In times like these it is good to remember that there have always been times like these. Paul Harvey

How brainstorming is a great way to break a problem down into pieces so a solution can more easily be determined.

Talk to people.

If your problem is not immediate, and you have time to gather together people who have skills or experience that relate to your problem, take advantage of having such smart friends. Let’s say you want to start a business, but don’t know how to proceed.

Get your people together around the table.

If you’re in a business setting, call a meeting. If it’s more informal and you’re calling on friends, invite them over for a social business meeting.

Define the problem.

Yes, just like above, you cannot solve a problem until you first define it.

The problem is you want to start a business, but don’t have the knowledge you need to do it successfully.

Make a plan.

Talk to your team. Brainstorm that is, listen to their ideas, discuss them, and build on them. Toss your ideas onto the table, and let people discuss them as well. Often times, you’ll find that everybody will have little pieces of an idea, but together you create a much more substantial plan to continue.

The plan in our example will be for you develop the outline for the business plan. This gives you concrete steps to follow that will enable you to define your business and its goals, examine the competition, evaluate the market, and have a clear outline of what you want to accomplish.

5 Implement the plan. Build the business plan from the ground up. It will take a while, and it will test the limits of your knowledge, but it will push you along the path to having a successful venture.

Evaluate the results.

When you have created your business plan, gather your team again, and discuss what you have discovered. Brainstorm again, listening to and implementing what works, discarding what doesn’t.

Repeat until you have fine-tuned your plan and you’re ready to start your business. That problem has been solved, but there will be many more ahead!

In the next part I will discuss the role of research in breaking down a problem down into pieces so a solution can more easily be determined.