By: Joel Roberts
How can mind mapping help businesses elevate performance and strive towards innovation? Every entrepreneur or business professional will agree that an exceptional business performance is what drives the company and exemplifies a solid base for success, amongst great competition and fast moving markets, always hungry for innovation and groundbreaking products or services.
To ensure greater productivity and increase the quality and level of business success, one must assure to have a team that strives for progress and implementation of innovative ideas. And businesses can look for more ways to transfer innovative ideas into actions, but the benefits and usage of mind mapping in any business aspect is what predominates others.
Here are nine summarized reasons and benefits to consider, when using mind mapping for your business:
1. Create an information dashboard for easy access to key resources
Mind mapping is an excellent starting point to be used as a technique for gathering and easier access to key information, or resources relevant for the business. This can be easily achieved through the use of a mind mapping software, to aid the storage and flexibility in designing a mind map that will serve as an information dashboard. You can connect important pieces of information, manage their interconnections, link to the documents and provide brief summaries for every important piece of document.
2. Elaborate a plan for the launch of a new business
Launching a new business is a multi-step process which requires organization and awareness of all things needed to start and run a company.
Mind mapping can be used as a tool to refine and elaborate the main business idea, organize procedures, fundings, and licenses and provide a draft outline for the whole business plan document. You can appoint the business idea as a central topic of your mind map, and build upon it, by meticulously organizing all other important elements of the business plan: business description, products and services, sales and marketing, operations, management and financial summary.
3. Generate new ideas from a group brainstorming meeting
Freshness of ideas is always welcomed, especially when the company has accommodated to innovative approaches to do business and strives to be a leader by introducing original products and services.
Brainstorming for ideas or ways to solve a problem using mind maps encourages people to come up with notions that at first may sound ludicrous, but eventually can be crafted into original solutions to a problem or boost creativity and focus to filter interesting ideas.
A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. -Buzan, 1996
Another interesting point about brainstorming with mind maps is that every member of the team can participate in the mind mapping process and share his/hers ideas, elaborated with mind maps. This way all of the participants in the group brainstorming, can get a visual and logical representation of the ideas proposed by others, and can easily reference to when choosing the ones that will be implemented.
In October 2020, Pact launched AfrIdea, a regional innovation program supported by the U.S. Department of State. This was geared towards unlocking the potential of West African entrepreneurs, social activists, and developers in uncovering solutions to post-COVID challenges. Through a contest, training, idea-a-thon and follow-on funding, they sought to activate a network of young entrepreneurs and innovators from Guinea, Mali, Senegal, and Togo to source and grow innovative solutions. Learn their seven-stage process in the AfrIdea case study.
4. Summarize key ideas contained in business books or articles into maps
Mind maps can be a useful medium to transfer summaries of business books, research papers or articles.
By organizing key pieces of information, and visually documenting citations and extracts, you can create a very useful mind map and at the same time a knowledge repository that you can save for future reference or share it with colleagues and associates.
5. Conduct research for new projects and capture and organize your findings
Using mind mapping to plan and summarize research results, market trends and industry findings, can be a very useful technique, especially because it aids people to logically organize the research data and information relevant to the project. All of the research data can be easily managed within a mind mapping tool and can be enriched with graphs or links that lead to external documents or resources. This kind of research summary can serve any stakeholder or team member that will need to preview or use the findings of the research and get a clear view on the research results.
6. Create a detailed profile of your customer needs during a sales or consult meeting
In order to create and develop a successful marketing strategy and lead a successful business, the need to determine the ways to market deliverables to potential customers is rather a crucial point.
You can create an outline of your customers’ profile, by documenting information about their needs, obtained during sales or consulting meetings. You can also map out the purchasing and decision making process of the customer, and shape up a profile of the perfect customer, which will serve as your guide when marketing your products and services.
7. Develop detailed customer personas for marketing planning
Client profiles or customer personas incorporate a detailed description of your client segments and ensure an easier understanding and envisioning of the people that will use your products or services. A mind map holding customers’ personas will help guide you through their basic descriptions and provide you with a possible preview on what will motivate them to use your products or services.
8. Outline and organize the content of a business report or technical paper
As previously mentioned, mind maps can be very useful when serving as a visual guide to develop a concept or create a plan for a business report or technical paper. You can also use mind mapping to present the summaries of your business reports and technical papers to key stakeholders, and provide a clear overview on the subject or topic at hand. The mind map can also be printed out and handed to the team and serve as a guideline for further development of the technical papers.
9. Sales account planning and management
Driving a culture that will inspire and will find ways to reach customer loyalty, is another way to ensure business success. Mind mapping can greatly aid sales and marketing professionals in providing a suitable resource for planning and management of sales accounts. You can even communicate key benefits and usage of your products or services, to potential clients, through the use of mind maps, as a visual aid in presenting related information.
By Joel Roberts
About the author
Joel Roberts is a project manager and a business consultant with more than 12 years of experience. She is an avid mind mapper, using mind mapping software on a daily basis to organize, plan and improve her work.
Photo: Success Concept by Shutterstock.com