Business ideas are one of the most valuable resources that you, as an entrepreneur, have for your small business. You will always need business ideas on your whole entrepreneurial journey. Because of that, here I would like to share 40 tips on brainstorming business ideas you can use for your business.
Excellent business ideas are something that has the potential to make a difference between successful and unsuccessful or mediocre businesses.
If you have them, you can work on their implementation. You can change the world and build a better future for everyone. But, if you don’t have business ideas, you will continue to work on your current standing position until your business becomes obsolete for the time in which it operates.
Because of that, here in this post, I want to share 40 tips that will help you if you find yourself in a position of brainstorming different business ideas for your company, regardless of whether you work on startup ideas or on expanding your current business.
Brainstorming is a creative and collaborative process allowing individuals to generate new ideas without restrictions or limitations. It involves gathering a group of people to discuss and explore various possibilities, bounce ideas back and forth, and build on each other’s thoughts.
In brainstorming, team members brainstorm ideas unstructured while one team member writes them down in one place. In doing so, the ideas are not evaluated, judged, or discussed until the brainstorming session ends.
These sessions are usually very short and are used in case of mental “dead end.”
Tools You Can Use When You Brainstorm Business Ideas
6-3-5 Brainstorming Method
Brainstorming techniques may include the 6-3-5 method or mind mapping. For example, the 6-3-5 technique consists of defining certain rules according to which the development of ideas takes place. The total session is scheduled to last 30 minutes, which means that by consistently implementing this method, 108 different ideas will be obtained, and the numbers 6-3-5 represent:
- 6 – indicates that six people will need to participate in the brainstorming session,
- 5 – indicates that one “round” of the session lasts five minutes,
- 3 – indicates that for one “round,” each participant should present three ideas.
In exceptional cases when the free generation of ideas is necessary, make sure that the brainstorming is short, focused, and has a facilitator (leader, “emergency” dictator) who will prevent this method from developing into too long a discussion or not moving out of focus.
When you think about business ideas individually, one of the best ways is to use a mind map.
This tool is a graphical way to help you dig deeper to express and describe ideas and concepts. It begins with a central topic and branches out into sub-topics, each of which can have its own sub-branches, creating a radiant structure. This visual format mimics the way our brains naturally process information, making it an excellent tool for brainstorming.
- Identify your central idea: Start by writing or drawing your central idea in the middle of the page. This is the core problem or opportunity that your business idea for a product or service will address.
- Add Branches for Major Subtopics: From the central idea, draw lines outwards for each major subtopic connected to your main idea. These could be potential solutions, key features of your product or service, target markets, etc.
- Develop Sub-branches: For each subtopic, consider more specific elements or ideas and add them as sub-branches. For example, if one of your subtopics is “target market,” the sub-branches might include different demographic groups.
- Continue Branching Out: Continue this process of branching and sub-branching until you’ve explored each idea entirely. Don’t edit or judge ideas at this stage; the goal is to generate as many possibilities as possible.
- Review and Organize: Once you’ve exhausted your ideas, review your mind map. Look for connections, patterns, or themes. You might find unexplored associations between different branches or discover new insights that can further refine your business idea for your product or service.
The word SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Accordingly, the characteristics of a potential business idea fit into one of the four quadrants of the matrix. At the same time, strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that the company can influence, while opportunities and threats are external factors from the environment that the company cannot influence.
SWOT analysis allows a good structuring of all aspects that affect the company (positive and negative) and is applied in the initial phase to identify weaknesses that need to be acted upon or, at the very end, to summarize the analysis of the study.
Now, let’s see how to brainstorm business ideas.
How to Brainstorm Business Ideas? 40 Tips
Brainstorming ideas tip #1: Ask your target market
If you already know your target market, and you should, you can quickly start with your target audience by asking some of your potential customers about their wants, needs, or problems.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #2: Choose places where your creativity can be at the highest level.
Creativity is vital to brainstorming business ideas. Because of that, carefully choose places where your creative thought will flow and be there when you want to brainstorm creative ideas.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #3: During the brainstorming session, be open-minded
An open mind will free you from different biases regarding business ideas and will undoubtedly improve any brainstorming process.
Business Ideas Tip #4: Make a noise
This is an excellent recommendation. Many small businesses are built and exist because of the noise they make around them. So, start the fire with the noise about the best idea and follow what happens.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #5: Always have a notebook
Without the notebook, you can easily forget your business idea. Even the craziest and stupidest ideas right now can become the best in the future. So, keep your business idea book for your small business always updated.
Tip #6: Find as many trustworthy people as you can
Brainstorming depends on the people who participate in such a session. Find as many trustworthy people as possible that you think have the potential for such a task.
Brainstorm ideas tip #7: Visit trade shows
Many ideas may come from visiting trade shows in the certain industry where your business operates.
Tip #8: Travel as much as possible
Traveling increases your creativity and, of course, your viewpoint of things around you. It can be a valuable source of different business ideas from your new experience in your own life.
Brainstorm ideas tip #9: Take a look at your business model
Any business model review will lead you to some possible shortcomings, weaknesses, or new ideas for improvement. So, when you conduct a brainstorming session, look at your business model, ask yourself what can be improved, and develop possible business ideas.
