A single idea can revolutionise your business, it can also take you off track and cause you to waste time, money and energy. Here are five tips to sort out which ideas are best to pursue in your business.
1. Brainstorm ideas and keep an ideas file
Ideas can come at anytime, be ready for when they arrive by keeping an ideas file or journal on hand to record them in. Dedicate one day each month to ‘brainstorm’ ideas that can accelerate your business, make things easier or even ones that can create new income streams for you. If you struggle to do this on your own, ask a friend, business buddy or business coach to help you.
When recording ideas give them a rating as you go of the importance of making them happen in your business. It will make it easier when deciding which ideas to implement.
Regularly coming up with new ideas can also act as a motivator for you, it helps keep your thinking-about ‘working on’ your business fresh and as time goes by your ideas will become innovative.
2. Assess and analyse the cost effectiveness of the idea
Take the time to assess all the costs associated with implementing each idea, after all you do not want to start implementing an idea only to discover as time goes on the cost keep going up and you will not be able to recover and make profit from your investment.
Make sure you ask around the people in your network, someone may have tried your idea before and know some short cuts, pitfalls or easier ways for you to do it.
Consider the option of working with like minded people or entering into joint venture approaches to make your ideas work. The old saying ‘two heads are better than one’ can be a diamond mine for your business.
You may even discover that the idea is low cost to implement with high returns!
3. Give the idea a chance to work
When you implement a new idea you must give it time to work for you, for example sending a email campaign may take three times before you start to see results. I see many small businesses implement a new idea when it doesn’t show results in the first week they discard it and start on a new one.
More often than not, if they had given the idea time to work it would have shown results. I like to imagine my ideas as sunflowers growing in the garden, in the first 5 days you will see nothing, in days 7 – 10 you will see a seedling appear, in 15-20 it will take on the shape of what is to come, at 30-40 there will be glorious result to admire.
4. Measure the performance of the idea
Ensure that you put measurements in place for your ideas so that you can assess their effectiveness and importantly the return on your dollar. If the idea is working moderately look for ways you can improve it before disregarding it completely.
A word of caution, you might be too close to your idea to assess it’s effectiveness. As humans generally we like to think we are right and doing the right thing. This thought process can be detrimental to us assessing our ideas with an impartial view. Ensure you include a person, process or measurement that can tell you when you are off track with your idea. I’ve seen many small business owners almost go broke holding onto their ideas.
5. Only choose ‘add value ideas’ and avoid change for the sake of change.
Use a performance measure against your ideas to assess if the idea will add value to your business, your customers and your bottom line. Change for the sake of change is a waste of time, money and energy.
Let me know what you think.