Boss Lady

Seven ways to inject creativity into your small business


We’ve all been there – sitting at a desk, staring at a screen and trying to come up with an original idea for that logo, presentation, blog article or website. It can be easy to question whether you’ll ever have a creative idea again.

In this situation, the worst thing you can do is sit there and berate yourself for not getting it done. Instead, get up and out of your chair – you’ll be far more creative if you give your brain a break and get a new perspective on life, rather than sitting in turmoil at your desk.

Here are seven great ways to get the creative juices flowing again.

1. Make simple changes to your environment 

‘A change is as good as a rest’, as the saying goes, and something as simple as rethinking your workspace could give you a shift in gear. Making your workspace more appealing will encourage creative thoughts, even if all you do is tidy up and add a few personal items.

  • De-clutterA clean and tidy desk will help you embrace new opportunities and give you a sense of freedom. With less distraction from random post-it notes, bits of paper and old coffee mugs, you can focus on generating ideas.
  • Plants ­– a bit of greenery is more pleasant to look at than a blank screen while you’re trying to conjure up some creativity. And while you think, the plant will literally clear the air.
  • Photographs – give your brain a micro-holiday by gazing at a photograph of a recent trip away. Alternatively, inspire positive thoughts with snaps of your nearest and dearest.
  • Desk location – give yourself a new perspective by moving your desk to a different position. Could it be closer to the window for some reinvigorating fresh air?
  • Lighting – do you have plenty of natural light? If that’s not possible, try some soft lamplight. Anything but that harsh office strip lighting.

2. Get physical

A lack of ideas can be your brain’s way of telling you to do something physical, to get the blood pumping or rest your fevered mind. Take the hint. Step away from the desk and get a brain break.

  • Take a walk – exercise doesn’t have to involve training for a marathon or getting up at the crack of dawn for boot camp. It can be as simple and nourishing as taking a walk in your local park.
  • Yoga and meditation – the frustration that comes with a lack of creativity can lead to stress, making the whole situation worse. Practising yoga or meditation will help you relax, calm down and break the cycle. It also improves your levels of concentration, helping you to focus for extended periods of time.
  • Do something with your hands – painting, knitting, gardening, whittling: doing something with your hands instead of your brain gives your mind a break, and has the bonus of producing something (hopefully) beautiful.
  • Music – putting on your favourite tunes for a dance, or closing your eyes to listen, has proven health benefits.

3. Change your perspective 

One downside to working hard on a project is that your creative well can run dry. You need to take some time out to refill it with fresh thoughts, new ideas and different perspectives. Reading widely every day and gathering intel is a stimulating habit to get into. Try these:

  • Pick up a book
  • Subscribe to a magazine
  • Create a bookmark on your computer and use it to file articles or images for later reading/viewing.
  • Listen to business podcasts, like StartUp for inspiration, and listen while exercising or travelling.
  • Hop onto YouTube for an inspiring TED Talk.

This practice will help you look at the world in different ways and get those brain synapses connecting in new patterns. You never know where your next brilliant idea might come from.

4. Move on to the next thing

If you’re feeling frustrated and blocked with one task, simply move onto another. Your mind is a wonderful tool that will still be subconsciously working away in the background. When you come back to your original task, you’ll be surprised at how easily it all comes together. In fact, some of your most creative thoughts occur when you’re not trying to think at all.


One tried-and-tested formula for a stuck brain is to put everything on a big whiteboard for a brainstorm session. Having all your random thoughts next to each other will help you connect the dots and come up with solutions

Join a networking group

There are plenty of like-minded people going through the same successes and challenges as you. Joining a network of entrepreneurs will give you a pool of people to consult about strategies, tools and technologies. Sometimes, when you’re stuck in a rut, it helps to have people available to support you – and, of course, help you celebrate the wins.

Avoid being a perfectionist 

Sometimes, you need to stop searching for the perfect idea. You’ll set your goals too high, get bogged down in detail, and miss out on some of your creative potential. Obsessively searching for the perfect idea is also detrimental to your health, causing needless stress.

Try these seven techniques and see what works best for you. Most importantly, allow yourself to take a break from work without feeling guilty – incorporating brain breaks into your regular schedule might help.

Good ideas can come from the strangest places, usually when we least expect it. We can help by finding the right frame of mind for inspiration to strike.

About Faye Ferris

Faye Ferris is the APAC Sales and Marketing Director for, one of the world’s largest online global market places for buying and selling small-to-medium sized businesses. Faye is passionate about helping Australian small business succeed and regularly writes about entrepreneurship and business management.   Twitter Handle:

Recommended for you