12th May 2014

Innovate - it can be fun and rewarding

When I caught up with a friend over a bite to eat recently, she ordered a "lettuce burger". When it appeared at the table it was just like a regular burger, except instead of a bread roll, the meat was wrapped in... lettuce. Riding on the latest low-carb craze this eatery had come up with a clever innovation to capture the palates of carbo-phobics.

Some people might simply consider this a gimmick. Whether you think it's a clever marketing ploy or a smart innovation in "product development" the reality is that the lettuce burger is now one of the most popular items on the menu of that eatery.

As small business entrepreneurs you are in the ideal position to spearhead innovation. Why? Because your time to market - the time between when you first think up an idea to when it's available on the market - can be much shorter than that of companies in the big end of town. You don't have to convince a sea of stakeholders, be accountable to shareholders or hope for approval from the board.

Taking risks and being flexible

The beauty about running a small business is that there's so much more flexibility when it comes to making changes and taking risks. When it comes to innovation, large companies can often stagnate as people can be too scared to go out on a limb in case of a very public failure. Or people aren't motivated or passionate enough to effect change.

Even though you are in a great position to innovate, the danger for small business entrepreneurs is that you can get too caught up in the day to day operations of your business - troubleshooting, planning for next month and simply doing the accounts - that we don't set aside time for innovation. At the very least, you need time for reflection to consider what you're doing right - and what you're not.

Time for innovation

But beyond this, most small business entrepreneurs can benefit from setting aside specific time to work on innovations - resulting in new and fresh products and services. The only way to move forward is to continuously improve and develop, which is why innovation is so important. If you kid yourself into thinking that your particular business model is going to work for several years - then someone with a simple (albeit messy) lettuce burger is going to come along and take away some of your market share.

So how does this work on a practical level? How do you "set aside time to innovate"? Some companies do literally that. Google - which was a small business once upon a time before they moved on to world domination and a ubiquitous presence on all our computers - have "20 per cent time". This is where Google staff are encouraged to spend 20 per cent of their time on anything outside of their core business. This means they get one a day week to work on new ideas, new strategies and new products - no matter how wacky they may seem at first.

It's a big call to suggest to any small business entrepreneur that they allow their staff to spend 20 per cent of their time on this. But empowering staff to contribute to your process of innovation is smart. Some of the best ideas for growth and product development may come from their creative solutions.

Latest news...

Commercial SMSF Video, Paul Wells, Division Head of the Asset Origination & Credit Team Australian Broker speaks with La Trobe Financial’s Chief Investment Officer, Paul Wells, about our views on commission clawbacks in the specialist lending market and the value to brokers of Australia’s niche credit specialist market. Investor Call Briefing Q3 FY2014, Chris Andrews, Head of Funds Management




... That's Lending

Best regards,
Paul Wells, Chief Investment Officer
La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited



La Trobe Financial is one of Australia's leading independent credit specialist Fund Managers. Its business includes residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, and investment services operating one of Australia's largest Mortgage Funds under AFSL 222213. It employs over 123 staff and has managed over AUD$10Billion covering over 100,000 investment grade assets since inception in 1952.

Copyright 2013 La Trobe Financial. All rights reserved. No portion of this may be reproduced, copied, or in any way reused without written permission from La Trobe Financial. Disclaimer

The following awards and ratings were given to the Pooled Mortgage Option within the La Trobe Financial Mortgage Fund and may be viewed on our website

Ratings And Awards

Click to share





O
O
K
N


 
Newsletter Footer


Please Note: This publication is for accredited broker use only and is not for distribution to consumers.

^ Depends on risk grade of Borrower

All loan applications are fully assessed to ensure the loan is not unsuitable and that we meet our responsible lending obligations in accordance with our usual underwriting requirements. All features and interest rates are current as at the date of publication. Conditions, fees and charges apply. This message, together with the La Trobe Financial website (www.latrobefinancial.com.au) and all its contents have been prepared for general information only and should not be taken as legal or financial advice, and as such the specific needs, investment objectives or financial situation of any particular user have not been taken into consideration. Individuals should therefore talk with their financial planner or advisor before acting on any information present on this message or the La Trobe website. La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited ABN: 27 007 332 363 and AFSL No: 222213 is the issuer and manager of the La Trobe Australian Mortgage Fund. It is important for you to read the Product Disclosure Statement for the Fund before you make any investment decision. You can get a copy of the PDS by calling 1800 818 818. You should consider carefully whether or not investing in the Fund is appropriate for you. The rates of return from the Fund are not guaranteed and are determined by future revenue of the Fund, and may be lower than expected. Investors risk losing some or all of their principal investment. The investment is not a bank deposit.

La Trobe Financial Services Pty Limited - Australian Credit Licence Number: 392385
La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited - Australian Credit Licence Number: 222213

Terms, conditions, fees, charges and La Trobe Financial lending criteria apply.

1. Zenith's "recommended" rating indicates that it has high confidence in the manager meeting its objectives. The Zenith Investment Partners ("Zenith") ABN 60 332 047 314 rating referred to in this document is limited to "General Advice" (as defined by section 766B of Corporations Act 2001) and based solely on the assessment of the investment merits of the financial product on this basis. It is not a specific recommendation to purchase, sell or hold the relevant product(s), and Zenith advises that individual investors should seek their own independent financial advice before investing in this product. To view the relevant research information, please visit www.latrobefinancial.com.au The rating is subject to change without notice and Zenith has no obligation to update this document following publication. Zenith usually receives a fee for rating the fund manager and product against accepted criteria considered comprehensive and objective.
2. SQM Research - 4 stars to 4.25 stars - superior, suitable for inclusion on most Approved Product Lists. To view the relevant research information, please visit www.latrobefinancial.com.au This rating will not take into account your, or your clients' objectives, financial situation or needs. It is up to investors to consider whether specific financial products are suitable for your objectives, financial situation or needs. Research houses receive a fee from La Trobe Financial for rating the product.
3. Lipper Leaders Rating Total Return (Score – 5) Lipper Ratings for Total Return reflect funds’ historical return performance relative to peers. The ratings are subject to change every month. The highest 20% of funds in each peer group are named Lipper Leader or a score of 5 for Total Return. Lipper Leader ratings are not intended to predict future results and does not guarantee the accuracy of this information. More information is available at www.lipperweb.com. Thomson Reuters Copyright, All Rights Reserved.
4. Australia Ratings (AFSL 346138) makes every effort to ensure the reliability of the views and rankings expressed in its reports and those published on its websites. Australia Ratings research is based upon information known to it or which was obtained from sources it believed to be reliable and accurate at time of publication. However, like the markets, it is not perfect. This report is prepared for general information only, and as such, the specific needs, investment objectives or financial situation of any particular user have not been taken into consideration. Individuals should therefore discuss, with their financial planner or advisor, the merits of each rating for their own specific circumstances and realise that not all investments will be appropriate for all subscribers. To the extent permitted by law, Australia Ratings and its employees, agents and authorised representatives exclude all liability for any loss or damage (including indirect, special or consequential loss or damage) arising from the use of, or reliance on, any information within the report whether or not caused by any negligent act or omission. If the law prohibits the exclusion of such liability, Australia Ratings hereby limits its liability, to the extent permitted by law, to the resupply of the said information or the cost of the said resupply.