Writing a business plan is not something that you should do all by yourself. There are many situations where you will not only welcome feedback from others, and it will be beneficial to you. It truly helps to have multiple people involved in the process so that ideas are flowing to and from more than one source. This flow of ideas is crucial in promoting creativity and diversity of thought, and is sometimes referred to as Brainstorming. Brainstorming can be the idea machine that churns out some of the most effective and important parts of your business plan.Here are some good ways to approach brainstorming.
Create a Brainstorming Team
This team might include cofounders, advisors, mentors, or even friends whose opinions you value. Once your team has been assembled, you are ready to set up your brainstorming session. Here are some guidelines to create a positive and fruitful brainstorming session:
- Give a heads up a day or two before the brainstorming session so participants can begin to gather ideas and thoughts.
- Choose an environment where creativity can thrive.
- Try sitting at a round table or in some environment where everyone will feel included and equal. If you do not have access to a conference room or the equivalent, try meeting at a coffee shop or holding a phone meeting.
- Go over the rules and guidelines of brainstorming before the meeting actually begins.
- Assign a recorder to keep track of all ideas.
- Allow and encourage everyone to speak freely.
- Piggyback off of others ideas and input.
- Although some fun and humor is expected and encouraged, stay on topic and on task
- Remember: this is a time for generating ideas, do not judge or discourage anyone, all ideas may not be used but will still be useful.
When writing a business plan, brainstorming can be useful when creating your mission statement, core values, core purpose, and branding strategy to name a few. Use brainstorming anytime you feel that collective thoughts would be helpful to your plan. Remember, you are supposed to use the help of others when writing your business plan and this is just one instance of that. Now that you know how to conduct a productive and creative brainstorming session you can move ahead with a more complete business plan.