Sometimes, it can seem like your brain is teeming with thousands of ‘useless’ ideas that you do not actually need at the time. But, when you are asked to come up with an innovative business idea – whether as part of a marketing campaign for your current business or because you want to create a new, niche business from scratch – it can feel like the fount of your creativity has run dry. No need to panic, however: just use one of these five easy techniques for stimulating those creative juices.
- Speak your ideas aloud
Shut the door, and do not be afraid to look silly. Say whatever comes into your head and record it on a dictaphone or write it down. Do not worry about the ideas being ‘perfect’ – it’s all about the process – it’s all about the process. Writers often say that the best way to beat writers’ block is to write down whatever is in your mind (even if it’s just a shopping list) without worrying about the content of what you are writing. When you listen back to your recording, or look back over those scribbled writings, you may just find the creative spark of an innovative business idea.
- File your plans properly
A good filing system keeps all of those important documents accessible but also gives you a sense of which pieces of paperwork take priority over others. Colour coded office trays are absolutely perfect for this. One colour could be for ‘high priority’ ideas, for example, whilst another could be for ‘ideas that need work’ and yet another for ‘ideas that may not work – but I don’t want to discard them anyway’. This last tray could actually be the one that contains your perfect idea.
- Locate your passion
True innovation and creativity come from deep within us. We cannot come up with an innovative idea about a subject we are not passionate about. Sit down and write down five things that you are passionate about. This is where your ideas will start to flow.
- Attend trade fairs and conferences
Listening to a talk from an innovator in the business world, or browsing a trade fair and seeing how wonderfully passionate, creative and skilled other businesspeople are is sure to motivate you and to get those creative ideas bubbling up in your own brain.
- Give yourself permission not to think
Very often, our most creative ideas come to us when we are not working on them. How many businesses have you heard of that begun just with two friends chatting in a pub and getting a ‘crazy idea’ to start a business? Plenty! Giving yourself permission to take time off from thinking about your business – to walk, to daydream aimlessly, and to chat to friends about your passions could actually provide the most fertile ground for new ideas.