How to drive growth by joining the dots

 
Dave Challis
Look out for opportunities to connect with big corporates

Global Entrepreneurship Week is in full swing, celebrating startups from around the world that bring ideas to life.

For those looking to take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey, they could look for opportunities to evolve existing products and expand into new markets.

Some of our best-known products, from Coca Cola to Velcro and Bubble Wrap, started life with completely different uses. Their original functions were pivoted into the consumer brands we know and love today.

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The key to changing the nature of a product is recognising attributes that can be transferred from one use, with one specific audience, to another.

Today, British entrepreneurs and SMEs recognise this approach and are optimistic that they can do the same.

New research from Enterprise Nation, commissioned by RB, found that 77 per cent want to drive growth by repurposing their existing products, with 78 per cent planning to scale and grow domestically and internationally over the next two years.

Driving innovation is important for all companies. However, juggling the excitement of a new discovery alongside the day-to-day of running a business can be a challenge.

Transforming an idea into a real-life product takes more than just passion. To take an idea from a concept into a fully-fledged business proposition generally requires help from those with market expertise and consumer insight. But getting in front of the right people can be tricky for entrepreneurs.

In fact, while 66 per cent would consider partnering with a multinational organisation to scale their business or take it in a new direction, they haven’t yet. The vast majority do not even know where to start when it comes to seeking these prized potential partners.

UK entrepreneurs and SMEs are missing out on opportunities to draw on the expertise of large corporations that could help them leverage existing product innovations and, ultimately, boost their bottom line.

How can they join the dots? Rather than blanket-pitching numerous companies, they should identify only a handful to target and investigate what both would bring to the table in the partnership.

Next, look out for opportunities to connect with big corporates, whether that’s at conferences and networking events, through online portals, or on LinkedIn. Critically, have an elevator pitch ready to grab their attention.

Once a connection has been made, focus on making an impact straight away. The best pitches are those where business owners tell a story of why their product matters, and really engage prospective partners.

In as little as 12 months, an agile partnership can deliver a new product to market. So, what are you waiting for?

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