10 Tips to Find the New Ideas for Business
This article has ten ways you can use to find new ideas for your business. The trick behind them all is to come at the notion of new ideas from a different angle. Brainstorming ideas is very hard if you do not have a direction to concentrate your efforts. A lot of ideas come from noticing problems and setting out to solve them. Here are ten ways you can use to come up with new ideas for your business or workplace.
1 – Copy your competition
If you copy your competition then you do not have the advantage of using the idea first, but you do have the advantage of watching them take the risks first. They are the ones who have to invest time, effort, research and money into the project. If it works then you copy it, and if it does not then they are the ones who have to recover–not you.
2 – Find a problem
This is the oldest trick in the book, since cave dwellers decided they did not like dark caves and so invented fire. Many times it is the appearance of a problem that encourages new ideas and innovative solutions. Try looking for subtle problems that are an inconvenience, such as having to wait for programs to update during the day. You could set them to auto update at night so that they do not disrupt the business during the day.
3 – Make a process faster, sleeker, smoother, more cost effective, more efficient or more productive
Ideas around how to improve your business will flow like cheap wine at a bachelorette party if you simply ask the right questions; how to make a process faster, how to make a process more cost effective, etc.
4 – Examine the idea of outsourcing a process
Sometimes an idea involves nothing more than outsourcing a process. Do a lot of research into how feasible outsourcing a process is, and if it will save money then suggest it to the senior officials as your new idea.
5 – Take a process that occurs outside the business and bring it into your company
In contrast to point four, you can examine the idea of adding a new process to your company. The difference is that you add a process that makes pragmatic sense but is not immediately apparent. For example, let’s say that buying envelopes for customer contact is one of your processes. Is it possible to set up a small internal team to manufacture envelopes? Could the company waste paper be recycled and used to make envelopes cheaper then what you currently purchase them for.
6 – Make one of your processes Green
There are books and websites crammed with thousand of Green ideas that you can try. Just make sure that as soon as any process goes green, you make it publicly known so that you can reap the goodwill from it. You can disseminate the idea that it is “Yet another successful initiative in your march towards becoming the most green company in your field.”
7 – Save money to re-invest within the same area
Any pencil pushing budget manager can save the company money, but more often than not, it means making a compromise such as lowering quality or making the staffs life harder. Your new idea could be to take a process, save money on it and then re-invest the money into the same process to help improve it.
For example, you have to purchase new rubber cutting knives every year because your current ones wear out. You find more expensive knives but they last five years, and over the five years, you will save a considerable amount of money as a result. Instead of keeping the savings, you could invest the saved budget money into purchasing knife sharpening and maintenance equipment. The staff gets knives that last longer, are sharper, and all through reinvesting money that you saved.
8 – Take a day off and do something different
The different thing has to be outside of your house and has to be something that removes you from your normal setting. It is even better if you are removed from your comfort zone. You will see potential ideas all around you and you will be caught off guard by the things you come up with and see. All you need to be is open and receptive to the new things around you.
A name carved in wood will inspire you to change the wax molding methods at work. You will see a person bury leaves and come up with a new mulch idea for the gardens at work. You may see a dog chew the ends of a bone to get at the bone marrow and come up with a new pet toy that does the same thing.
The potential for new ideas is massive if you remove yourself from the norm. All you need to be is receptive to new ideas, because even bad ideas can easily change into good ones. Such as when Jack Worchester made a nasty tasting sauce for pasta that turned out to be delicious on cheese on toast and potato dishes.
9 – Set up a staff suggestion box
This is such an out dated method that is simply used by people who want to steal the ideas of their staff. You should start a naming policy that openly displays the names of people and their ideas, along with a timestamp for each idea. You must also start a policy to bring in at least two staff to discuss their ideas. You can even offer an incentive program. Even accepting smaller ideas and rewarding people for it can increase staff motivation and your staffs’ feelings of belonging.
10 – Set up a staff training program
All of your staff could stand to learn more skills and it would allow you to set up a job-switching program, which would aid in covering unexpected staff illness. You can use ideas for staff training to add further responsibilities to your current team of staff.
Ideas around staff training are good for increasing the functions of each department. For example, why can’t the accounts department administer the recreational I.T. systems as well as their accounting duties? Ideas around staff training are a good way to develop staff, a good way to authorize paying them more, and a good way to make them more productive whilst also giving them more work to do.
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