Learn how to innovative in business

WHAT is innovation, what does it mean for your business and can anyone become an innovator?

These topics were discussed and local innovators highlighted their success at the recent ETC Business Club breakfast, part of The Mid North Coast Innovation Festival.

Compere Gary Haseldine - local Coffs Harbour speaker, trainer and clinical psychotherapist - stated that anyone can be an innovator by developing behaviours conducive to being innovative.

“It's applying knowledge in a novel way, doing something new with existing technologies. Innovation isn't necessarily invention, rather it is making an invention valuable,” Gary said.

This month, the Mid North Coast Innovation Festival has been turning the spotlight on some innovative businesses, inspiring and encouraging other operators to be innovative.

The festival has featured local business identities like Rick Phipps of SEAS (Submersible Equipment and Services).

Speaking at the ETC Business Club breakfast, Rick said the innovative ideas we applied were to adapt our system to meet a client's challenging requirements and by doing so, creating a far more versatile sampling platform.

“I believe our success comes from our ability to listen to our clients and be flexible. We deliver an amazingly innovative and unique product, though at the end of the day we never stop listening to our customers and offer a quality product,” Rick said.

Susan Harwood from Mid North Coast Organics Inc and Organic Marketing Company said early on she and her colleagues recognised the benefits of working collaboratively and instead of trying to market single or small product types on their own.

“We now have a marketing manager who represents 40 different farmers and we supply produce locally and domestically and have visions of extending our scope to international markets in the near future,” Susan said.

Local businessman Paul Hoffman of Express Coach Builders had a dream to build one bus. Paul's business now employees more than 90 people, operates out of two manufacturing factories and has an impressive list of international clients, including Volvo and Mercedes Benz.

Paul has been the prime driving force behind the company's consistent growth and pursuit of excellence, and is living proof that transport vehicles can still be made in Australia.

“I never considered myself an innovator. I was a man with a plan and I never dreamt that my idea to build one bus would turn into such a success,” Paul said.

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