21 Ways To Generate Business Boosting Ideas

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The light bulb. Bubble wrap. The Post-It. The iPod. The Snuggie. Facebook. Twitter.

These inventions, products, and businesses all started with an idea. An idea that to anyone other than its creator(s) may have seemed like an insane thing to invest much time, money, or effort in bringing to fruition.

But for the masterminds behind these great ideas, the risk paid off and so too can your next great idea.

Everyone has great ideas. The problem for most people is realizing that even the most silly or outrageous idea they come up with could in fact work. Generating ideas—useful ideas—is a skill, and, like any other skill, it can be learned. The more you practice, the easier it will be to come up with ideas whenever you need them.

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21 Ways To Generate Business Boosting Ideas

  1. 1. 21 Ways to Generate Business Boosting Ideas Brought to you by 5wh
  2. 2. Introductionv The light bulb. Bubble wrap. The Post-It. The iPod. The Snuggie. Facebook. Twitter.v These inventions, products, and businesses all started with an idea. An idea that to anyone other than its creator(s) may have seemed like an insane thing to invest much time, money, or effort in bringing to fruition.v But for the masterminds behind these great ideas, the risk paid off and so too can your next great idea.v Everyone has great ideas. The problem for most people is realizing that even the most silly or outrageous idea they come up with could in fact work. Generating ideas—useful ideas—is a skill, and, like any other skill, it can be learned. The more you practice, the easier it will be to come up with ideas whenever you need them.February 2011 5wh Marketing 2
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThis work is not for sale. It was This work is not for sale. It was 5wh is a relationship-based Business 5wh is a relationship-based Business adapted from the book adapted from the book Services company which Services company which“Attention! This Book Will Make“Attention! This Book Will Make specializes in Internal Audits, specializes in Internal Audits, You Money: How to Use You Money: How to Use Forensic Audits and Business Forensic Audits and Business Attention-Getting Online Attention-Getting Online Systems Consultancy. Systems Consultancy. Marketing to Increase Your Marketing to Increase Your Revenue ” by Jim Kukral Revenue ” by Jim Kukral To know more about our company and To know more about our company and our products & services and to start our products & services and to startAdapted into this presentationAdapted into this presentation a relationship, here is Caleb:- a relationship, here is Caleb:- by Caleb Mutsumba, founder by Caleb Mutsumba, founder Cell: Cell: Five WH Corporate Services Five WH Corporate Services +263 712 620 287(Pvt) Limited (“5wh”), Harare. (Pvt) Limited (“5wh”), Harare. +263 712 620 287 +263 772 466 540 +263 772 466 540 Email: Email: caleb@zol.co.zw caleb@zol.co.zw Other: Other P.O. Box 1361 Harare P.O. Box 1361 Harare February 2011 5wh Marketing 3
  4. 4. 1. Carry A Notebookv The only thing worse than not being able to come up with an idea is thinking of an amazing idea, not writing it down, and then forgetting it.v "You may think you will remember, but you wont," says Kukral. "Having a small notepad or digital recorder with you at all times guarantees that those ideas will not escape. Keep one in your glove compartment, on your nightstand, and in your desk drawer. Keeping a few spare sheets of loose paper in your wallet or purse is a good idea, too!"February 2011 5wh Marketing 4
  5. 5. 2. Eavesdrop ü Listen to people talking on the bus, at the coffee shop, or in the elevator at work. "Youll get a good feel for what people care about: their concerns, wishes, and interests," explains Kukral. ü "And you may also hear a great idea or two in the mix. Build on the snippets of conversation you overhear to create a story, and let that story lead you to a brilliant idea."February 2011 5wh Marketing 5
  6. 6. 3. Do Something New Ø Sign up for a class, take up a new hobby, listen to a different kind of music, or do anything that is new to you. Ø Not only will it get new parts of your brain humming, youll meet and connect with new people—which is a great way to find great new ideas.February 2011 5wh Marketing 6
  7. 7. 4. Hold A Grudge Ø What annoys you? When you think about the list of things you wish were different, the chances are those things also annoy other people. Ø Keep a running list of all things that bug you and find solutions that will make them better.February 2011 5wh Marketing 7
  8. 8. 5. Find The Peanut Butter To Your Jellyv Take two ideas and put them together to make one new idea. "After all, what is a Snuggie but the mutation of a blanket and a robe?" asks Kukral.v "Think beyond the obvious connections to come up with something truly innovative."February 2011 5wh Marketing 8
  9. 9. 6. Get Physicalv Movement increases the flow of endorphins, as well as sending more blood to your brain. "Okay, Im not a doctor and I dont play one on TV, so maybe I dont have all the physical stuff exactly right," says Kukral.v "However, I do know that getting active helps me think. I keep a mini-trampoline in my office and jump up and down for a few minutes to get my blood moving. Run, skip, jump, climb stairs, or otherwise get your pulse rate up to get your brain moving, too."February 2011 5wh Marketing 9
  10. 10. 7. Get An Outsiders Opinionv There are times when you are so close to a project that it creates a mental block for idea generation. Bringing in a fresh perspective can make all the difference. "Get someone who is not familiar with your situation to ask you questions about it," advises Kukral.v "It may be over dinner with friends, with a colleague at the water cooler, or in line at the grocery store with a stranger! They may ask things that lead you to an idea that you overlooked because it was too obvious. No one around? Imagine that someone is coming to you with the problem you are trying to solve. What would you tell them? Your answer may be the solution you are looking for."February 2011 5wh Marketing 10
