Brainstorming - The the fuel to Idea Generation
How often have you used brainstorming to solve a problem? Chances are, you’ve used it at least once, even if you didn’t realize it.For decades, people have used brainstorming to generate ideas, and to come up with creative solutions to problems. However, you need to use brainstorming correctly for it to be fully effective.
Brainstorming combines a relaxed, informal approach to problem solving with lateral thinking. It encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that can, at first, seem a bit crazy. Some of these ideas can be crafted into original, creative solutions to a problem, while others can spark even more ideas. This helps to get people unstuck by “jolting” them out of their normal ways of thinking.
Brainstorming Is Important To Entrepreneurial
Ideas are paramount to success for an entrepreneur. However, not all ideas are the right ideas for starting a business or tackling challenging problems.
Some businesses are spawned from a single idea. However, most who achieve sustainable success will
need to consistently be identifying new concepts, products, services, and ways to overcome obstacles.
A one hit wonder in the world of business ideas is no different than a rock and roll band who has just a single song on the charts.
Entrepreneurs must always be on the lookout for the “new thing” either to grow their existing company or to launch their next venture.
Brainstorming involves a group of people focusing on a problem, and then coming up with as many solutions as possible. There are no bad ideas and the purpose is to push the creative thought to beyond the standards. Each person can expand on the ideas of the next and combine concepts while creating new possibilities.
When a team of people are working together and committed to discovering powerful solutions, the end
result is often stronger than any one person could have achieved alone. Effective entrepreneurs do not operate in a vacuum. They are surrounded by people who allow them to expand beyond their own limitations and weave the best thoughts together and create powerful solutions.
The process can be both formal and informal and it is important in the formation stage of a business as well as when tackling issues that can stall a company’s progress and growth. To continually have success and entrepreneur must always be seeking ideas and formulating plans. Getting your whole team involved will have the added impact of creating a culture where everyone is looking to add to the greater good for the company.
BRAINSTORMING TECHNIQUES FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Whether you’re trying to come up with a great home business idea, or you’re looking for new ideas to boost your income in your existing business, brainstorming is an excellent way to generate ideas. In business, brainstorming is often done in groups, but even as a solo entrepreneur, you can use brainstorming techniques to generate ideas. Not only can brainstorming
help you generate ideas that might not have otherwise been considered, but it can also help you better understand where your business is struggling, and where you need to focus your time.
Here are 7 brainstorming techniques that you can do on your own that can help you expand your mind to new ideas and strategies for your home business. You can use one, several, or all of these techniques to generate ideas. Plus, you’ll find rules for maximizing brainstorming success, as well as helpful tools.
- Start With a Question
An easy way to generate
new ideas is by answering a question. If you’re looking for a home business to
start, a question might be to ask what business will help you meet your goals.
- Use a mind map
Here are the steps to
- Start with a word, question, or image in the center of the page.
- Draw a line from the center outward, and add a related word, question or concept. You can have as many of these next level ideas as you want.
- From those second level concepts, draw a line or lines and add words related to the sub-topic.
- Continue to draw lines with related keywords for as long as ideas come to you.
- Word Map
Similar to a mind map,a world map is a visual way to brainstorm things like your business name or
tagline. Start by writing down all the words related to your business or brandgoals.
- Use aSWOT Analysis
If you’ve done your business plan, chances are you’ve done a SWOT analysis. The SWOT isn’t just helpful in your business plan. It can also be a great brainstorming technique. Make a four-square grid by drawing a line vertically down the middle of a piece of paper, then a line across the middle horizontally. In the upper left box put “Strengths,” and the upper right box “Weaknesses.” In the lower left box write, “Opportunities,” and in the lower right box, “Threats.” In each box, write down corresponding words, ideas, and concepts that come to you.
- Spend Time In Your Customer/Client’s Shoes
It’s a mistake to analyze and make decisions solely from a business owners’ perspective. The best
ideas will be those that resonate and attract clients and customers, and the best way to do that gets into their shoes. Surveying your clients can customers can help with this, but also, working through your marketing, sales, purchasing, and customer service systems as a customer or client, can help you
generate ideas to make the experience better for them.
- Ask Who, What, Why, When, Where, How
In brainstorming, you’re looking for answers to questions, but sometimes you’re not sure what
questions to ask. Going back to the basics of who, what, why, when, where, and how can help you generate ideas to improve your business.
- If time and money were no object
Too often, your brain will eliminate ideas because don’t think you have the resources. So, to keep
your mind open to all potential ideas, brainstorm what you’d do if money and time were no object? If you could build any business, or tackle any idea, what would it be?