Could R&D Be The Key To The Future Of Your Business?
What do you think of when you hear the term R&D? Do you automatically start thinking about people in white lab coats playing about with test tubes and microscopes? Let’s be honest, playing about with test tubes and microscopes can be great fun, believe me, I’ve been there! I’ve been the white coat, lab-based researcher working on a technical challenge, and I had great fun doing it…but R&D can be and is so much more.
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with and leading a large variety of organisations, covering different industrial sectors across divergent business scales and each one of them had a different view of R&D.
- Some viewed R&D as an integral part of their business that makes a valuable contribution to their success
- Others seen it as an expensive overhead that they only performed because their competitors did it
- Some organisations regularly perform R&D but don’t believe their activities are actually R&D
- Others categorically state that they’ve never done R&D and there’s no reason for them to get into it.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you want to stay ahead of your competitors?
- Have you an idea for a new product or service?
- Have you an interest in accessing a new business sector?
- Do you want to develop new methods of making inroads to new customers?
- Would reducing your production costs be helpful?
- Is there a H&S issue in a production process that you’d like to find a solution to?
- Are you willing to support your business growth by trying something new?
If the answer is yes to these questions, then I believe you need to be engaged in R&D.
I know what you’re thinking, R&D costs money, and you’d be right, but you don’t need to go and start spending millions, tens of thousands or even thousands of £, $ or € setting up a dedicated R&D division with bespoke equipment! Some of the best R&D projects I’ve ever led or have seen, have cost next to nothing to make a reality (on many occasions that was because there was no budget to make it happen!), or the investment in the R&D was so small compared to the impact to the business.
Ultimately, I see R&D as a tool to support your business growth, and it’s a tool that you shouldn’t rush into without thinking about how to best use it to your advantage.
There are some R&D projects that you can perform within days and weeks and get fantastic wins out of, and you don’t need to step into a lab, you can do the project within your own premises and on your own shop floor, and there are other projects that can take months and even years, because the scale of the goal is so substantial. Either way, don’t be afraid to try!
Set clear goals and reasoning as to why you are doing the project, what you want to achieve, and importantly how will it enable your company to grow. And remember, you don’t have to shoulder all the potential costs, there are great support opportunities out there such as Grants or Tax Credits, not to mention the fact that you can collaborate with other organisations to share the costs, share the risk, share the resources required and share the success.
If you don’t have an R&D plan, or you’re not sure how to fund an R&D project, don’t worry, you’re not alone, please get in touch and we can discuss how R&D can add value to your organisation.Contact Us