Tip #10: Brainstorm bad ideas
Do not exclude bad ideas because often, good ideas are the opposite of bad ideas. Sometimes, today’s terrible business ideas can become good business ideas in the future.
Tip #11: Expand your view
The broader your view is, the better ideas will emerge from your brainstorming session. In most cases, your own ideas will depend on your own view about things around you.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #12: Avoid overthinking
Too much thinking will affect your creativity and your fantasy. Your creativity and imagination are essential for excellent and unique business ideas that can lead to the starting and building of a profitable business.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #13: How can you distinguish yourself?
Always ask this question: How can you be different from others? A brilliant idea usually comes from people who think differently from others.
Tip #14: What do you want?
All further ideas, activities, and actions depend on what exactly you want to achieve. Start from there. So, look at the future first, then go back to the best ideas of what you must do to achieve success in the future.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #15: Look at the giant companies
Sometimes good ideas can emerge from those big companies that are in the same or similar field as yours. So, don’t forget to look at them.
Tip #16: Look at other businesses
The creativity of other small business entrepreneurs will show you some possible future avenues for your business.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #17: Choose a good team
A team with which you will work can significantly help you with ideas. So choose a good team and use it to ensure creative juices flowing across your company.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #18: Ask for help or opinions
Don’t ever think that you are the smartest and don’t have any problems. When you are brainstorming, it is better to ask for help and opinions from someone than to come up with bad ideas that will produce bad business.
Tip #19: Socialize yourself
The more you are socialized, the more and better business ideas you’ll have.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #20: Stop for a moment and be your future customer
Look at everything, but look from the shoes of your customer. This is an invaluable source of business ideas.
Tip #21: Always listen
You have to listen to the voices of your potential customers, competitors, potential competitors, and the voices of suppliers. You can find many valuable and useful ideas.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #22: Look what happens around you
You have to see what is happening around you and your new or current business.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #23: Read a lot of books
In the books, you can find many high-quality information and ideas. From them, you can see many trends, opinions, views, etc. It is an excellent source of high-quality business ideas for you as a current or future entrepreneur.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #24: Follow the internet
Follow what is happening on the web. Currently, the internet can be the only valid and quickly accessible source of information about different business ideas for your business venture. Also, look at new technology and try to find ways to use it or improve it for your unique business ideas.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #25: Motivate yourself
Search and find different ways that can motivate you in your life. In such a way and with your creative process, you can come up with good ideas that can be used to push yourself forward.
Tip #26: Brainstorm possible mistakes
Possible mistakes offer a quality source or basis for good ideas. You can quickly turn any error into a new business idea.
Tip #27: Forget the past, look into the future
Don’t make the mistake of thinking about the past when you are in the process of brainstorming. At least for the moment, look into the future because your past will reduce your creativity.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #28: Monitor trends around you
Your business will need to be involved in the patterns that exist or that will be in the future. Because of that, you will need to monitor trends around you if you want to come up with a unique business idea.
Tip #29: Relax
A relaxed body and relaxed mind will increase your creativity. So, stop doing anything and try to relax. You will notice how the ideas will start to flow through your brain.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #30: Inspire yourself
Inspiration is an excellent base to start looking for the best business idea. Because of that, you need to figure out what inspires you.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #31: Take a break
Tiredness reduces merely your creativity. So don’t try to brainstorm business ideas when you’re not rested. Many silly ideas will come into your unconscious mind when you relax yourself.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #32: Watch ads in your industry
Advertisements of any kind represent a substantial source of potential business ideas. By tracking ads, you will see what competitors are doing and what they emphasize in their advertising.
Tip #33: Collaborate
Collaborate during the brainstorming session with everyone involved directly or indirectly in your business. This cooperation can lead to new ideas or improve existing ones. Ensure that your team members will brainstorm the idea individually and then collect their ideas and collaborate for improvements.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #33: What are the craziest ideas?
Try to come up with many crazy ideas. This is the stage where there is no restriction, but only brainstorming of ideas.
Brainstorm business ideas tip #35: Avoid loneliness
Sometimes, loneliness can help you enhance your creativity, but extreme loneliness leads to a depressive state where creativity is at its lowest possible level.
Tip #36: Avoid negative persons
Negative persons can negatively affect your business ideas. Avoid them when you work on brainstorming sessions for new business ideas.
Tip #37: Share your most beautiful picture in your brain
Every image and every idea can be improved, upgraded, and supplemented. So share your views in your mind with everyone around you.
Brainstorm ideas tip #38: Google
Google is the largest database of information and business ideas existing in the world. There are a lot of ideas, but ideas that can be improved or upgraded.
Brainstorm ideas tip #39: Don’t worry about grammar and spelling
Don’t think about grammatical rules when you write your business ideas in the business ideas book, or start working on your business plan.
Brainstorm ideas tip #40: Forget what you learned in the school
The educational system teaches you the rules, responsibilities, and procedures. In brainstorming sessions, you don’t need that, so forget about them.
So, was this article helpful? I hope that it gives you a wide range of perspectives for effective brainstorming before you start working on your business plan for execution.