When you’re growing a business or social enterprise, it helps to be constantly creating new ideas.
New ideas while they can be distracting and take your focus off your core business, can also bring vitality and new life to a long term enterprise. Keeping you fresh and excited about your business with new ideas can help you stay motivated in what can be a lonely place as a business leader.
When I’m working with clients, I often spend a lot of time helping them to maintain their focus on one thing to bring it to completion. So what I’m looking at here, is those times when you’re looking at growing your business again. This could be growing the business to the next level. Or it could be diversifying your range of products or services. It could be about responding to ideas from customer feedback to improve what you’re already doing.
Creating new ideas is a healthy part of business development
Growing a business can be done in any number of ways. You can:
- grow the number of customers for your current products or services (organic business growth)
- develop the number of products or services you offer to current customers e.g. canapes with glass of wine (cross sell)
- offer additional services to add value to your current products or services e.g. one to one training with an online do it yourself course (up sell)
- diversify into new markets to work with new customers e.g. from baby clothing you can develop a toddler clothing range (diversify)
- take over an existing business in your industry (aquisition)
You may be one of those people who dreams up new ideas all the time and your team are constantly saying “oh no! Not another idea!”. Or you may struggle to find your creativity as you’re so focused on the current shape of the business. Either way, there’s some simple tips you can use to capture ideas for developing
Whether you’re responding to economic or market factors, or simply keeping things fresh for your business team for your business stability and growth, here’s five tips for creating new ideas for growing your enterprise.
5 tips for creating new ideas
- Use a creative tool such as Design Thinking. This is a brilliant tool which can be used by any size of organisation to develop new ideas. Putting your ideal customer at the heart of everything you do is important to growing a sustainable business. In the process, you spend time thinking about the different persona of your ideal audience. This could be an opportunity to explore a new audience who you know uses your product or service which you haven’t been marketing to. Is there something else this customer would want to make their life even better?
- Use your mastermind group to help you. Again, this is spending time away from your usual work environment with people who want you to succeed and grow your business. When it’s your turn to explore an idea, share one idea and the process of your mastermind asking you questions will help you to hear more ideas. Make a note of them all. You’ll be surprised how helpful sharing with a different group of people helps you generate new ideas and hear ideas they have for your business.
- Ask a facilitator to help you and the team look at things in a different way. Getting someone to help you create new ideas, from a different perspective, and asking questions which you may not by yourselves, is a great way of creating new ideas. A skilled facilitator will listen to the ideas being bounced around by the team and challenge you to go deeper, further into those ideas. You can ask the outsider to lead the session, in which case they may use a tool, or exercises to get the team to think differently. They may get you problem solving, doing heart raising activities, creating clay creations, or listening to music and dancing. If you’re paying someone to help you get a list of new ideas, allow them to use their expertise in getting your team to be creative.
- Go on holiday or take some time off. Yes, I’m serious! How many times do you wake up from a dream and think, “that was a fantastic idea. If only I could remember the detail”? When you take time off and allow yourself to relax, you allow your brain to hear what’s going on in your usually unheard sub-conscious mind. Simply keep a notebook near you wherever you go, or capture your idea on a voice recorder. You don’t need to explore it other than just note it down. All you’re doing is capturing new ideas. You can create this space regularly if you spend time meditating. However, I believe that being totally away from work allows your brain to dream in a different way.
- Work with your team in a different setting. Set some dedicated time aside to allow yourselves to think differently. This is best done out of the office and in a totally different place to where you usually hang out. Go for a walk. Or get out of the office and do an activity together. No agenda. Just somewhere different where you can be together having fun. You could go to a pottery studio for example, and simply create things together. Being different together allows people to think differently and be creative in their own way.
What other ways have you used to create new ideas? What works for you?
If you need help creating new ideas for your business, or getting your team involved in exploring and creating new ideas, get in touch, and let’s explore some options together for your business development plan.