Photo: Courtesy of Michael Feuer
Today’s advice comes from Max-Wellness founder and CEO Michael Feuer in his column for Smart Business.“Research and development is not just for tech companies or manufacturers but also for companies that plan to be around tomorrow. Even small businesses, as basic as a cleaning service, have to be on the lookout for anything that can do it better.”
Feuer started Max-Wellness, a retailer of health and wellness products, after 16 years as CEO of OfficeMax, which he founded in 1998 and grew to a international company worth $5 billion in annual sales before selling it in 2003.
He says businesses need to get past the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” way of thinking and challenge themselves to constantly look for ways to improve what they’re offering. It’s the only way to maintain loyal customers who are always looking for the next best thing.
One way CEOs can do this is by inspiring a culture of innovation where employees ask questions and look for answers. It’s never enough to settle on the original version of your product, or other companies will find a way to make it better and cheaper and your customers won’t stick around.
“It all gets down to changing or being a casualty of change. When you improve your business, you can continue to dazzle your customers and hopefully keep them, which will make your business grow, allow sales and profits to increase and create more jobs. This is the heart of capitalism.
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