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The Innovation Toolkit

Even in a tough economy, there's one thing you can count on to keep your business afloat: Innovation. We asked these entrepreneurs and experts to reveal the secrets of their success-and how you can use their experiences to your advantage.

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This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In a difficult economy, when small businesses have trouble finding capital, health insurance and nearly everything else, there is one element of business success that can still be had on the cheap: innovation. According to most economists, innovation remains probably the most important component of small-business success. Despite the downturn, smart companies are pouring more into research and development, and small businesses that continue to innovate, even in highly competitive fields, don't only survive, but thrive.

Here, then, are 18 how-tos of innovation every entrepreneur should consider.

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