More and more, we are seeing Australian small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) adopt an innovative mindset to compete, grow and drive greater efficiency.
Innovation is at the centre of both the conversations we’re having with our clients, and also the conversations we’re having internally about our own operations.
When it comes to this topic of innovation, the majority (>70%) of the businesses we recently surveyed in the Commonwealth Bank Business and Innovation Study  are saying innovation is critical to the future of the economy.
Further, we found that smaller businesses value innovation the most: almost three quarters (74%) of businesses with a turnover of less than $1m cited innovation as critical to the Australian economy. This figure decreases as business size grows, with only 65% of businesses with a turnover more than $25m holding this belief.
All businesses, regardless of size or nature, encounter a variety of different challenges when it comes to innovation. From our survey, we identified three key areas contributing to innovation challenges: lack of resources, a need for reliable partners and difficulty accessing useful data.
Looking at this, it’s clear to us that greater focus needs to be placed on providing Australian businesses with the right partners and support systems. With the right partners in place, businesses will have the confidence to think more like a start-up, adopting innovation as a way to help identify the right problems to solve, establish the right priorities and implement creative ideas that deliver value.
The value of partners
In our study, Australian business owners have highlighted the importance they place on joining the right partners and advisers to help drive their businesses forward. Around 80% of businesses said it is important for their business partners such as a bank to provide them with innovative thinking and tools, as well as ask the right questions to help define their business problems. We view asking questions as central to innovation because it allows us to assess the bigger picture and focus on the right opportunity before jumping in to provide a service or solution.
With insights and data at our fingertips, we are also well-placed to assist the one in four mid-size businesses who say they don’t have the data needed to make strategic business decisions.
Our work with FlowersCorp, the parent company behind Roses Only, demonstrates the importance of asking questions and using data analytics to identify opportunities to deliver better customer and business outcomes.
We approached the team at Roses Only with insights from our digital team that showed spikes in CommBank app logins during free-to-air television ad breaks. But what did this mean? By itself it wasn’t particularly valuable but we looked further and compared the observation with Roses Only’s website traffic data. We found the website did not allow customers to complete a purchase in the space of the ad breaks. As a result, FlowersCorp took action to decrease their transaction time by over 40%. From an average of five minutes per transaction to three minutes, they were able to fit an order for flowers within an average ad break. This delivered a better experience for their customers, and more business.
I truly believe that businesses in Australia are instinctively innovative, and possess a will to solve problems and create value. Like any institution, there are times when a support network is needed. We believe we can be that support for your business.
We have the technology, insights and expertise to keep your business moving. Speak to a Business Banking Specialist today.