Where does a creative spark come from? It is a question that has stumped scientists and philosophers for centuries. Although ideas seem to emerge from nowhere out of the dark recesses of our brains, in reality they have developed as a result of our previous interactions. Whether any idea is truly original is difficult to say, as everything we experience could count as a form of inspiration, even if only subconsciously so.
As a small business owners, coming up with fresh ideas may be the only way of sustaining your company. Without huge financial resources to draw from, creativity is the currency that drives your growth. If you’re looking for sources of inspiration to push your business to the next level, here are a few suggestions.
You can’t choose when to have a great idea, but you can make it more likely to happen. What’s more, you can arm yourself with the knowledge that you need to ensure your next big idea is relevant to your business.
Try to soak up as much information about your chosen industry as you can by attending events and networking with your fellow business owners. A chance conversation could be all it takes for inspiration to strike. Many corporate events and seminars will focus on present-day and future challenges that are facing your industry - and where there’s a challenge, there’s an opportunity.
Everyone knows that the internet is a vast source of knowledge and creativity (some of it good, some of it not-so-good). When it comes to business ideas, make sure you tap into this resource whenever you’re in need of inspiration.
The modern small business must have an online presence if it is to succeed in this day and age and what better way to source ideas for your website or social media account than by checking out the competition. By looking at business (and consumer) sites, you can get great ideas for web design, content strategies and corporate branding. Don’t steal anything, but use what you see to generate fresh ideas for your own company.
Too many business owners take it upon themselves, and themselves alone, to grow their organisation. Although this is understandable to an extent, it means you are wasting one of the most important resources you have at your disposal: your employees.
Set up weekly meeting with high-ranking members of staff and let them speak freely about any criticisms or suggestions they may have. In addition, starting a reward scheme for the best employee idea of the month adds a further incentive for everyone to get creative.
Get away from it all
Sometimes taking a step back is the best way to find your inspiration. If you’re struggling to come up with anything, then maybe you should take some time away from the business by seeing a new part of the world or even just recharging the batteries with a good book at home for a few days. A bit of distance is sometimes all you need to see the brilliant idea that’s been right in front of you all along.