Great entrepreneurs are creative thinkers. For entrepreneurs, brainstorming is a part of their daily routine. So at a time when creativity is more in demand than ever, even non-creatives are going to have to practice being creative. Here are 7 brainstorming tips to get your creative juices flowing:
1. The answer is within your target market
Define your target market and find out their wants and needs . Figure out what expectations the current products aren’t meeting and strategize your product idea around your target market’s problems.
2. Create or find your creative-thinking spot
Where is a place that stimulates your thinking? Some people are able to think better in solitude, others around people. Create or find the perfect atmosphere that gets your mind going.
3. Start with your goal
What are you trying to achieve? If you can’t figure out where to start, it can help by working backwards.
4. Get rid of limits
No idea is a bad idea. Don’t restrict yourself while brainstorming. Jot down all of your ideas, even if you think they’re crazy or unrealistic.
5. Study your competitors
A good idea can always be better. Look at what your competitors are doing, and if they’re doing something well – figure out how to do it even better.
6. Be aware of your environment
Make trend-watching a step in your business process. Keep up with relevant trends and figure out ways to integrate them into your business.
7. Create a mind map
Ever used a mind map before? They are excellent brainstorming tools. Start with an idea you want to build off of in the center, and then add branches with ideas that relate to it. Then, add branches to those branches. Keep doing this until you uncover the gems you’re searching for. This works especially well with multiple people in the room contributing ideas to the map. A handy tool you can use is Stormboard, an online brainstorming app that multiple people can collaborate on. Here’s an example of a mind map:
Creative blocks are inevitable, so take advantage of these tips and take a break if you need to. Now, share YOUR tricks to effective brainstorming in the comments below!
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Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.