I know, I know – brainstorming is such a corporate word you’re probably squirming already. However, I’m afraid to say that it’s the best I have for this particular subject. ‘Putting your heads together’ and ‘having a strategy session’ where you ‘think outside the box’ are equally bad as potential entries in buzzword bingo and ‘coming up with new ideas’ is just a bit pedestrian. I quite like brain dumping but that means something a bit different for me. So, what am I on about? If you aren’t already using brainstorming in your business it’s probably time to start. Call it whatever you like, it’s the perfect way to boost your business.
Get a new perspective
It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a bubble when you work by yourself. You decide exactly what you spend your time on and how you approach things. If business is good then there’s a good chance you’re taking the right approach, but you run the risk of becoming complacent and failing to anticipate change or adapt to it. If things aren’t going so well you could struggle to work out why. You might have had comments from customers but dismissed them as unreasonable. Or perhaps another business owner made a suggestion but you rejected it as unhelpful.
That’s when brainstorming can be really helpful. When you get a group of people together they’ll all have different viewpoints. Some will do things in a completely different way. Others will have things in common with you but may still have something new to offer. Sometimes just having a range of opinions can be useful.
Offering yourself up for feedback can be scary. That’s why it’s crucial that you find the right group of people to work with. Brainstorming only really works when you’re completely open about the challenge you’re having and you can’t do that with people you don’t trust. Equally, sometimes it’s better if they aren’t close friends. Your friends are (hopefully) only interested in making you happy. Someone you don’t know as well might come up with a solution that works but that you won’t necessarily like. It’s not because they’re being malicious, they just don’t know that you don’t like ringing people up.
If you find yourself resisting what is logically a good idea, it can be an opportunity for personal growth. Ask yourself why you feel that way. Are you rejecting an idea because you genuinely don’t have the right skills or couldn’t learn them? Or are you making the decision based on fear?
Brainstorming is magic
I’m part of a coaching group where each member gets a spotlight session. You can focus on a particular challenge you’re facing in business and the group works together to help you find ways to solve it. A typical brainstorming session involves making suggestions for specific solutions. The spotlight sessions are a bit different in that the other members ask questions to get you thinking about the problem in a different way.
However you do it, brainstorming can completely transform your thinking. I’ve had lightbulb moments from being asked a question that completely turned my problem on its head. I just needed to approach it with an open mind.
If you think you need a bit of brainstorming perspective in your business there are all kinds of ways to start. If you’re a member of a networking group, ask if any of the other members want to get together. Search for small group coaching (or just a good coach) in your area. Even Facebook groups can be a good place to ask questions and get lots of different suggestions. Just choose carefully!
If you’d like some time with me brainstorming your content marketing strategy, it’s yours! Click here to find out more about my strategy sessions.