Is your business slowing down, or just level-pegging? If so, it’s probably in need of refueling with a fresh, new idea — a shot of dynamic innovation to fire it up and set it buzzing again. Every business needs a boost now and again, so even if yours doesn’t yet, it may soon, and you’ll need to be ready. But a fresh, new idea requires inspiration, and that can be hard to come up with when you’re busy and tired, so tap into the sources around you instead; they’ll set your brain ticking. Here are six excellent sources of inspiration to draw on when the need arises:
Invite your staff to put forward development suggestions for the business. Focus minds by listing some areas to consider, such as modernizing your product, adapting it for secondary use, finding new markets and adjusting the company’s image. Perhaps lead in with a workplace discussion, then provide an email address for suggestions. There’s no telling who may hit on the most inspired idea, so be sure to include everyone, from executives to cleaners.
Provide a page on your website for customer feedback, with space for suggestions. If you’re doing this already, add an extra box inviting ideas for adapting your product for tomorrow’s world, with modest prizes for the best entries. For a wide-ranging response, set more questions, perhaps soliciting suggestions for a new logo or accessory. Hand out flyers with each purchase, advertising the competition, and notify your followers on social media. The contest itself will raise your profile and sales.
Have a look at what your competitors are doing, and how their products are faring on the market. Have they added anything new to theirs that could inspire an idea for yours? Check out their whole approach, from advertising to receiving payments and delivering the goods. A game-changing innovation doesn’t have to involve the product itself – any aspect of a business can serve, so you might find food for thought where you don’t expect it. Keep an eye out for ingenious innovations in other industry, too. One of them might spur an idea for yours.
Lifestyles and trends
Study lifestyle trends to see if your product is still fitting in as well as it used to. With today’s fast-paced developments in technology, information-gathering, and other areas, there is much to keep up with, but on the plus side, shifting trends open up opportunities for companies to expand and diversify to accommodate the changes. Examine current habits and attitudes that affect your line of business and consider how you could embrace them. There might be some dead-simple way that no one else has yet spotted.
Your friends and family
Never underestimate the ingenuity of your circle of friends and relatives. They may see a potential for your business where you’ve never thought of looking. Older ones will have the wisdom of experience to offer, while younger ones will have the advantages of quick minds and modern mindsets, so together, they could get you thinking.
Your own experience and vision
If you’re toying with an idea of your own, bring it out in the open and think it through properly. If it seems feasible, ask colleagues or associates for their views, and if it still looks promising, have the courage of your convictions and go for it. Entrepreneurship requires risk-taking at times, so if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time you did.
Fuel your business with fresh ideas, and it’ll go further. Keep it fired up, and the sparks will catch every eye, building custom all the time.