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The five ways to getting your creativity flowing and staying ahead of the pack

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Brand comes as fast as they go. Or, so it seems. Customers have a myriad of choices and, the brand they choose one day, may be ignored the next.

So, to stay in the game, it is absolutely essential that your business stays ahead of the curve.

Staying ahead of your peers requires a company to be creativity and innovative. All the time.

The real secret is this: there are a few simple ways that you can ensure your business is creative.

1. Know your customers: who are they and what do they want?

It sounds so simple yet, it is so often overlooked in the daily running of a business. Customers are your prize. Don’t take your eyes off them!

Identify your target audience, discover their desires and needs and, endeavour to adapt your offerings to suit. Remember that some of the most obscure business offerings are the most successful, if they tap into a real customer desire.

Make an effort to seek feedback from your customers. While you may not always like the response, it really is the best way to find out if something is working. Who knows, in tweaking your offering, you just might discover the next big thing!

2. Recruit people who live and breathe your brand

Understanding your customers is the first thing but, you need to ensure your team understands them as well. Your team is your best asset, as they are the ones directly handling your customers. Invest in them and encourage them to understand your business.

Give them room to be creative and welcome their new ideas. Creating an environment where team members feel comfortable enough to think and express ideas, will see your business become the real winner.

3. Make yourself very adaptable

No industry is immune to change. Not a single one. Always be prepared to adapt your business strategy to suit the current climate. A business that is unable to adapt to consumer needs is headed for doom.

However, if you can adapt with innovative methods, your brand is likely to not only retain existing customers, but also has the potential to widen its audience and reach new ones.

4. Talk innovation and, walk your talk

As a leader in the business, you need to lead by example. Implement a strategy that encourages creativity then, allow your team will follow in your footsteps.

Motivate the team by recognising the members that go above and beyond in innovativeness. It’s no secret that everyone enjoys being told they are doing a fantastic job!

5. Make it your own!

Put your own spin on the ‘traditional’. Never follow the norm and don’t be afraid to take a chance. Keep in mind that being innovative isn’t about re-inventing the wheel!

Small quirky changes can make a big difference. People love fresh creative ideas, new developments and additional offerings.

Remember, every business was borne from an idea. Reconnecting to the thinking and spirit behind starting the business, is a way to bring creativity back to the forefront.

Karen Westwood is an Independent Consultant with her own The Body Shop At Home business.

(Image ©Royalty-Free/Corbis)

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