Every Christian business owner needs ideas to grow their business. Ideas are the life blood to keeping a business relevant and moving forward.
Whether you are just getting started and need an idea for a business or you are in business that has become stagnant, ideas bring new life to the leaders and organization.
Don’t get me wrong, ideas for ideas sake is never a good idea. We want to focus on ideas with a purpose.
Ideas with a purpose
When it comes to having ideas, we must start with a goal. This could be a simple fuzzy goal, like we need to grow our product line. We must have a direction to point the ideas. If you don’t have a business yet, your goal is to find a business idea that will help people and make money so you can help more people.
Purpose is the key element to having relevant ideas. We may want to grow, build our product line, offer new services, start a new division, etc. Each purpose will have a different thrust to the ideation process. Ideas grow when we feed them the right purpose.Business ideas grow when we feed them the right purpose. Click To Tweet
Ideas for starting a business
As Christians sometimes we are called to start a business, but are not sure where to begin. We must walk through the doors that God has placed in our lives and learn as much as we can about the types of business He may want us to begin.
I suggest starting with the Bible. I know that is the ‘Christian’ thing to say, but think about this . . . the businesses mentioned in the Bible have been relevant for over two thousand years. We can see things like farming, financial, construction, writing, textiles, clothing, etc. Read the Bible not just for ideas, but to allow God to talk to you. Open your mind and some obscure verse may give you an idea that changes the world.
After you have a basic focus for your ideas, take some sticky notes and begin to write out every idea that pops into your mind. Once you have read God’s word, your mind will be fertile soil to bring out the best ideas. These can be silly ideas, serious ideas, ideas you don’t even know where to start ideas . . . the point is to write down everything that comes into your mind.
Once you have over fifty ideas . . . yes, I said fifty ideas. . . you can start evaluating ideas. When you push yourself past the first ten or twenty ideas, you find your mind searching past your own ideas and you begin to tap into things only God can show you.
If you get really stuck, you can go to Amazon and look at the top sellers in non-fiction categories. Look at titles, table of contents, or just look at the pictures. You can even go to an actual book store and browse through various sections. Ideas are all around you, you just have to look for them.
Ideas for growing a business
Coming up with an idea to grow an existing business is pretty close to the same process. The only problem is that we have more presuppositions about what works and what does not work. Remember, just because an idea did not work in the past does not mean it will not work in the now.
Start with reading scripture and prayer. After getting focused on your purpose, pull out some sticking notes. Take time to write out every idea you have ever tried. Then, put every idea that you have thought about trying. Don’t let anything slip away, write down everything on a sticky pad and put it on the wall or spread it on a table. God may use a combination of those ideas to grow your business in new and exciting ways.
Bring in anyone who helps in your business and ask them for ideas. It could be a simple as asking your spouse, partner, the person in the shopping line behind you or even a member of the janitorial crew. Anyone may have an idea that you haven’t thought of yet. The concept is to get a new set of eyes on your solution. There is much wisdom that comes from much counsel.Just because an idea did not work in the past does not mean it will not work in the 'now.' Click To Tweet
Finding strong ideas
Once you have at least fifty ideas, quickly go through them. Put them in categories or piles. If two or more of the ideas mention monkeys, create a monkey stack. (Sorry about that, now you will probably come up with some monkey ideas when you try this exercise. Who knows? That may be the creative push you needed!)
Once you have categories, look at the outliers. Take out any ideas you don’t want to do, doesn’t fit your business or would not serve your customer. Throw those out. The rest of the ideas will become something we can go back to later, but these are the only ones we want to throw out.
Now, take a moment to get away. Take a walk or drive. Let your mind wander . . .and keep some sticky notes handy. Pray and let God speak to you. Remember, prayer is not just talking, it is listening. Let God give you a peace, wisdom and understanding about your business. I suggest taking at least an hour away from your office. You can take the rest of the day and come back in the morning for the next step.
Finding a winning idea
Here is where the growth happens. You may have had a dream, God may have given you another idea or one of your ideas may have naturally rose to the top. If so, you are done, run with it and take action on your new idea.
However, if you still have not seen the strong winner. Go through your stacks. Pair them down to ten, then five stacks, then two. Pick only the best. Bring it down to one stack. Don’t throw the others out, just set them aside, out of mind. Go through your one stack one note at a time. In that stack will be your wining idea. If not, go to the next best stack.
Creating ideas is not a one and done process. It is a constant ebb and flow for your business. Whether you are getting started or growing a thriving business, we need ideas to serve our customers better and communicate our business to the world.
God called you into business. You are a Christian business owner the moment God sparks in you the notion that you should be working for yourself. Take this exercise seriously. It may take a day, a week or a month, but let God breathe life into your business.
Only when we align ourselves up with our Creator, can we truly understand how to create a business that impacts the world. God wants you to make this world a better place and He has placed within you all you need. You have brains to find solutions. You have vision to do what God has called you to do in your business. You have the tools, resources and training within your reach if you just look for them.God wants you to make this world a better place and He has placed within you all you need. Click To Tweet
In our next article, we will talk about evaluating ideas. Don’t move on to the next article until you have a strong idea from the process above. You must start with what you know first.
Your business can never grow until you take action. Take action now, don’t let another moment pass by until you have nailed down the fact that God has called you into business.
Did you read our previous article titled: Fundamentals of business?