|Visiting Dilbert.com can help fire up your creativity too.|
- Visit file sharing sites. Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and other social media sites can not only be fun to look through, they can trigger ideas and show you what you might want to add to your store—products, displays, events, promotions—the ideas are limitless and free. Try searching “college” to find items that you hadn't thought of yet. You can narrow down your search according to what you are looking for, or go with the flow clicking from one topic to another.
- Embrace mental tranquility. If you've been scratching your brain for hours trying to come up with new ideas or get beyond a “block”, it is unbelievably helpful to take a break and to come back to your thought process later. Step away and do anything you can to relax your mind: read a book, take a bath, flip through a magazine like Communication Arts or Mental Floss, meditate, exercise, or do some retail research (also known as “shopping”).
- Check out the competition. Do a bit of retail research by visiting other businesses in the area and online. Scope them out to see what’s working for them and what isn't, see what’s missing that you could add, then adapt and apply it to your own store.
- Look for inspiration. If you haven’t yet joined LinkedIn, you’re missing out. LinkedIn is a social networking site for businesses and a useful tool for igniting one’s imagination. You can connect with groups such as ICBA College Stores to dig for ideas, learn from others’ activities and challenges, and stay in-tune with your community. LinkedIn hosts a vast array of groups for you to explore, engage in and learn from.
- If all else fails, use Google or Bing. Think of Google and Bing as cornucopias of the internet. With everything you need at your fingertips where can you go wrong? Search for sales items that will attract new customers or items to make your store more appealing. Think of the items that your customers would ordinarily have to go out of their way for that you could easily bring to your store, making it more accessible and a destination for your customers. Searching “images” is another sure way to trigger creative ideas for displays and those random and unique items.
Looking for more creative tips? Here are a few articles and websites to visit:
- 30 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Creativity http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/30-tips-to-rejuvenate-your-creativity.html
- Mental Floss http://mentalfloss.com/
- 4 Ways to Trigger Creative Ideas http://www.accidentalcreative.com/inspiration/4-ways-to-trigger-creative-ideas/
- How to Trigger Creativity http://voices.yahoo.com/how-trigger-creativity-275451.html
- How to Think Outside of the Box with 3 Creativity Exercises http://www.ehow.com/how_4819797_think-outside-box-creativity-exercises.html
- Five Deadly Myths About Creativity http://voices.yahoo.com/the-five-deadly-myths-creativity-2150470.html?cat=72