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How To Find New Ideas For Your Business

How To Find New Ideas For Your Business
By Noel Peebles
© 2001 Market Leaders Ltd

New ideas are the lifeblood of any business so it is important to encourage creativity and to be truly innovative. But creativity and innovation are not the same. Creativity is all about coming up with new ideas, whereas innovation involves putting new ideas into action.

New ideas can be very difficult to find. When you do find them and put them into action, they can provide a powerful marketing edge and become a license to print money.

Here are some ways to help generate new ideas:

Ask For Opinions

You could hire consultants or you could simply seek opinions from someone who knows absolutely nothing about your business. We get so close to what we are doing, that often we can t see another way of doing things. There are times when we need to step outside our own environment because sometimes ideas used in one trade can be adapted to another.

Encourage Staff Creativity

If you employ staff, then encourage them to think up new ideas and get them to suggest changes. You will need to be open-minded and encourage their input. You ll need to be tolerant when their ideas don t work. And you ll probably need to reward them in some way, although you ll probably find that the satisfaction of "seeing their ideas in action" may be reward enough.

Brain Storm

One of the best ways to tap into new ideas is through brainstorming. This could involve family, friends, staff, customers and even other business owners. The key with any brainstorming session is to disallow any negative comments and to only analyse or develop ideas once the session is over. The purpose of a brainstorming session is to produce a quantity of ideas. It s quantity not quality. Refining the ideas comes later.

Re-educate The Mind

There is an old saying, "you never stop learning" and it s true. If you are willing to make a personal commitment to perpetual re-education you ll reap the rewards. Allocate an annual budget (maybe 1% of your turnover) for personal and staff re-education. Consider training courses, seminars, workshops, audio-tape programmes etc.

Become A Case Study

Consider approaching a local University or polytechnic that runs business courses. Offer your business as a case study in return for feedback from the students.

Become A Surfer

There is a wealth of information on the Internet and most of it is free. Search other areas of business rather than just your own as you might be able to adapt a totally unrelated idea.

Read And Subscribe

You can often find ideas in the most unlikely places. Business, fashion and trade magazines are all worth a browse. These days it s easy to subscribe to any number of overseas newspapers, magazines, newsletters or ezines.

Travel Opens Your Eyes

Visit similar (or even unrelated) businesses overseas. You ll be surprised at how freely many of them share their knowledge, after all you are not a threat to them. In my travels I have made it a point to visit factories that make the strangest things, huge shopping malls, numerous small businesses and international marketing companies. Each time I seem to come home buzzing with ideas.

"The only purpose of a business is to bring in a customer; and there are really only two ways to do it... through Marketing or Innovation." Noel Peebles

© 2001 Market Leaders Limited. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

BUSINESS OWNERS: The Quick And Easy Ways To Get Better Results From Your Advertising...Increase Your Sales At Higher Profit Margins Than You've Ever Done Before. FREE newsletter. FREE ebook. http://www.betterbizprofits.com

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