Mind mapping software is an excellent tool to help you to think about your business differently – an essential exercise during the global recession. It’s at times like these that new business models, products and services will emerge, seemingly out of nowhere. Constraints force people to be creative. That’s why downturns tend to be hotbeds of innovation.
Here are 10 ways in which you can utilize mind mapping software to rethink your business, leap ahead of your competitors and delight your customers:
- Map out ideas to improve or extend your existing products and services.
- Map your customer segments, including the development of personas to zero in on how their needs have changed in light of the current recession; identify the most promising ones for targeted sales campaigns and look for those that may be under-served by your competitors.
- Map your current market segments, and identify adjacent ones with similar needs into which you can expand your marketing and sales.
- Do a competitive analysis, and use your mind map to identify gaps you can fill in areas that matter to your most attractive prospective customers.
- Use it to perform a SWOT (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) analysis, with a particular emphasis on potential disruptive threats. Which emerging firms are you not taking seriously today? What if they suddenly got much better? Mind maps are great for outlining future scenarios like this one.
- Look for opportunities to reduce waste and streamline business processes. The savings you uncover will go right to your bottom line!
- Analyze and improve your business model. How are companies in other industries or markets creating sustainable value? What lessons can you adapt or learn from what they have accomplished?
- Conduct research into emerging industry trends and “weak signals,” and use a mind map to capture, organize and analyze your findings for new insights and opportunities.
- Brainstorm potential partnering opportunities – the more unusual, the better. Don’t forget your local universities, who can help you with market research and business planning!
- Ask thought-provoking questions that to generate new insights into your business, its challenges and opportunities. Record both the questions and your answers in a mind map.
How are you utilizing mind mapping software to help re-think your business? Please share your stories in the comments area below!