09 Jan How to Innovate If You’re a Service Business Posted at 21:42h in Services Marketing, Strategy 101 by Danielle Spinks-Earl Share Australia has an innovation problem. We are ranked 17th in the world on the Global Innovation Index. A recent CPA survey of 3,000 small businesses across Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, China and New Zealand found that 93% of Asian small businesses used social media. In Australia, only half do. Forty per cent of Australian businesses provide online sales. Across Asia, it is 83%. Only 5% of Australian businesses plan to release a new product, process or service that’s new in the market in the next year. In Indonesia, it is nearly half of all businesses. Where’s the Innovation Fund Money Going? The billion dollars is going into many areas, such as cybersecurity, and tax exemptions for both ‘angel investors’ and Mum and Dad investors in STEM startups (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Bankruptcy laws will be relaxed to reduce the default period from three years down to one. This way startups can fail fast, learn, get moving again. I wish I were at school again because there’s money for students in years 5 and 7 will study coding, computer languages and machine thinking. Eighty per cent of Australia’s GDP comes from services. How do you innovate if you’re a service? Here are three ideas. 1. How can you Add Convenience? Selling something on eBay? It’s always a bugbear working out size, height, depth, weight. Or you can just say ‘Pick-up Only’ and miss a lot of the best customers. The rise of eBay saw Pack n Send services. They make it convenient to buy and sell online. How can you add convenience to your customer? 2. What Service Extensions can you Provide? There’s a mechanical workshop in Mittagong NSW that not only performs thorough, reasonably-priced car servicing, they wash, vacuum the car afterwards. Big deal, you may say, but plenty of their customers come to get a service when they just want their car washed! If you’re an Internet ISP, why not offer free domain name with each hosting plan. Domains cost only a few dollars and it’s a loss-leader that could be a real point of difference, especially for a novice market. 3. Productise your Service Can you write an instruction book based on your experience? Load it on your website as a free download, or sell it, to show your authority. Create instruction videos for clients. Show off the website instructions. Demonstrate the stretching techniques so your personal training clients don’t forget. There are lots of ways you can innovate when you’re a service. Many companion services and partnerships you can formulate to add value (and price) to your services. Danielle Spinks-Earl BA Comm. M Mktg. Freelance writer, designer, marketing communications manager.