You want to start your own business. You want to contribute to the growing economy of your home or adopted state. You have an idea, or the beginning of a germ of an idea that you think you could transform into a money-making venture that could potentially change the world. The only trouble is, you need to develop your idea into something workable. Every entrepreneur, at some point, needs help brainstorming. Maybe your business needs to pivot. Maybe you want some new strategies for growing your startup. We have some clever brainstorming techniques to share here for entrepreneurs at every stage.
Start with a Question
Maybe the question is, “What can I do that is unique?” Maybe the question is, “What business can I do from home so I can be there when my kids get off the bus after school?” Maybe the question is, “Where do I want to be in 10 years?” Or maybe the question is, “Who is my ideal customer?” Starting the brainstorming session with a question is a great place to begin.
Mind Map It
The mind map is a cool visual and tactile way of getting your ideas out. Write one word in the center of a piece of paper. Draw a line to a related word or concept. Then think of a phrase that fits into the subtopic. This gets you to a specificity and actionable plan from a jumping-off point.
Think Like Your Customer
Are you thinking too much like a business owner? Remember what it’s like to be a customer. What is it your customers need now? How can you better serve them? What’s missing from their lives? Be what they need, and you will corner the market on satisfaction.
Frame The Problem
Get to the heart of the problem. Frame it in the context of a new marketing model, or with the idea that you will scale within the next five years. Attack a problem from a different perspective. Spend time in deep thought, with paper and pen, and get into a new frame of mind.
Keep an Open Mind
Don’t say no. Don’t shut down. Don’t decide you can’t. Don’t bog yourself down with negativity and details — not at this stage. Stay open-minded. See what comes from these brainstorming activities. Use it as an exercise in saying yes, exploring and thinking outside the box. You never know where your brainstorming session will lead you.
Greenlight Maine supports entrepreneurs’ ideas and allows them to take their businesses to the next level.