‘Thinking outside the box’ is one of those phrases is used so frequently in business that it has started to feel almost meaningless – the sort of advice someone gives you when they’re not quite sure what else to tell you.

Thinking outside the box

In reality, all it means is thinking creatively, shaking off the restrictive concepts that hamper innovation and exploring all possibilities – when you’re truly thinking outside the box, there really are no rules.

And whether you’re working within an organisation to pioneer change and stimulate growth or a small business owner trying to improve your own enterprise, this article explores just a few ways to think outside the box to devise innovative solutions and boost your entrepreneurial creativity.

Entrepreneur reading a book

1. Seek inspiration

Once of the best ways to broaden your horizons in business is to expand this to every aspect of your life.

Reading is one great way to nourish your mind and alter your perspective – books can introduce us to new concepts and shape the way we see the world.

Exploring literature as an entrepreneur doesn’t have to mean fishing through countless business tomes and how-to guides, although these are a great way to learn from the masters. Fiction can provide a surprising amount of inspiration in our real lives and encourage us to think creatively.

Cafe owners using social media
photo credit: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

2. Don’t be afraid to be the first

New trends are constantly emerging in business – especially when it comes to marketing.

From TikTok challenges to Instagram interactions, social media is just one way that online advertising is evolving.

But if you look at your industry and find that your competitors aren’t doing these things, don’t sit back and relax or rule it out – set the trend.

Pros like Maratopia Digital Marketing can help you create dynamic and engaging content that sets you apart from others in your field and establishes you as an expert above others. Customers will recognise you as being ahead of your game, putting you in prime position in your market.

This rule doesn’t just apply to your online approach, of course – just because competitors aren’t doing it doesn’t mean it’s off the table. It just gives you a head start.

Working on skills with a colleague

3. Ask for insight

In any business venture, you should be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share your vision and have the motivation to make it happen. But no matter how good your team is, it can be hard to relinquish control and let others take the wheel.

That said, the ability not only to share control with others, but to make the most of the skills at your disposal, is a managerial talent in itself and the mark of a savvy entrepreneur.

So don’t be afraid to turn to your team for help when you need it, or even ask those outside of your business, such as friends and family – the fresh perspective of an outsider can be invaluable.