Making Idea Creation Part of Your Studio’s Fabric
“College isn’t the place to go for ideas.”—Helen Keller
A week ago, I tossed out a few ways about generating ideas for your business but they were far from the only ways that open-minded photographers will find new, better, faster ways to operate.
Listen to your employees. The bigger your operation gets, the further away you get from actual work. It’s an inevitable part of growth and sooner or later it becomes impossible to remain hand-ons without micromanaging your and driving your employees crazy or onto your competitor’s payroll. True, they may not always have the “big picture” but they know what it’s like out there in the real world. Even if you don’t use their ideas as offered, there’s a chance you’ll find a kernel you can put into practice. If you do, reward them for these suggestions.
Listen to your clients. They’re out in the trenches too! If a client likes you, they’ll tell you about services they would prefer to purchase from you. It can’t get any more real world than this, so make time to investigate implementing these suggestions if you can and if not, make sure you let them know why. This requires two-way communications: They must trust you enough to give you new ideas in the first place, and you have to be open-minded enough to consider even their wackiest scheme. If their ideas help you make money, a little “thank you” is more than a good idea.
Ideas walk through open doors. Start by believing that each new day provides an opportunity to come up with one new idea. Don’t be discriminating about the proposals that arrive at your doorstep or are delivered by employees or clients. Even if the “idea of the day” is simply a better way to landscape the property around the studio, don’t toss it out. Make a sketch and save it in an idea file or better yet a box. The best way to start thinking outside the box is to put your ideas into a box to retrieve at a later time. The wonderful movie “Crazy People,” features character actor David Paymer as a man who carries a “hello box” around with him, filled with slips of papers with various ways of saying “Hi!” to people. Use your idea box the same way.