Brainstorming is one of the best ways to come up with the next big business idea, if you manage to do it properly, that is. You can read up on the basic concepts of brainstorming since we won’t be talking about that here. What we will tackle instead are the ways to bring your business brainstorming sessions to the next level. Let’s get started.
What should you do to make brainstorming work?
1. Think before you meet
The whole point of a brainstorming session is to tap the power of more minds to come up with as many ideas as possible. Individuals working and thinking independently could potentially cover more areas and discover more possibilities.
Schedule a brainstorming session ahead of time and tell people to start thinking even before you start the session just to make sure that the creative juices are already flowing when you begin. It’s also very important to have people jot down their ideas. This will help you maximize time and organize your thoughts better.
2. Note the extremes
Do not encourage vanilla ideas. Vanilla is safe, good and dependable, but people don’t go out of their way to look for vanilla. You want ideas that are either hot-fudge-sundae-great or ones akin to curry-flavored ice cream: so bad, people have to try them. Brainstorming sessions aren’t about playing it safe, they’re about breakthroughs and pushing limits.
3. You are your own market
The first rule of targeting a market and building a business is that you have to know who your customers are. And who do you know better than yourself? Think about what you need and want and there’s an idea right there. Necessity breeds innovation, as they say.
4. Idea first, money later
Brainstorming a business idea should not be confining. Ideas should be realistic, but the idea of a budget should not choke creativity. Remember that money always follows a great business idea. When you come up with a killer venture, there will always be financial institutions such as http://www.abnamrocommercialfinance.co.uk to back you. Getting funding can be very easy, so focus on the venture first.
Creativity is all about letting your mind loose. To come up with truly inspired business ideas, people in a brainstorming session should be relaxed and should be having fun. Pressure’s good, but it does tend to cut off inspiration.
What should you avoid when brainstorming?
When brainstorming doesn’t seem to work, maybe there’s something you’re missing. There are factors that can make a brainstorming session ineffective. Here are some of the big mistakes you should avoid when brainstorming:
Don’t be over-competitive
Brainstorming is all about providing fertile ground for ideas to grow and take root. The last thing you need is to turn that fertile ground into an arena where everyone wants to cut down any idea that comes from others. Remind your team that you need to bounce ideas off of each other and contribute, not compete.
Don’t be compelled to reinvent the wheel
Brainstorming business ideas does not require you to come up with a whole new product from scratch. Take what works and incorporate it as your own. Pressured and half-baked innovations produce products like Apple’s iOS 6 Maps: new, but disastrous. A business idea should be bold, but the goal isn’t just to come up with something new as much as it’s to come up with a business that works.
Don’t focus on the far future
Picking a business requires you to anticipate the market, but overthinking the future can lead to tunnel blindness. A brainstorming session should produce viable, actionable business ideas, not predictions.
Don’t be too accommodating
Although many minds working together can accomplish a lot, they can also cause chaos and prevent great ideas from being developed. When you brainstorm a business idea, you need to appoint a leader or facilitator to make sure that things stay on track.
Don’t be afraid to say no to an idea you think won’t work. Compromising on every point will please the team, but may not go well with your target market.
In order to be really effective, coming up with the next big business idea shouldn’t stop with the brainstorming process. Once you get that one big idea, find the necessary resources and follow through as soon as you can.
How about you, what brainstorming tips can you share with the class?