A small business owner who was a “marketing expert” started a small business but soon ran into trouble. The reason was basically because the small business owner had not worked in the retail food market before. But being a “marketing expert”, he thought he knew better.
Within 18 months the small business had to be shut down, the equipment sold to cover unpaid expenses incurred by the landlord and plenty of frustrated customers who wondered why the business had been opened in the first place.
You would think that it would be a basic requirement for a new business owner to have worked in the field in which they plan to do business. But not in this case. Not even an experienced and skilled manager was brought in to help bridge the gap because of the owner’s shortcomings.
Just down the road from this small business that was closed, a new restaurant-bakery was established about by an entirely different business owner. Yes, this business owner had been at one time involved in television production. But the business owner went to France for several years to learn about food, baking and customer service. When he came back to South Africa this business owner was well equipped to open his own small food business.
The business has continued to thrive, doubling its capacity within 18 months. The staff have been well trained and the quality of the food produced on the premises including the French breads and pastries is of the highest you can find in Johannesburg. This is because the owner did his “trade” at one of the best learning grounds in the world. He didn’t just jump into the world of food after leaving television production but took time to develop new skills.
It’s an important lesson for anyone who wants to start their own small business. You’ve got to have experience in the field in which you plan to do business. If you don’t have the experience and skills, it’s best to plan out a programme where you can acquire the new skills necessary to compete in the field you have chosen.
But if you need to get into the market sooner because of competitive reasons, then it may be a good idea to look for someone who is experienced and skilled in the business who can guide you in your first few years of operation.