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Reduce Risk

Exploring new ideas and creating new products is a lot of fun…as long as no one is worried about going broke because of it. One of the many challenges companies face is when to venture into new territory and when to play it safe at the risk of becoming obsolete. A company may have some new ideas that could set them apart from their competition or give them a competitive edge, but will those ideas pay off? Are those ideas too costly to explore? We know that leaders are often innovators and progress isn’t made by sitting idly by, but for small and medium sized businesses it can be a scary challenge to try to lead the pack.

 

If you’re a Canadian manufacturer then there is good news for you.

 

Here in Canada there are a number of different programs provided by the government to help minimize risk that companies take on when developing new product and exploring ideas. By providing grants, incentives, and support towards the development of new products, these programs encourage Canadian companies to explore new ideas, test new designs, and if successful, even produce tooling and develop training programs for their staff. Even in cases where a product or idea may not get past the prototype phase, some loss can still be reduced through these programs.

 

There is often a misconception that only certain industries are eligible for government grants such as the medical or technology fields, but the reality is, any Canadian company who will take on a level of risk to explore new ideas may be eligible. This means that before your company starts developing that new product it would be a good idea to contact a certified funding agent or get in touch with the Economic Development office for more information. Funding programs cannot be applied retroactively, they are tailored to the specific company with funding goals tied to project milestones. They help the business exploit a new opportunity with the lowest amount of risk possible to the stakeholders.

Outsource when you need to

It’s been well over a decade since I’ve had a paid salary job with benefits. When I left a permanent full-time job to take a contract gig at a design firm I didn’t know it would be the start of a long, interesting, and formative journey. Over the past 10+ years I have had a lot of roles for different clients, sometimes I am designing their next product and handing it off to their fabricator, sometimes I am designing a retail space working directly with the retailer and their in-house management team. Often these days, I am representing a company other than my own, as an Industrial Designer, Design Manager, or Design Director for a firm who requires senior level experience for a specific project or client, but doesn’t necessarily have the budget or the need to hire full-time permanent help. This might be a marketing agency who wants to try expanding their offering, a company or design firm just starting out, or it could be an established firm needing expand their team or fill in for an employee who is going on maternity leave.

 

In this type of role I have found a great amount of variation over the years which has allowed me to expand my experiences past those I would have gained by staying in one place, it has introduced me to a wide variety of different disciplines and skill sets that have enriched my own experiences and offering. Creativity thrives when new teams are formed and new challenges are presented, that is why I am a firm believer that companies of all sizes can benefit through the use of free-lance or contracted creative help. They can inject new ideas into their strategy and can do it in a way that is fiscally attainable.

 

I’m always interested in meeting new people and hearing about what they do and the challenges they have. If you think I can help, get in touch!

 


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