Join us on this page from 1–2pm on Wednesday 19 April to talk to our expert panel about how to come up with great ideas or pivot your business
Tips and tricks for coming up with new ideas
A quick round-up of some of the panel’s favourite ways to get creative:
Growing your business in a changing market
Testing out your ideas often leads to growth in a business – some might seek outside investment to launch a new product, for example. Natalie Campbell offered her advice on protecting your enterprise as it grows:
Risk assessment should be given as much time as creative planning and cultivating a culture where you learn from any shocks or negative things in the business will help you get over what can be personally and emotionally draining. I can’t stress enough how important cash in the bank is – make sure you understand your money in and out as you can weather most things if you have financial reserves. Chase large clients that pay late or under long payment terms and only commit money to projects when you’re sure the ROI -if lost – can be covered.
Creating a culture of innovation
Reader amynottm asked the panel how they encourage innovation in their businesses, whether large or small.
Being creative in times of economic uncertainty
The Brexit vote has brought uncertainty for some small businesses. Should entrepreneurs keep testing out new ideas in times of political or economic change?
How to be creative as a one-man band
This question comes from reader Zoe.
The panel suggested heading to networking events and running ideas by trusted friends and business contacts:
Submit a question
You can post questions in the comments section below during the chat. Or you can send questions in advance, or during the discussion, by emailing email@example.com or by tweeting us at @GdnSmallBiz with your question.
How to join in the discussion
Make sure you are a registered user of the Guardian (if not, it’s quick to register) and join us in the comments section below, which will open on the day of the live chat.
What we’ll be discussing
Where do great ideas come from? Some argue the virtues of a good walk, others rely on group brainstorms or pinpoint their success to a light-bulb moment.
The best business ideas solve a problem, as Chris Thomason explains in his blog on creativity. If your startup does this, then you may have taken the first step towards a successful enterprise. Next you need to test demand and adapt your offering as the market, and your customers’ needs, change. You might even need to pivot your business. For some this might mean a side product becomes the core business, for others that a free model turns into a subscription-only service.
In a business, there is always a need for new ideas. You might be seeking a novel marketing approach, a fresh route to funding or a product redesign. As you take on staff, you must nurture a culture that encourages and rewards creativity. But the practicalities of running a company are also in play, including maintaining a healthy cashflow and responding to industry changes.
The Brexit vote has brought about many potential challenges for businesses, and they must innovate or pivot their business to survive. Whether it’s attracting tourists with the help of the weak pound or opening up an office overseas to avoid the effects of a potentially poor trade deal.
Questions we will aim to cover in this webchat include:
- The tried and tested steps to creativity
- How to innovate on a tight budget
- How to pivot your business idea
- How to identify, and reward, good ideas
- The secrets of an innovative workplace
- How to forecast and plan for market changes
- When to invest in outside help
- How to protect your business as it grows
Natalie Campbell, co-founder, A Very Good Company, broadcaster and public sector non-executive director
Rikke Rosenlund, founder, BorrowMyDoggy
Sean Carney, head of direct commercial for Hiscox UK and Ireland
Sara Gordon, brand and creative director, Bloom and Wild
Katie Cannon, head of business strategy, Sugru
Sarah King, founder of We Are Unstuck
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