If you’re looking to up your business innovation, discover how innovation consulting can help you.

Do you lead or manage a small business looking to scale? Concerned that growth could compromise creativity?

About two thirds of the 31.7 million small businesses in the United States won’t survive more than a decade. If you expand too soon, you run the risk of failure. The same thing goes for waiting too long.

If you’re wondering how to take your business to the next level, read on. We outline the basics of innovation consulting services and advice to find a credible workshop agency.

What Do Consultants Do?

A business innovation consultant is a professional adviser with the skills to analyze the business with external perspective and guide it towards its goals.

What are your goals? Are you looking to maximize productivity with a remote or hybrid structure? Are you realizing opportunities with potential customers? Are you maximizing relationships with current customers? 1An innovation consultant meets with you and your staff to determine effective next steps towards the business’s goals.

A fractional CTO, or chief technology officer, plays a similar role as an outside consultant. They can assess technological needs and help develop a new business plan.

A business innovation consultant can help with prototyping, developing a mission statement, or starting a new marketing campaign.

You may need to update your computer infrastructure or enhance online security. Your website may need to be optimized or completely redone. You may need to migrate client records to the cloud.

Once the CTO identifies high level technical areas of growth, they can hand over the project to the innovation consultant to further develop the growth model. A business innovation consultant can help with prototyping, developing a mission statement, or starting a new marketing campaign.

Does Your Business Need an Innovation Consultant?

If you want to stay ahead of competition, you’re wise to hire an innovation consultant. They can identify weaknesses in team processes, streamline operations, and generate ideas to advance company growth.

Business innovation consultants can update management style and structure. Operating as a small team may have worked thus far, but now hinders growth. With the help of a consultant, you can explore and test options before implementing. 

Consultants can also advise management style and work structure. Maybe you’re now operating remotely, and need to reassess team dynamics or improve remote culture. While some employees may be resistant to change, the right approach can enable them to feel excited about growth opportunities.

Innovation doesn’t have to be expensive. You just need to be open to new ways of thinking.

You may not recognize how you’re wasting resources: too many meetings, full-time instead of outsourced roles, inefficient processes. Innovation consultants provide perspective to help refocus efforts to accelerate growth.

Innovation doesn’t have to be costly,  and it doesn’t mean you have to change everything about the business. You just need to be open to new ways of thinking and working.

Changing Your Company’s Structure

Identifying what works and what should change is the first step. Business innovation consultants clean up processes with an impartial perspective.

One overlooked culprit is often meeting inefficacy. Meetings are notorious time and money-wasters. Yearly, upwards of $350 billion in the U.S. is wasted within meetings.

Business innovation consulting firms generate solutions. The solution to your meeting problem might be to meet in smaller groups, to record meetings for staff to view later, or to change how meetings are facilitated. With remote work in play, digital inclusivity is essential to successful collaboration. (Read up on virtual meeting best practices.)

Ideas are a start. Working with a business innovation consultant should put fitting ideas into practice.

In general, finding original solutions to common problems can help your company thrive. You may find that you want to outsource your human resources and accounts payable positions. Or you may need to bring a full-time IT person.

Ideas are only a start. Working with a business innovation consultant should put fitting ideas into practice. The more open-minded you can be, the better.

More Ways to Jump-Start Innovation

In addition to hiring a fractional CTO and innovation consultant, there are several more ways you can help your business grow.

A design sprint, for example, is often helpful for businesses on the verge of expansion. It’s a five-day process with an emphasis on creativity, prototyping, and user testing.

Design sprints can give you that edge back. It’s all about taking the time to try out new ideas, not perfecting them before testing. These sprints are considered low-risk and high-output.

If you’re going to try a design sprint, you can involve your consultant. They may be able to lead small groups or provide guidance for the entire company. They’re equally possible for remote or hybrid teams.

To encourage company-wide collaboration, strongly consider setting aside time for a collaborative design sprint. This could happen during a few evenings after work, or as a hybrid offsite. All your staff should feel welcome to contribute their ideas to improve your company.

Finding Reputable Innovation Consulting Firms

If you’re on the lookout for a good innovation consulting firm, talk to your colleagues. They may have a great referral, along with tips on streamlining business operations.

Assess your options, prioritizing expertise and approach. Look for a consultant with at least 10 years of experience. They should have a background in thought leadership and design, as well as a firm understanding of your industry. Engage with a few consultants before you make your final decision.

Our founder is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience . He has extensive experience in design and technology and can work with businesses of any size.

Consider Participating in Our Design Sprints

In Design Sprints with Voltage Control, our team works with yours through design-based thinking to align your team on the most effective ways to innovate. We’ll teach best practices for facilitating a design sprint based on your company’s needs, outline questions to address during the Design Sprint, then test and implement the best practices for your normal workday.

Our goal is to transform meeting and innovation culture, and we’re confident that we can do it through thoughtful Design Sprints.

Register here for one of our upcoming Design Sprints. Our website and blog offer additional background, or you can contact us by email and we’ll respond promptly.