  11. 11. 8. Just Listenv It may sound obvious, but really listen when customers talk to you. When you do, you will hear ideas for new products and services, ways to improve customer service, and uses you never considered for your products that can open up new markets for you.v "Your customers may not recognize when they are giving you ideas, but you need to be able to spot them," says Kukral. "Are several customers making the same comments or asking the same questions? Act on it! You can get great ideas this way!"February 2011 5wh Marketing 11
  12. 12. 9. Change Your Routine v New surroundings and new experiences can help your brain to shift gears and get you to think differently. v Drive a new route to the office, try a new restaurant for lunch, start work a little earlier (or a little later), work in a different place, or anything that busts you out of your rut.February 2011 5wh Marketing 12
  13. 13. 10. Listen To Musicv You may find that a little Mozart awakens your creativity, or you may respond better to a little Metallica.v Whatever works for you, fire up your iPod, get into the groove, and let your mind work.February 2011 5wh Marketing 13
  14. 14. Take A Shower, Walk The Dog, Do Laundry v How many great ideas do you get in the shower? Its not a coincidence that great thinking happens in the shower. v "Showering is a mindless activity (the only thing you really have to think about is, Have I already repeated, or just lathered and rinsed?)," says Kukral. "And the warm water is relaxing. Other mindless activities are great for brainstorming too. Wash the dishes, walk the dog, or fold the laundry. If you give your mind the chance to wander, youll free yourself to come up with a brilliant idea."February 2011 5wh Marketing 14
  15. 15. 12. Make A List (and check it twice)vThis is a tried-and-true method proven to work wonders. "Get out a notepad, or fire up your computer, and write down everything you can think of related to your issue," suggests Kukral.v "For example, if you need a new slogan for a product, write down every feature and benefit you can think of, the types of people who need the product, the problems it solves, and so on. Pull out a thesaurus and start looking up synonyms. When you are done, you will not only have your slogan, you will have a library of words and phrases you can use in your marketing and publicity campaigns."February 2011 5wh Marketing 15
  16. 16. 13. Wear A Silly Hatv Use a prop when it is time to be creative. It could be anything (such as wearing a silly hat) that signals to your brain that it is time to go into idea-generating mode.v "Have a routine that you follow when you want to be creative," says Kukral. "It might be to put on your hat, grab a ball to toss up in the air, and lean back in your chair with your feet on the desk. Once you are in your Creative at Work position, start coming up with ideas. Do this a few times, and you will be conditioned to start generating ideas as soon as you see the hat. Your brain will have been trained."February 2011 5wh Marketing 16
  17. 17. 14. Be a Bookworm v Read everything you can get your hands on: business books, novels, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and everything else. v The more raw materials you take in, the more you learn, and the more you know, the better you will become at putting together seemingly unrelated concepts to create something new.February 2011 5wh Marketing 17
  18. 18. 15. Sleep On Itv Just before going to bed, think about the ideas you want to generate. Be specific: "I will come up with great ways to promote our new widget.“v "Tell yourself you will come up with a solution while you sleep," advises Kukral. "Keep a pad and pen or a recorder next to your bed so you can capture the ideas as soon as you wake up."February 2011 5wh Marketing 18
  19. 19. 16. Ask The Almighty Google v When you are stuck on an idea, try entering a few words related to what you are looking for. v "Google will try to automatically complete your query, and may come up with just what you need," says Kukral. "Then look at some of the search results to see what inspires you."February 2011 5wh Marketing 19
  20. 20. 17. Doodlev Make random doodles on a white board or piece of paper.v Draw, jot words, make circles, or what you do when you doodle. As you loosen up, ideas may start to form on the pageFebruary 2011 5wh Marketing 20
  21. 21. 18. Forget Everything You Know v Too often, we let our biases creep in and influence our thinking. v Start fresh, without preconceived notions of what you must do or what is impossible. Be open to anything and everything.February 2011 5wh Marketing 21
  22. 22. 19. Borrow an Ideav Everyone thinks that their business is not like anyone elses. The truth is that all of our businesses are more alike than they are different.v "Look at what others are doing in other industries and see how you can apply their ideas to your own business," says Kukral. "If a solution is working for someone else, theres no reason it wont work for you, too. By the time you adapt their idea and tailor it to precisely fit your business, it will be unique." February 2011 5wh Marketing 22
  23. 23. 20. Hire a Professional Ø If youre really and truly stuck on something, or if a deadline is rapidly approaching, theres no shame in hiring a little outside help. Ø "Hiring a consultant can be a great investment," says Kukral. "Often times, they dont even have to come up with the ideas for you. They simply ask the right questions that will lead you to the great idea thats buried in your brain."February 2011 5wh Marketing 23
  24. 24. 21. Dont Worry About What Other People Thinkv I keep up with my great ideas on a Word document that I’ve uploaded to Google Docs. This document holds some of the most creative thoughts I’ve ever had. I’ve never shown it to anyone, nor will I, as it contains ideas that might seem silly to other people, but I value it greatly as a place where I can think freely and creatively without criticism.v That’s truly the key to coming up with great ideas. You need to free yourself from worry about what other people might say. If you have a place where you can brainstorm and record some of your most outrageous thoughts for getting attention without having to worry about someone else laughing at you, then you’ll find that it’s much easier to be creative, and, well, outrageous. And before you know it, your great ideas will be boosting your business. February 2011 5wh Marketing 24
  25. 25. Thank You! To know more about our company and our products & services and to start a relationship, here is Caleb:- Cell: +263 712 620 287 +263 772 466 540 Email: caleb@zol.co.zw Other: P.O. Box 1361 HarareFebruary 2011 5wh Marketing 25

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