Making Your Business Brainstorming Sessions More Efficient
Whether you specialize in selling jewelry-making supplies or wholesale beading, innovation is a big part of what will make your business successful in the long run. By constantly bringing new ideas to the table, you'll keep up with competitors and show consumers that you're genuinely interested in appealing to growing trends.
Before your next meeting, ask each of your staff members to take a few minutes to brainstorm and jot down some ideas they can contribute. Even if not all of them are gold, you'll be able to give yourselves a sense of direction once you start to put your heads together.
|Even if you only have a small staff, bringing everyone together to routinely brainstorm will make sure you're constantly developing new ideas that can continue to drive sales. However, not everyone is always going to be excited about the prospect of sitting down and racking their brains in a creative session.
In the end, it may be you who has trouble jumpstarting your mind and coming up with new ideas. Regardless of who is struggling, it can be disheartening to hit a wall while brainstorming. To make sure you're still getting the job done, here are a few ways that you can brainstorm more effectively and generate profitable ideas.
Brainstorm on your own
Entrepreneur.com reports that the best way to make sure your beading company sees results after a brainstorming session is to encourage people to come up with ideas themselves prior to your meetings. When individuals are able to think on their own, they allow their minds to explore other options without the influence of others--limitations are eliminated.
Encourage friendly competition
Businessweek states that some of the best brainstorming sessions you will have will come from competitive meetings. This means that your staff members will be eager to outdo each other with their ideas and show off knowledge they have gathered through experience. To make sure the competition stays friendly and employees don't start to feel less valuable than others, remind your staff of your goals as a beading company. No ideas are "bad"--every notion can help build on your objectives to better your business.
Be mindful of the issue at hand
Many entrepreneurs think that brainstorming is the easiest way to solve problems when they abruptly arise. While this may be the solution to some issues, it's far from the answer to everything that may come your way.
Forbes Magazine reports that it's crucial to make sure that a brainstorming session is timed properly and used for the right reasons. For instance, it might not yield positive results if you bring in your entire staff to try and solve a largely difficult situation. Some individuals may not have the in-depth knowledge and experience to help you resolve the issue at hand.
Instead, think about creating small brainstorming sessions with employees who have a certain level of expertise when handling a specific issue. This can make your meetings more productive and give you better results.
MindTools.com reports that much of the success of a brainstorming session can be attributed to how it's carried out. Although you might think you can treat this as just another meeting, the fact of the matter is that a certain amount of preparation must go into the event to improve its chances of success.
Ideally, you should choose a meeting room that everyone can be comfortable in--make sure everyone has a chair and no one has to stand. Next, think about assigning someone the job of recording the ideas tossed around the meeting. Using a white board lets everyone keep track of the ideas. This will give everyone the opportunity to brainstorm freely without the interruption of jotting everything down.
Finally, wait to give criticism until after the meeting is over. Take time following the event to gauge and rank the ideas you receive--analyzing the ideas during the session can be discouraging to some of your employees.
Know your limitations
Sometimes, thinking outside of the box simply isn't practical, according to CNN. As an entrepreneur, it's important that you know your limitations prior to conducting a brainstorming session. If you come up with a series of ideas that don't fit within the means of your resources and funds, you won't be able to implement them.
"That's why it's critical to know the company's decision-making criteria before you start," Shawn Coyne, co-author of "Brainsteering: A better approach to breakthrough ideas," told the news source. "Instead of thinking outside the box, you should think inside a carefully crafted box with enough structure to help guide your thinking without over-constraining it."
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