When Creativity and Ingenuity Count Most

Key Takeaways

  • Maximizing your impact while minimizing your budget.
  • Simple Tactics that drive results

One of the greatest and most necessary traits an entrepreneur can have is creativity. When running a startup, the two things that are most needed are time and money. Unfortunately, these two commodities also tend to be in the shortest supply.

Nothing I can think of more adequately demonstrates the notion that “necessity is the mother of invention” than the task of managing a startup. Figuring out how to expand your business, increase productivity and drive sales with a limited budget, or in some instances with no budget at all can be an enormously difficult task. Resourceful entrepreneurs have shown for years however, that all is not lost. A little creativity and ingenuity can a make all the difference in the world.

Often times, the most successful techniques are the simplest. In today’s world, technology has reached such an impressive level of sophistication that it can almost be described as being wizardly. The special effects, the power of the computer and graphic artists can truly be amazing. Costs associated with them can also be staggering.

So, the challenge when building your startup is figuring out innovative ways to get your message out there and get people talking about you and or your product. The lesson here is that it doesn’t always have to be high tech, nor does it have to be expensive. Some of the greatest tactics are so simple and common sense oriented, that many of them are overlooked by the masses. Let’s look at a few that I have seen work wonders for small businesses.

One of the precepts of working with people is to remember that most people are curious by nature. If you can get them to ask you about your business, an unsolicited question or comment, we are more than halfway there. I think we can all agree that having a conversation with someone about what we do and what our product provides is a great starting point. So how do we initiate a conversation with someone we don’t know, or more importantly how do we get them to initiate a conversation with us?

One of the most successful tactics I have seen, especially for those of us that travel extensively by air is to simply wear a jacket or sweater with your company name or LOGO emblazoned on it. I managed a company involved in the Chiropractic business. I always wore a wind breaker or sweater with either our company name and/or a product logo on it. I can tell you that there were thousands of times that people asked me “what does your company do? Or what is that product on your lapel?”  That simple question opened the door for me to talk about the company and the good we can do.

This simple technique also provides you with many opportunities to talk about your product and company. The more you talk about it, the more ingrained it becomes into your psyche and the more enthusiastic your become when talking about it. This technique can be incredibly effective when on your way to a convention or trade show. Many of the people on the plane will be heading to the same convention. Jump starting conversations along the way will often result in more people coming to your booth to see what your product can do.

One of my favorite examples is one from the many case studies in grad school. A small family restaurant was opening up in a new town and the owner did not have funds to create a big marketing splash. Before opening to the public, most restaurants will invite friends and family for a free dinner so the help can do a trial run to make sure they are ready to go.

This particular owner had the brilliant idea that instead of inviting friends and family he invited all of the hairdressers in town. They were given a free dinner, were treated like VIP’S and of course they told all of their clients about the great new restaurant about to open. Before long, everybody in town was talking about this new restaurant and couldn’t wait to go try it out.

The key here is that creativity and ingenuity can often save the day and deliver needed results. Don’t be afraid to look at things from a simpler more common-sense approach. You will often wow the crowd by putting a new slant on things. Have fun with it and your customers will too!

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