• Ellen McIlhenny

Beware of the “Magic Bullet” approach to finding new ideas.

It’s quite normal for a small businessperson to feel the weight of the world knowing that the livelihood of tens maybe hundreds of families is dependent on you keeping the doors open. When things are not running perfectly it is human nature to go in search of that “Magic Bullet”. Many entrepreneurs are reluctant to engage people within the organization to come up with ideas that might spark some growth. Instead they will look for outside ideas which may or may not be effective. Often a great and successful idea for one company might fall flat in your company due to culture, scalability or market differences. Oftentimes your “Magic Bullet” is right under your nose. You just need to recognize it.


While interviewing business owners, I have come across several who have spent years trying to implement successful ideas that come from other companies in the same industry. While that can be very effective, it is always a good idea enlist advice from people within your organization as to whether they think the ideas might work. Often, an idea that works in one market isn’t necessarily going to produce the same success in another market. Second, and more importantly, it is hard to get “buy-in” from a staff that has been told what we will do, as opposed to a staff that was part of the decision-making process.




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