Business depends on three critical flows.

The first flow is the cash flow. A business is unable to survive for long without money flowing both in and out of the business. More the cash flow must be positive (coming INTO), if the business is to survive for long. A business can be highly profitable, but lack of cash flow will send a business into receivership.

The second flow is the leads flow. Buyers come from leads; leads flow through to conversion and hence transaction, which creates the cash flow. Leads can be new, but, for many businesses, it is how they get previous buyers to buy again and again. The leads flow is not as visible as the cash flow, but it is what makes a business grow. You can't expand your business if you have no leads flow.

The last flow is the ideas flow. It is the least visible of the three flows, but it ensures that the other two flows work for the business. Without ideas, nothing happens, yet many business owners ignore it until they see their leads flow stop, and then feel the effects when their cash flow dries up.

Think of this: without an idea, the business would probably not exist.

How does one get the ideas that keep a business working or create the business in the first place?

Ideas are cheap and commonplace. Everyone can have thousands of ideas. Most people ignore them, because they are so plentiful. Ideas come from experiences and skills, but mostly experiences. You need to make the idea work, and that takes time and money.

You take the idea, and plan on how you can bring it into reality. You work out how long it will take to make the plan work. You do not plan for the current moment, but for next month, next year, next decade, or even the next century. Your plans should cover:

Ideas that build in your vision for the future
Ideas that spark your passion, and the passions of other people

Ideas that collect ideas that you might wish to make work sometime in the future

Ideas that build the team or teams in your business
Ideas that add more value (and get you more cash flow)
Ideas that reduce costs and increase your gross margins
Ideas that help you network, connect and collaborate possibly help others to get more cash flow while you get more cash flow
Ideas that generate referrals and increase your markets and give more leads
Ideas that convert lookers into buyers
Ideas that help you find out more about your buyers and what they want - now and in the future.
You have many tools that can help you get more ideas, and hence more leads and more cash flow. Use your ability to count where the ideas and results come from - Facebook, twitter, linkedin, blogs, advertising, coupons, offers, Autoresponders…

Every place and every activity you do is a source of ideas that you can make work for your business.

Are you making the best use of your ideas to get more of all three kinds of flow?

The above is just one part of the lessons in My Business Start Up

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Budvietas aims to change the failure rate of business by helping more Baby Boomers set up successful business. Roberta writes blogs for the Purposeful Performance Group and Get Out of Stuck Excel