Research and development (R&D) is a valuable tool for growing and improving your business. R&D involves researching your market and your customer needs and developing new and improved products and services to fit these needs. Businesses that have an R&D strategy have a greater chance of success than businesses that don’t. An R&D strategy can lead to innovation and increased productivity and can boost your business’s competitive advantage.
Developing an R&D strategy
Your R&D strategy depends on the size of your business. In small businesses, R&D tends to focus more on product improvement because of budget and cost limitations. Larger businesses may be able to dedicate more time and resources to R&D to introduce new products as well as improve existing ones. The benefits of R&D are often long-term, so it’s important to remember that your investment in it may not result in short-term profits. As well as product development and improvement, R&D can help you develop more efficient processes and new ways of delivering services.
Spending more time and money on R&D does not guarantee it will be successful. The key to successful R&D is extensive market research to identify the needs and desires of your customers. You will need to revisit this research regularly as customer preferences frequently change.
Innovation in your business
R&D can lead to innovations in your business. These may be in terms of new products and services, improved processes and new ways to interact with your customers.
Support for R&D
Once new and improved products have been developed through R&D, businesses often seek to commercialise them so they can be sold on the market. In Queensland, there are a number of support services available to help businesses and researchers commercialise their products, including:
- the Entrepreneurs’ program supports businesses who are interested in R&D with a range of programs designed to stimulate innovation
- M4G – provides advice, solutions and tools to assist business, research organisations and governments state-wide to develop their commercialisation skills
- If you’re thinking of starting a business, find out how to evaluate your idea, research your market, and develop and protect your idea to improve your chances of success.