Ideas are the spark for any new business; you need a eureka moment before you get going. By allowing yourself to come up with new ideas, you can ensure your business is in the best position to grow. But before you start trying to make fire, let’s talk about a few ways to get those sparks flying productively. 

This article shares four business mind map ideas you could use:

  • Spider diagram
  • Random words
  • Flowchart
  • Concept map

How to get started with your business mind map

To get the most out of your time brainstorming, it’s essential to make sure you start correctly. Before we go into the types of mind maps, you have to decide how to create them. It depends on the purpose and the intention behind your ideas. Are they just for you to see, or will you present them?

  • Freehand pen and paper – this approach is excellent if you need to jot down ideas quickly, but if your handwriting is messy, then not ideal for sharing with others.
  • Using software – creating business mind maps using software is often simpler than pen and paper. That said, you do need to set it up, which takes a little time. Still, these mind maps will look more professionally laid out.

An example of software is Miro. The first example in our list was created using this software, and it is often the go-to for many businesses.

Examples of business mind maps to inspire you

Here are four mind maps that hopefully inspire you to organise your ideas. There is no right or wrong way to set up a brainstorming session –– these examples are just guidelines. Once you get into the flow, you will find out what suits your style best.

1) Spider diagram

We start with the most simple: Spider Diagrams. Schools often show these to children to help them dig into a particular subject. You start with your base topic or question in the middle, then branch out your web with each initial thought. One idea often leads to another, forming the web.

Spider diagrams work so well for children because they allow them to organise their imagination. Although, adults might find them equally helpful when brainstorming ideas. The childlike sense of wonder and exploration you gain from allowing your thoughts to go down different paths is great for the creative process. 

2) Random words

Have you played the word association game where you must respond with the first thought of someone saying a word? This randomness helps you come up with ideas. 

The process for the random words mindmap goes as follows: 

  1. You start with your question or area being the base again.
  2. Then, you purposefully select an utterly unrelated word (if you need a bit of help, you can open up a dictionary or anything with words you can focus on).
  3. Based on that word, follow the rules of the association game and write down as many things as possible that come to mind.
  4. Connect those seemingly random thoughts to your question or subject. Look for similarities and differences that might allow you to develop some new thoughts and ideas.

Giving yourself the freedom to detach your conscious mind from the problem allows your subconscious to do the work for you. Coming back to focus, you’ll have a wealth of new ideas. Remember not to get hung up on making sense of everything: the purpose is to give that out-of-the-box thinking a try.

3) Flowchart

(https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/flowchart-template)

Sometimes a problem or question might revolve around how your business operates. The best way to think about this is to give yourself the ability to understand your process. Regardless of your industry, there will always be a process to follow. If you present it all to yourself visually, the ideas around what you could change will seem more apparent. 

These maps look a bit more complicated than the previous two. That said, they are an important way to open yourself up to innovation. By laying it all out, you can find issues and solutions that you might not have thought about before. 

Follow these steps to create a flowchart:

  1. Start at the point where your business begins (this could be getting the supplies, for example).
  2. Then, move on to where that leads. You can have options for what happens in different scenarios (what would you do if a client is late, for example?).
  3. Follow the same pattern through stage after stage, using arrows to signal the flow of effects.

These charts can be as straightforward or complicated as you wish; all that matters is that you lay out the appropriate steps. In the end, you can look at it all and think about ways to improve your processes. This method is a well-structured way to manage your business ideas.

4) Concept map

(https://lsc.cornell.edu/how-to-study/studying-for-and-taking-exams/concept-maps/)

If you have mastered Spider Diagrams, played around with Random Words and understood your process with a Flowchart, then you are ready for the big league. Concept mapping is a way of visualising all of these concepts and ideas you have, allowing you to understand the relationships between them. 

The main difference between a spider diagram and a concept map is that you use spider diagrams to cultivate ideas, and the latter is usually used to piece them together. 

Here is the process for creating a concept map:

  1. Start with the central idea of answering a question or solving a problem.
  2. Then move on to splitting that idea into different vital concepts or thoughts that stem from the initial idea.
  3. Begin linking things together to come up with solutions for the question or problem at hand.

Concept maps let you whittle down what really will work for you. It’s one thing to come up with loads of ideas and another to figure out exactly which ones you can use. Concept mapping is perfect for helping you do that.

Now that you can map your ideas let’s look at how a system like Countingup helps you navigate your business accounting with ease.

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