Need Ideas? Two Heads Are Better Than One!
When you're running your own small business, it can feel like you're shouldering all the responsibility by yourself. The bills, payroll, customers, growth, new ideas, the list goes on! When it's your company, ultimately responsibility does lie with you. But that doesn't mean you have to do it all alone. If you have a staff, well that's what they're for! You're paying them to take on some of that responsibility. So when it comes to the last thing I mentioned in that list — new ideas — take advantage of all the brain power you've hired and have a regular brainstorming session to see what new ideas they can come up with. Don't have a staff? You're a consultant? If your "company" is just lil' ole you all by your lonesome, look outward for help. Gather a group of your peers or other business owners and do some brainstorming with them instead.
Now, how do you have an effective brainstorming session? There's no one right method, so you have to approach it in a way that feels right for you and everyone involved. You may not know what works best till you see the results (or lack of) that come out of a meeting. But here are some things to keep in mind. Don't be a naysayer. If your first response is to jump to the reasons why something won't work, people will soon stop making suggestions for fear of being shut down. Try not to stifle creativity by starting with a free-thinking, no-limits session. This means getting suggestions that aren't limited by budget, logistics, etc. You never know how an over-the-top idea can lead to a workable one.
Define what you want!
Once you've had the free-thinking session, then you can get serious by giving some direction and setting goals. Establish limits & structure. This will direct people's thinking toward ideas that you can actually implement and make the session more productive. Make sure everyone is heard. Often conversations are dominated by the most vocal (that's the diplomatic way of saying the "loudest") people. Not that there's anything wrong with being "vocal!" But in a group-think situation, it's easy to overlook the contributions and ideas of a quiet person who may not try that hard to make themselves heard.
To help your quieter participants — and to encourage some thoughtful reflection — ask your group to come to the session with ideas. You never know when someone will have a good idea: sitting in traffic, waiting at Starbucks, right before they fall asleep. Giving time to let ideas percolate can result in better suggestions and will help people come to the brainstorming session primed for focused thinking rather than starting out cold turkey. Sometimes cold turkey is fine, but sometimes a warmup is better.
Be Oh So Quotable This Week!
This week I shared some quotes from one of my fave authors... moi! And from Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, the authors of Think Like a Freak. Hopefully you liked them and maybe they even got you thinking about how you can make your next brainstorming session better.
I always say running a business means the work never ends! Ain't that the truth? I bet your to-do list is a mile long! Make sure that the items at the top of your list are the things that relate to being more profitable. Everyone is so proud of being so "busy"...But Are You Making Any Money? Don't be too busy to focus!
Check out the summary of last week's business tips and motivational quotes from my Instagram page which you hopefully got to see in real time! If not, let's make sure we're following each other on Instagram!! So...here is this week's roundup of Instagram images of My Top Business Tips and Motivational Quotes.
Brainstorming Session – Tip #1:
"There are decisions that should be well thought out from the get-go or you'll regret it big time."
Brainstorming Session – Tip #2:
"Change is not always fun, but in order to run a profitable business, you've got to course correct, constantly."
Brainstorming Session – Tip #3:
"One minute of planning will save you four minutes of doing."
Brainstorming Session – Tip #4:
"It is easy to get seduced by complexity; but there is virtue in simplicity too."
Brainstorming Session – Tip #5:
"Gather a think tank of like-minded business owners to brainstorm ways to reduce overhead & become more efficient."
Let's talk! I'd love to hear about YOUR best brainstorming session!
I'm sure you've been in an interesting brainstorming session or two. Was it interesting in a good way... or not? Which tips above did you find helpful? I would LOVE to hear from you!
Anyhoo...I publish these business tips and motivational quotes to get you fired up for your work week! And, if you want more business tips, get my book, But Are You Making Any Money? or contact me to really take your business to the next level!
P.S. Of course that's not all we've got! Searching for more tips about running a business?
Then definitely take a look at these:
I'd love to hear your ideas! So please comment below and then SHARE!