Mid-size businesses need to think like start-ups

Innovation is valued more by smaller Australian businesses than larger ones, according to Commonwealth Bank research findings released this week.

The bank’s Business and Innovation study also shows that roadblocks to innovation include a lack of time and resources, business partners who are all talk and no action, and a lack of data to help them make better business decisions.

Seventy per cent of Australian businesses surveyed say innovation is critical to the future of the Australian economy. However, seven per cent have declared that innovation is not important to the success of their business.

Commonwealth Bank Group Executive for Business and Private Banking Adam Bennett says the findings show a need for mid-size businesses to think more like start-ups when it comes to innovation.

“Innovation starts with asking questions about how to do things simpler and more efficiently,” he said. “While business owners often think of innovation as involving the use of technology, more often it involves thinking critically to better understand business challenges and opportunities.

“These findings show an interesting change in priorities from small to medium enterprises. It’s vital that, as businesses grow, they continue to think like a start-up or the small challenger that they once were. This means constantly questioning the norm and reflecting on how they can better meet the needs of their customers and even be a disruptive force in their industry.”

The survey also found that 80 per cent of businesses expected their partners, such as their bank, to provide them with innovative thinking and tools.

“This is very much an area Commonwealth Bank has been investing in, including our Daily IQ data analytics service, leading-edge Albert point-of-sale device and deep business and industry expertise and advice,” Mr Bennett said.

Seventy-four per cent of surveyed businesses with a turnover of less than $1 million cited innovation as critical to the Australian economy. This figure decreases as business size grows, falling to 65 per cent for businesses with a turnover of more than $25 million.

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