Fostering innovation and increasing productivity are priorities in every organization, regardless of whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a brand new startup. One way to achieve both of these goals is through mind mapping. While mind mapping can be quite useful for large businesses, there are some very specific organizational benefits of using mind maps in startups. Let’s take a look!
Conquer Your Fears
When you’re running a startup, it’s only natural to second-guess your ideas and have doubts about the direction your company is going. Startup fears can be productivity killers for every entrepreneur out there. Paired with the number of hats entrepreneurs wear in their fledgling organizations, these factors, if not focused efficiently, could be debilitating to your business.
Mind mapping can help clarify thought processes and bring much-needed perspective to the table. It allows people to outline fears and business concerns, from sourcing and manufacturing challenges to the many hurdles often faced by marketing and sales. More importantly, it helps visualize how to overcome those fears, and try to anticipate possible problems that could arise. When you use a collaborative mind mapping tool, the whole team — or company, as is the case with many small startups — can contribute and foresee what problems may arise, and offer solutions for how best to overcome them. Participants can make specific correlations between one part of the business, and offer up creative solutions for various problems in their respective departments. Laying everything out visually helps break down issues into more manageable pieces, and making them far less intimidating. A simple exercise like this can do wonders for confidence levels in your startup, along with ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
Ideas and Brainstorming
In a startup, there’s bound to be a lot of energy and buzz around the product or service being developed. Startups often have brainstorming sessions more frequently than large businesses, in order to talk about new ways to market the product, tailor it to different audiences, and assess how early growth is going. In this flurry of activity, you neither want to lose good ideas nor do you want to keep driving the ones that aren’t viable. Startup leaders need to let their teams have “brain dump” sessions, wherein all ideas are brought forth and views expressed.
Our advice? Start the brainstorming mind map by creating floating topics, then draw connections and branch out into other, fleshed out ideas. A mind map creator allows you to organize topics together under a specific branch, as well as create filters and filter rules to block out different topics and ideas, allowing you to view only what you need to.
Mapping Out Priorities
Mind mapping software is wonderful for enabling people to better map out priorities. Think of it as using a virtual whiteboard, exempt from the hassle of erasing and redrawing; you can drag, drop, and organize topics with ease, and the entire team can make changes together. The visual component of mind maps makes it easy to evaluate ideas, and lets you refine criteria so that you can appropriately weigh each idea. Plus, since it’s a visual interface, you can compare ideas side-by-side and easily select the ones you’d like to pursue. It’s a simple, intuitive matter to organize ideas and information in a single view, in order to see connections and draw conclusions quickly. Essentially, there’s less time wasted on decision making. And, finally, you can map out the resources you have and integrate schedules so you can plan with the company’s best interests in mind.
Another challenge in startups is managing finances. How much capital do you need to keep the company going and how much should you put back in? By taking a step back and creating a mind map of all your expenditures, sales and resources, you can organize your expenses, identify profits, see where your capital is going, and assess how much is flowing in. You can then decide how much you would like to invest back into the company, and identify any necessary measures that need to be taken in order to remain stable and growing.
If you’re an entrepreneur who has launched a startup, or are looking to launch a business, give mind mapping a shot. And, if you’re interested in giving Mindjet’s mind mapping software a go, request a demo for more information.