Friday, December 28, 2007

Brainstorming 101

Are you one of those people who really want to start their own business, but just can't figure out what business to start? Well, as we go into the new year, here are just a few brainstorming tips that you may not have thought of:

(1) Think BIG - If there were absolutely no constraints, what would you really want to have/do? I think this must be how MetroNaps was discovered - the founders thought it would be nice to be able to take a nap in a comfty place in the middle of their work day!!!

(2) Examine available space - Take a look around your community at which space/buildings are vacant and then think about what would be ideal there. Another source for available space are the many realtor site listing the specifications of different properties available for lease/sale.

(3) Forced relationship - This is for those creative, non-linear thinkers out there! Select two objects and then examine every way in which the two objects can be combined (adjectives, nouns, verb-correlates). For example, take a grape and an apple - you would come up with a 'grapey apple, grape apple, or graping apple.' Now, that might sound silly to you, but so does the grapple (an apple infused with grape flavor) offered for sale at the grocery store!

(4) Problem analysis - Focus on what really annoys you and then try to think of ways that you could solve the problem.

(5) Imitate an existing business model - There are a lot of innovative business that work. Now, instead of trying to reinvent yourself, copy their business model in your area of expertise! For instance, Netflix has an awesome business model that really works. We are now seeing the Netflix model being applied to other sectors - such as books on tape. Where else could you apply it? What about other great business models such as Dell, Amazon, or Ebay?

One last tip is to keep a running list of your ideas, whether it be in a notebook, computer file or cell phone. Then, revisit them from time to time so that you can develop them further.

Best of luck!

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