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Need a Great Idea? CHEAT.

When you solve problems for Small Business you must be able to come up with an idea or two. When you’re able to come up with an idea that someone else can’t it can look like a parlor trick – truly magic. Ideas are novel, especially good ones, because they come on as a flash and sometimes fit perfectly. I’ll contend that it’s that “fit” that makes the magic. Anyone can create an idea about some outrageous commercial or giveaway, but the best ideas a simple. So, how can you create ideas that seem to fit just right?

I’ll tell you what I do. I CHEAT. Yeah, CHEAT like my life depends on it. No, I don’t look around and rip off someone else. To cheat in the idea game is to simply understand what you’re trying to get done. 90% of the idea generating processes I observe spend far too much time thinking of ideas and not enough time defining the problem you’re trying to solve. So, the first thing to do is spend 5 to 10 minutes thinking about the cause of your problem, who or what it affects and what the desired outcome might be. Once you clearly define the smallest action, work backwards to create the idea needed.

Let’s use an example so this isn’t so abstract. Let’s say you are a sales manager and you’re trying to find qualified salespeople. Your goal is to hire one new salesperson per month. In this instance, you could spend a ton of money on job postings, job fairs and sign-on bonuses. All those methods seem like a start to hire a new salesperson. But you’re technically not trying to hire just any salesperson. Dig deeper into the problem and define it better.

In order to hire a GREAT new salesperson, you need to find a pool of strong candidate to hire. To find a strong candidate to hire, you need to make three offers to qualified applicants. To find three qualified applicants, you may need to interview nine total applicants. To get nine total applicants you may need to have 27 one-on-one meetings.

That’s a discovery – Your is not to hire a salesperson, but to fill the one-on-one pipeline with qualified candidates.

But how do you get 27 one-on-one meetings with the type of salespeople that you’d want to hire?

We’re not done defining the problem - that will become apparent in Part 2.