In the final segment of our 2023 State of Local report, we delve into the realms of innovation and adaptation. As highlighted in our previous breakout, local businesses are grappling with concerns about the future, necessitating strategic adjustments and innovative practices.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, local businesses find themselves amidst an accelerated whirlwind of change, compressing timelines for shifts such as wage hikes, price adjustments, supply chain intricacies, and labor scarcities – phenomena that traditionally evolve over extended periods or remain disjointed. This convergence has spurred a wave of adaptive ingenuity across businesses.
Foremost among these adaptations, an impressive 29% of businesses have embarked on price increases, while a close 28% have initiated strategic price reductions.
In response to prevailing challenges, respondents have implemented efficiency strategies to optimize resources, achieve cost savings, enhance customer satisfaction, gain a competitive advantage, facilitate scalability, and optimize time management. Most notably, 46% of businesses have undertaken process redevelopment, illustrating a proactive optimization approach.
While adaptation undoubtedly holds importance as a necessary business function, it is innovation that serves as the true linchpin for sustainability. Embracing an innovative mindset enables businesses to adeptly navigate shifting markets, cultivate forward-thinking teams, and effectively tackle intricate challenges. In an environment characterized by intensifying competition and formidable challenges, businesses must adopt a proactive stance toward change.
If your business is in search of a little inspiration or you want to see how innovation can be put into practice – join us at our first-ever InnovateLocal on September 28!
Currently, local businesses value employee involvement in strategic direction, with 68% placing emphasis on employee input as a top source of innovation. Similarly, nurturing professional growth opportunities stands vital for 49%, underscoring a commitment to fostering employee development. Research and development, coupled with specialized training, both stand at 36%, indicating a multifaceted approach to enhancing skill sets.
Regarding inspiration, we inquired about the sources driving businesses forward. An overwhelming 58% draw inspiration from social media platforms, closely trailed by industry-specific entities at 53%. The following sources of inspiration:
- 36% from networking groups
- 40% through online forums or blogs
- 27% via local publications
- 36% leveraging national publications
- 29% participating in local events
- 24% engaging with regional or national events
As we close out our State of Local breakdowns, we hope this comprehensive look at local business serves as a strong benchmarking tool and motivator for your own organization. For the full report, click here.