Businesses, no matter the shape and size, thrive from identifying new innovations to resolve pain points. But this doesn’t mean funding will be handed to anyone with an idea. Without an intrapreneurial mind and skill set, you will struggle to convince your company’s main powerhouses (board members, shareholders, directors) to support and sign-off on the funding required to put your innovation in place.
Realistically, coming up with a great opportunity is the easy part. Thereafter, using an intrapreneurial ethos will help take your idea, develop a full strategy and successfully pitch and launch your innovations, completely overcoming this roadblock.
Have you identified a great and innovative opportunity for your business, but are unsure of how to develop it further?
Below are four important milestones needed to get your idea up and running.
1. Don’t Just Identify Your Intrapreneurial Opportunity, Demonstrate It
Intrapreneurial opportunities in the business world arise in many places. Whether you’re exploring new marketing avenues, streamlining internal operations or overcoming pain points, they all have a common goal – to maximize profit and revenue.
However, in our experience, most fail to actually demonstrate their opportunity from a business angle. We’re not saying you can’t become emotionally invested in your opportunity as well, but you need to demonstrate how it’ll benefit the business – short, medium and long term.
This is where research comes in.
Start gathering feedback from whoever would benefit from your opportunity, e.g. customers or employees, and of course the stakeholders themselves. Going into your pitch with first-hand research will show you’ve considered the strategic needs of the business. You could do this in many ways:
- Reviewing live chats
- Short interviews/surveys
- Analyzing in-house or customer support emails
Taking an intrapreneurial approach, you may be surprised at the challenges your innovation could overcome.
2. Spot ROI Opportunities Instead of Focusing on Cost
It’s pitch-critical you identify the ROI (return on investment) opportunities that your innovation will bring to the business. Remember, if you’ve thoroughly researched your innovation and have evidence of its potential rewards, cost is simply a cash flow matter.
Aside from revenue, these ROI opportunities could include:
Automation = Reduced Costs | If your innovation involves implementing a mobile app to eliminate manual and repetitive employee tasks, you could calculate how this time saving has improved productivity, as they’ll be able to focus on what they’re employed to do.
Employee Retention | 75% of workers have more loyalty to companies who offer flexibility. If you have high staff turnover, you could promote homeworking and calculate ROI through better retention and engagement rates.
3. Have a Roadmap, But Understand What It’s Actually For
This is a high-level plan that outlines the strategic direction behind your innovation. It also communicates the “who”, “how” and “when”, ensuring your project goals align with business’ wider objectives. However, a common problem faced with roadmaps is believing they have to be 100% set in stone.
It doesn’t document all of the requirement to complete your initiative (e.g. deadlines for completing each element of the project, assigning who is responsible for each task, etc). It should tell a cohesive story, demonstrating how the individual themes and features will come together. But it should also accommodate for change. This is perfect if you’re launching an MVP (minimum viable product) first. It’ll keep the scope and complexities to a minimum and only prioritize what you need to get the job done and build a case for further change.
4. And Finally, Delivering Your Intrapreneurial Pitch
Your hard work all comes down to this. If you’ve included all the above, you’ll definitely be showcasing your innovation with an intrapreneurial mind and skillset. So, implementing these last few tips should be all the convincing your company’s stakeholders will need.
Nail Your Elevator Pitch | This summarises the benefits of your innovation and how you’ll implement it in approximately 30 seconds. It’ll reassure your audience that you’re not a timewaster and keep them engaged for the rest of the pitch.
Be Visual | It’s highly likely your innovation will be a new concept to your audience, so they might find it difficult to understand. Having a demo, prototype or some simple visuals will bring your innovation to life.
Tell an Engaging Story | Brands who feature storytelling in their marketing strategies outperform their competitors by 64% – the same technique applies to your pitch. Refer to your visuals and take your audience on a journey that shows how your innovation will ultimately achieve the business’ objectives.
Refer to Your Roadmap | This will showcase your project’s short, medium and long-term rewards. Don’t concentrate on the logistics here, but how it’ll benefit the overall business strategy.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at LearningToLeap.
About the Author: David Shindler helps you to be clearer, more confident, and purposeful so you take the right job and career actions for you. Career Coach, Blogger, Books on developing your employability, internships, and critical attitudes for success.