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Ten tips to find new sources of inspiration

Companies that know how to reinvent themselves know their customers, their competitors and their industry. Ten expert tips for your SME to continue to stand out.

1-Listen to your entourage

, including your staff, recommends Jean-Daniel Brisson, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s Senior Executive Director, Strategy and Performance. “Forget the formula of suggestion boxes. Ask your employees directly for their opinions, suggestions. Especially if your staff includes several Generation X, Y and Z members. These young people, who like projects, often have good ideas for reinventing the company. And what’s more, it mobilizes them. ”

2-Be open to the world

, advises Jean-Daniel Brisson of RCGT. “Take advantage of your travels out of the province to inspire new ideas, new concepts. Also, do not hesitate to ask immigrants when you come across or hire what they liked in their country of origin in terms of products and services. Many SMEs here are born of these ideas from elsewhere. ”

3-Stimulate and multiply exchanges with your sales network

, suggests Louis Duhamel, Strategic Consulting Advisor at Deloitte Privates. “More than one in two entrepreneurs is underutilizing this valuable source of information. They forget too often that these representatives, agents and distributors are the ears and eyes of an SME in the market in which it operates. ”

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4-Enjoy strategic watch services

. “Obtaining strategic information is the nerve of war for SMEs. Reliable data can help them identify a new market niche, develop customers with higher potential, or win the trust of investors, “says Marie-José Ouellet, Vice President and General Manager of Ressources Entreprises. This corporation serves as sources of business information and references for organizations in Eastern Quebec.

5-Network more to share your needs and ambitions

, continues Jean-Daniel Brisson of RCGT. “SMEs do not network enough in Quebec. The absence of mesh impairs their growth. An example? If a contractor is alone, paying the cost of a representative outside Quebec can be expensive. But if the same representative works for two or three SMEs at once, the costs are shared. ”

6-Review your strategic plan every year

, recommends Louis Duhamel of Deloitte. “Already the duration of long-term strategic plans tends to decrease – three years is already long-, SMEs are better off to review annually their objectives, their targets, their expectations to update the market changes. ”

7-Empowering staff

or at least one member of the team to ensure feedback survey from customers, sales representatives and distributors is handled quickly by the company, says Deloitte’s Louis Duhamel. “It is a minimum of the motus operandi of any SME in order to follow the dynamics of its market and to be ready to react. ”

8-Evaluate your company regularly

in its value chain, says Jean-Daniel Brisson of RCGT. “This is how many SMEs are developing new opportunities. For example, if you are a distributor of heating and air conditioning products, you may have developed expertise to provide consulting services in your field. ”

9-Whatever the nature of your SME, take part in trade shows

, regional, national and even international shows, suggests Martine Hébert, Senior Vice President and National Spokesperson of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) . “These appointments allow us to stay abreast of new trends, new products and above all they allow you to see what your competitors are doing.”

10-Know how to surround yourself

, advises Martine Hébert of CFIB. So much the better if you have the means to work with industrial designers, creators. To benefit from the help of mentors or simply from a committee of wise men to test new ideas before launching them on the market can also be equally effective.

The writer is a freelance contributor based in London. Currently, doing graduation from Imperial College London. Have published several blogs/articles around the globe and loves to write on inspiration, motivational topics. The author can be reached at nilihusec@sandcars.net