In Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan, he has the example of the Thanksgiving turkey that leads a comfortable life for about 999 days, eating and ranging around a small patch of grass. The turkey becomes comfortable and assumes this cycle of eat-relax-sleep will continue on indefinitely. But on the thousandth day, Taleb’s Thanksgiving turkey finds his head on the chopping block and the good times come to an abrupt end. Continue reading “Will it fly? How do you know if your new business idea has been formed under the wrong assumptions… before you take the leap”
You’ve got to stay current. It’s no use using the information you’ve got in your head when it’s out of date. You’ve got to seek out new information, fresh insights, and new concepts that are relevant for today and that people are using right now.
One thing that is standing out in these rough times is how strong the demand among consumers is for bargains. On a recent Saturday morning I went to rate charity book sale, which is held once a month. My interest is in the reading topics whether it is on knot splicing, coastal fish, lighthouses and even marine art. Continue reading “Where do you find new opportunities?”
An Internet marketer was saying on his podcast that the original business ideas don’t work. A start-up just doesn’t have the deep pockets to advertise an original product or service. Far better, he said, is to copy something that is already working.
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Is it really as simple as this? Well, for one thing if you see what is already available on the market and is being advertised, there is a good chance that the product or service has found a target markets and is bringing in revenue for the start-up or small business. The veteran Internet marketer’s advice was to go for niche markets that are already proving themselves. The trick is to check out the product or service, find its holes, flaws and shortcomings and then to produce something better. Continue reading “Original ideas — do you think they have any legs?”
You eat a delicious meal that tastes so good that you want to prepare it yourself. But how do you go about replicating the success of that dish you’ve tasted? How are you going to do it?
A few months back I tasted delicious Dahl made by a local curry restaurant. I told the owner, a young man who had come out of the food catering business for an airline in the UK, that I enjoyed his Dahl. “No problem,” he said. “I’ll give you the recipe.” Now, Dahl is not something that you can buy in supermarkets except in tins. But canned Dahl tastes awful and it’s best to stay far away from it. Continue reading “Why some start-up ideas will leave egg on your face”
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?”
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”
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)”
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”
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”
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?”