Have you ever seen a drug-addicted bean counter rattling a paper cup on a street corner?

On a farm in Namibia. Copyright 2017 Chesney Bradshaw

Probably not. Bean counters are more likely to be counting beans… or just to be on the safe side, producing beans.

You are far more likely find them charging borderline extortionist fees to count your beans. You may even find a few incompetent and crooked ones but many will be trying to climb the greasy pole to get to the top.

It’s got to be said even if people are afraid to say so but why would you allow a bean counter to run your business? Especially an entrepreneurial business of any size. Do you really think that they have the professional training, experience or business acumen to start, build and grow a successful enterprise? More fool you, if you do. Continue reading “Have you ever seen a drug-addicted bean counter rattling a paper cup on a street corner?”

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One simple thing that gives you negotation power, enough to stand up to the toughest intimidators

Everyone negotiates. All the time. Everything is negotiable. The start-up founder or small business owner who doesn’t know their source of power in negotiation will set themselves up for giving away more than they bargained for.

As a small business founder, no matter the size of your business, you are going to encounter negotiation in many areas. Even at the early stages if you are bringing someone to develop your prototype, you will need to negotiate. You might need a business adviser – again you will need to negotiate because business advisers don’t come cheap. Then there are suppliers with whom you need to negotiate prices and payment terms. What about larger customers? Before you can blink your eyes, large customers may get away with prices and terms favourable to them. Other areas of negotiation that are critical include negotiations about licensing and franchising, for example. Continue reading “One simple thing that gives you negotation power, enough to stand up to the toughest intimidators”

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How competent are you in detecting fake news? Check yourself out…before you get suckered (and other surprising secrets you ought to know)

Legendary journalist’s journalist and celebrated editor and author Sir Harold Evans recently spoke out on the “disgraceful” Google and Facebook practice of not detecting or stopping fake news.

It’s always been difficult to tell the difference between propaganda and factual news. Even so-called objective publications have their editorial slant that influences everything they publish — even their book reviews and cartoons.

In small business enterprise and entrepreneurship, you need an ultra sensitive detector to distinguish between “fake” and “real” news from various media and gooroo advisors who make wild promises of fast and easy success. Continue reading “How competent are you in detecting fake news? Check yourself out…before you get suckered (and other surprising secrets you ought to know)”

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No matter how brilliant your idea if you don’t have resources, you won’t be able to get it off the ground

For most people generating new ideas is the exciting part. But the next phase which is idea selection, pilot testing and gathering resources to put behind the prototype or sample can be challenging.

A McKinsey multi-year study involving in-depth interviews, workshops, and surveys of more than 2,500 executives in over 300 companies found that innovation involves a set of “crosscutting” practices and processes to structure, organise and encourage innovation. Continue reading “No matter how brilliant your idea if you don’t have resources, you won’t be able to get it off the ground”

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How shopping centres give a sour taste with lost parking card penalties

Spotted on the way up to Johannesburg from Harrismith in November 2016

We went to do some Christmas gift shopping at the Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg. I’m always conscious of keeping my parking tickets in my top pocket because I know that these shopping centres smack you with a heavy penalty if you lose your parking ticket. We shopped at several stores and when we headed towards the parking pay stations, I reached into my top pocket and found my parking ticket was no longer there. Continue reading “How shopping centres give a sour taste with lost parking card penalties”

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How do you find meaningful work for a child who has a mental disability?

Photo Credit: Chesney Bradshaw 2017

You can read all the books you want to, consultant with the brightest minds in psychiatry and clinical psychology and listen to dozens of lectures by experts but ultimately you as the prime caregiver will have to do help your child who has a mental disability to find something meaningful to do.

Why do I say this?

It’s because each person who has a mental disability is different, at a different level with the disease and responds differently to suggestion, to encouragement and to support. Continue reading “How do you find meaningful work for a child who has a mental disability?”

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Can you make it second time around?

Photo credit: Chesney Bradshaw. Copyright 2017

A few weeks ago I met a small business person who I haven’t seen for some time. He was successful at one time in the financial services sector but through personal circumstances he eventually overextended himself and lost almost everything.

It’s hard to pull yourself back from financial disaster. Second acts are not easy. After you have got a real good hiding out there in the marketplace, a bloody face and a dried out bank balance, it takes special character to pick yourself up and start anew. Some people may simply give up. Others may even take drastic measures such as turning on themselves – one small publisher I knew got into deep financial trouble and turned a gun on himself. An even smaller group of people will decide to try again and give it their best. Continue reading “Can you make it second time around?”

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Passion is not enough – compact guide in business and entrepreneurship for college and university students

January 2017. Copyright Chesney Bradshaw
January 2017. Copyright Chesney Bradshaw

If you want to form and run your own start-up business, you won’t find it landing up on your doorstep ready to turn the switch. It will take acquiring new knowledge, experience and time and effort. If you’ve never started or run a small business before, there is no other way but to put in the hours.

Where do you start? It all begins with a seed of an idea. Some instant experts claim that an idea is 1% of what it takes to start a new product or service and the other 99% is execution. It’s probably 20% idea and 80% execution. Why do I say this? It’s because you’re unlikely to come up with one promising idea and use it straight off the bat. If you have a look at my book “Breakthrough Ideas”, you’ll see that you need to generate or find several ideas before you come up with something that matches your potential market, your passion and your own skills and knowledge. Continue reading “Passion is not enough – compact guide in business and entrepreneurship for college and university students”

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Evaluating business ideas for college or university leaving graduates

Long Beach, Kommetjie. Photo Copyright by Chesney Bradshaw
Long Beach, Kommetjie. Photo Copyright by Chesney Bradshaw

You get people shouting stuff about small business ideas all over the Internet. One guy was screaming to get attention with the statement that an idea is 1% of success while execution is the 99%.

There is also that statement about 20% or even a lower 10% of ideas succeeding in their first year. This has merit when you consider that the study found that venture capitalists only express interest in fewer than 5% of new start-up idea proposals they review (Source: “Are “better” ideas more likely to succeed? An empirical analysis of start-up evaluation”). Continue reading “Evaluating business ideas for college or university leaving graduates”

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An overlooked source of business ideas that may help you find yours

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Copyright Chesney Bradshaw 2017

Many people are sitting pretty now that they own two or more properties and draw incomes (with annual increases) — monthly incomes that will keep them going for the rest of their life.

These people had the good fortune to inherit money or they made it over a long period before they could buy their two properties.

This is an incredible form of secure income. So don’t read further if you are awash with money.

This post deals with people who want to come up with lifestyle business ideas. Continue reading “An overlooked source of business ideas that may help you find yours”

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