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Shoptalk Award: Best Business Idea

Posted On - 09/05/2014 13:00:48

What is the Best Business Idea Award?

Innovation is central to business - there are relentless demands for change and innovation if you are to competeInnovation is central to business. There are relentless demands for change and innovation if you are to compete.

Last year we recognised these with the ‘Most innovative/original service offering' and ‘Business innovation' Awards. But those categories needlessly split nominations. So to simplify things for 2014 there's now just one Award – ‘Best Business Idea'. 

Best Business Idea' recognises innovation in business and those who stay ahead through their ideas.

What kinds of business ideas count?

Where would you like to start? This is the broadest Award category available in the Awards. So it's likely the majority of you could enter.

It spans things like: redefining new aims and purpose for your business through introducing new products/services or adapting or changing old to entering entirely new markets.

Equally, it could be: changing internal working practices; introducing new procedures or devising and using software to improve efficiency and effectiveness; reward and recognition systems to motivate staff; or improved organisation structure to improve cross functional working.

Any idea that has led to material improvement of the business is eligible. Note, this Award excludes Marketing – see ‘Best Marketing' and PC configurator services – see ‘Best Use of PC Configurator'.

What makes a great business idea?

Weird and whacky ideas may be interesting but unless they've resulted in something concrete, they're not great entries for this AwardFrankly, it's all about business impact. So while the weird and whacky may be interesting unless they've resulted in something concrete, they're not great entries for this Award.

One of last year's winners identified and introduced a new product – ecigs – to his business and has and continues to reap significant business benefits.

The other winner identified the opportunity to radically broaden his scope of repair services. So he optimised his workshop space to service 36 units simultaneously. He now regularly fills that space and business is doing really nicely.

Best Business Idea is not just about products and services

New product and service ideas are important - every bit as important are managerial or operational ones tooUndoubtedly new product and service ideas are important. But those address customers.

Every bit as important is how your business is run. In other words anything managerial or operational also counts. Because naturally, if you improve how efficiently and effectively you work, your business will do better.

Maybe you've started daily team talks resulting in better staff motivation. Introduced an incentive scheme or profit share that's improved sales. Initiated quarterly business reviews with senior staff leading to better customer service and sales. Then there are things like working practices that result in improved productivity. Perhaps new procedures and tools so that any member of staff can pick up any job from any other any time.

These are just a few examples. There are many, many more. They are all eligible.

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