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Ways to Get Ideas Flowing if You Find Yourself Stuck

1. Read. Read everything you can get your hands on. Marketing articles (like this one), business articles, industry journals, the daily newspaper. You don’t get new ideas from doing the same thing every day. Be learning and looking all the time.

2. Go outside of your industry and read what others are doing. It will give you a different perspective on things. Read general business or start-up magazines like Entrepreneur or Business 2.0. These publications are filled with success stories from a variety of businesses.

3. Find someone (or several others) that does what you do in another part of the country. Watch their ideas and marketing techniques. Sign-up for their ezine. Try to get on their mailing list. In addition to finding similar companies online you may try to network with someone through a national association or at a networking event.

4. Allow yourself one day a month to get outside your office — outside your normal work environment — and brainstorm. Find a relaxed setting where you can sit down for a while and just write. Write down what’s happened over the last month or so, where you’re heading, and where you’d like to go in the future.

Find out what environment works best for you to do this exercise. It may be finding a big comfy chair at Starbucks for a few hours, or working from home instead of the office. It’s hard to come up with ideas when you’re in the thick of things; so get out of your work environment and relax. The ideas just might flow.

5. Search for marketing ideas online. You may have some ideas you’ve been kicking around but haven’t fully materialized. Jot down some key words and just go digging around. You never know where your next great idea will come from.