Is your business in a growth phase? Are you pivoting or launching a new service? Looking to bring fresh perspective to your business? This is a great time to explore best practices in idea generation.
Generating new business ideas is a crucial step in growing a business. Ideas allow us to be innovative, adapt to changes, and foster growth. However, coming up with fresh and innovative ideas can be challenging, especially when you're under pressure to deliver. In this article, we'll discuss some best practices for generating new business ideas, and offer some suggestions on what to avoid when ideating.
Best Practices for Generating Ideas
1 - Embrace Brainstorming
When generating ideas, there’s no reason to go it alone. Brainstorming sessions are a classic way to generate new business ideas, and involve a group of people coming together to share their thoughts and ideas on a particular topic. Leverage your team within your company or collaborate with people in your network to get more perspectives and try to have a few questions to pitch to the group to direct the brainstorm session. The key to successful brainstorming is to create a safe, supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. And if you’re brainstorming virtually, it helps to introduce everyone in the session to the tool you’ll be using ahead of time. We like Miro for virtual brainstorming here at StrAlign.
2 - Ask Your Audience
The easiest way to provide more value to your customers is to ask them what they need. Customer feedback can provide valuable insights into what your audience is looking for, and illuminate what areas your business hasn’t explored. Conducting surveys or focus groups can help you gather feedback on your products or services and identify areas for improvement or new opportunities. We’d also recommend incentivizing your audience to participate in your feedback process – try providing a discount code to future services, or a free downloadable resource as a way to direct more users to your survey.
3. Know Your Market
Staying up-to-date with industry trends and changes can help you identify new business ideas or opportunities. Attending conferences, reading industry publications or blogs, and following relevant social media accounts are a few ways to stay in the know about your field.
4. Lean Into Collaboration
Collaborating with others, such as partners or suppliers, can help you develop new business ideas or identify gaps in the market. By working together, you can leverage each other's strengths and expertise to create something new and innovative.
Obstacles & Blockers of Ideas
Copying someone else's business idea or model might seem like an easy way to success and for some businesses it works as part of their model, but it's not sustainable in the long run; companies that thrive are the ones that deliver unique value. It's essential to develop your own ideas and value proposition to differentiate yourself from the competition.
2. Ignoring Customer Needs
Ignoring customer needs or feedback can lead to missed opportunities or even failure. It's crucial to listen to your customers and understand their pain points, preferences, and behaviors to create products or services that meet their needs. Unless you have a captive audience, not listening to your customers will mean they leave you at some point. Most of the time it is much easier to keep existing customers than gain new ones.
Overthinking or analysis paralysis can prevent you from taking action and moving forward with your ideas. While it's important to do your research and due diligence, it's also essential to take calculated risks and be willing to pivot if needed. Many businesses spend too much time on change management, and which can lead to missed opportunities and wasted efforts. If you have lots of ideas and no accurate way of figuring out which ones to choose you are likely to end up not choosing any as you overthink or choose too many because they all seem like a good idea, and you take a splatter approach. A tool like StrAlign can help take the guess work out of decision-making and base all decisions on organization goals, the current business environment and the views of different stakeholders.
4. Lack of Diversity
Lack of diversity in your team or collaborators can limit your ability to generate new and innovative ideas. By working with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, you can broaden your thinking and identify new opportunities. Businesses may spend lots of money bring the C-suite together or at least department heads but this group may lack diversity but also experience looking and understanding the business and its processes at every level. What about the delivery driver, the receptionist or the call center operator? Are their ideas included? Can they voice their opinions on ideas made by others? A system like StrAlign allows all members of the organization not only to contribute ideas but also rank ideas to help prioritization of them.
Generating new business ideas is not an easy task, but it's essential for the success and growth of any business. By staying positive and getting creative with your idea generation process, you can increase your chances of coming up with fresh and innovative ideas. Remember to listen to your customers, stay informed of industry trends, collaborate with others, and be willing to take risks.
Stuck on how you can manage collecting and prioritizing ideas? Schedule a demo of StrAlign with our team!