Friday, March 31, 2017

Brainstorming, Goals and follow-up

Small businesses face many roadblocks

Designing and building a great product is only the beginning.  Small businesses are faced with setbacks and difficulties that can be daunting - and seldom have extensive resources to deal with them.  There can be challenges in every facet of the business:

  • Design

  • Manufacturing

  • Sales or Marketing

  • Administration

  • Company facilities

    One simple technique for dealing with setbacks is 'brainstorming'.  It is a useful means of getting new ideas and finding innovative solutions to problems.

    The best brainstorming sessions are where you have:

    • A focused review of a major issue or problem
    • The right people to involve (experts AND key employees)
    • Rules for Safe engagement (no idea is a bad one) 
    • A comfortable, productive environment 



    Description of a good Initial Session

    • State the problem clear terms
    • Define a goal (dollars, savings, outcome, etc)
    • What actions are needed to achieve the goal?
    • What are barriers to the actions?
    • How can you overcome each barrier?
    • How to measure improvements/success?
    • Assign the actions to responsible parties.
    • Write it all down - Agree.
    • Determine when to review progress.

     Plans are only plans without action

    • Brainstorming is planning - but followup counts.
    • Action is the means to achieve the goals.
    • Each responsible person must fulfill their assignments.
    • Measurements must be made for each action.
    • The goal should be continually restated by all.


    Regular reviews/adjustments are critical

    • Are improvements coming about?
    • Where are weaknesses in the plan? 
    • What is not working?
    • What is working?
    • Fine-tune, Fine-tune, Fine-tune.
    • Actions that bring success = procedures.



    Does this seem too formal for your small business?

It is almost impossible to succeed without this kind of focus.  It also never hurts to focus your actions on problem solving and goal attainment.  Brainstorming and followup!

If you like this and our other posts, please take a look at our great products: