Sparking Inspiration: Looking Abroad for Ways to Enhance Your Business
Where do you look for inspiration when it comes to improving your enterprise business?
If you're like many business leaders, probably no further than our nation's borders. After all, there's no shortage of U.S.-based companies raising the bar with innovative solutions in engineering, production, research, and a host of other areas.
But as these examples show, there's good reason to look a little further. Here are several companies in other parts of the world with inspiring solutions worth noting.
Sweden: Cake | Ebike Solution That's Driving Change
Ebikes aren't new, but this Stockholm-based producer is raising the innovation bar with a model that can be recharged by car while transporting it from one location to another. Simply plug it into a compatible electric vehicle, and it's charged and ready to ride by the time you arrive at your destination.
The vehicle is ideal for last-mile jaunts into urban areas where congestion makes cars impractical, or anywhere the traditional road ends and the bike path begins.
Takeaway: Look at your products in ways others haven't. Consider ways to extend their usefulness and reach. In this case, the rechargeable-by-car solution takes ebike sustainability and Cake's profit margins to new levels.
Singapore: Nextbillion.AI | Logistics Pinpointed
The phrase 'go the extra mile' is far from a cliché when it's the last mile and Nextbillion.ai is in charge. This relatively new startup uses artificial intelligence to help freight companies make deliveries with precision and accuracy when it counts the most.
Deliveries and ETAs are routinely compromised or delayed within the last mile of their journey. Packages get dropped at the wrong locations and traffic congestion leads to costly delays. This level of guidance helps minimize errors and reassure couriers that they're on the right track.
Takeaway: Sometimes, your product or service doesn't have to solve the entire problem. Focusing on a subset of it, or 'thinking small,' in this case the last mile of delivery, can result in considerable benefits to your business.
India: Policybazaar | An Unexpected Upside
Managing risk comes with the territory when you're an insurance aggregator like Policybazaar. But doing so with a pandemic as a backdrop is uncharted ground. Nonetheless, this innovative company found ways to provide the reassuring option of a safety net for those who'd been laid off or lost jobs due to COVID-19.
Job loss insurance isn't new, but providing short-term assistance on a scale this grand is a novel approach to providing peace of mind on several levels.
Takeaway: Your enterprise business is constantly managing risk. But there will be occasions when unforeseen events test your ability to solve unexpected disruptions. Seeing them as opportunities separates those who thrive from those who fail.
Australia: Cashflow Manager | Failure Breeds Success
It takes an exceptional company to embrace failure the way Cashflow Manager has. Founded on a desire to prevent small businesses from failing, this accounting software business has helped countless numbers of startups and concerns defy the harrowing statistics and overcome lethal hurdles that commonly doom them.
According to this piece on hellostepchange.com, the company founder "saw that small businesses that should have thrived fail time and time again…because business owners either didn't understand or have the time for keeping accurate records of their accounts."
In today's competitive business world, it's hard to imagine a business model that would give failure the time of day, let alone make it the cornerstone of its business model. But Cashflow Manager has leveraged it into a 30+ year track record of success.
Takeaway: At the risk of sounding redundant, one company's version of failure is another one's success. Look closely at the companies that don't succeed in filling a need that can help raise the bar of success for everyone.
Bringing the Global Business World into Focus
Finding inspiration from global businesses such as these is easier when you know where to look. Thankfully, you don't have to venture far from your laptop. Here are several resources you can turn to for innovative business stories:
Have fun exploring!