loyal by offering them a discount; reducing your profit margin for this customer in the short-term is better than losing them altogether in the long-term.
Make sure you pay attention to the outside world and think creatively about how you can capitalise from changes to the environment.
The “worst case scenario” thinkers.
We understand you’ve spent time building up your brand image and that you don’t want to damage your reputation in one go. But unless you ‘do a Ratner’ and go on to compare your products with a “99p prawn sandwich”, your current customers will not boycott your services due to your attempt to differentiate from competitors.
Adopting a new way of attracting customers (i.e. using mobile marketing when you’ve previously used email) is a less daunting way to expand creatively; just make sure you use the same tone that you used in your emails to ensure both current and potential customers embrace your improvement.
“I don’t want to damage my reputation”
But you could be missing out on improving your reputation. If your customers see you embracing the current technology and market changes, they will respect your company for adapting, not run and hide and accuse you of disregarding your values or surrendering to industry pressure.
“My employees are settled in their ways. Creativity would be difficult to implement”
For all you know, they could have some fantastic ideas about how the business could improve, so arranging a meeting with everyone is a great opportunity to let them voice their opinions. Instead of the usual boardroom environment, level the playing field and ask everyone out to lunch or to another informal setting where even the newest recruits can express their ideas with the big bosses without feeling like their input is of a lesser importance. By allowing your employees to express their creativity they will feel more genuinely involved with the success of the business which boosts morale and work ethic.
By not embracing the strengths of your staff or ‘moving with the times’ to impress your customers, your business may suffer so don’t be afraid to differentiate and think creatively to improve your business.
Don’t be scared to arrange a chat about improving creativity within your business.