What image comes to mind when you hear the term R&D? People in white coats?
Dr Scott King shares his knowledge on a range of subjects as we navigate doing business in 2021
What image comes to your mind when you hear the term R&D? People in white coats, people in labs frantically working on top secret potions and lotions in test tubes or technological advances to benefit only those in the world’s top global companies?
What if I said to you that R&D could be as simple as developing new and innovative ways to enable you to automatically process data in your business or introducing an app to enable your customers to engage with and purchase with you more easily or creating a new product for you to sell.
It’s a term that some business owners shy away from as they simply don’t fully understand it, they think it’s too strategic or that it’s only relatable to manufacturing or technology but, in truth, we all benefit from aspects of research and development in our businesses every day.
I must admit that I’ve been there, excited by a technical challenge, in a lab, in a white coat but I’ve also had the privilege of working with and leading a large variety of organisations covering different industrial sectors across divergent business scales.
Each one with a different view of R&D.
Could R&D be the key to the future of your business?
Research and development is a mechanism for enabling business growth and can be an integral part of your business, making a valuable contribution to your success.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you want to stay ahead of your competitors?
Have you an idea for a new product or service?
Have you an interest in accessing a new business sector?
Do you want to develop new methods of making inroads to new customers?
Would reducing your production costs be helpful?
Is there a health and safety issue in a production process that you’d like to find a solution to?
Are you willing to support your business growth by trying something new?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then I believe you should be investing in R&D to help your business grow. Now I’m not suggesting you spend your life savings on it or invest millions. Some of the best R&D projects I’ve been involved with have cost next to nothing.
There is no need to rush into an R&D project. You should set clear goals and the reasoning as to why you are embarking on it. What you want it to achieve and most importantly, how you expect it will enable your business to grow. Remember too that you don’t have to shoulder all the costs – there are great support opportunities and grants available and even the potential to collaborate with another organisation to share the costs, risks, resources and knowledge, as well as the success!
So, what are you waiting for? Get your pen, paper and start capturing your development ideas today.
Dr Scott King is co-founder of Pinnacle Growth Group, a business advisory firm based in Lisburn. Scott is experienced in advising organisations in logistics, aerospace and aviation, tourism and agri to food and drink, construction, renewables and defence. If you don’t have an R&D plan or you’re not sure how to fund an R&D project, Scott can provide you with more information on how R&D can help add value and enable business growth, email Scott at: [email protected]
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