Do you really think a cut-and-paste solution can succeed with a new business idea?

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

While on holiday at the coast, I was able to experiment with cooking food. One of the dishes I haven’t had for many years is snoek kop sop (snoek head soup) which my mother who was a food writer and author used to prepare so deliciously.

We went down to Millars Point in False Bay and bought a very large snoek (when I use the word “very” you will see what I mean shortly) from one of the langaaners (fish dealers). The head of the snoek was so big that I had to squeeze it into the largest pot I could find.

I went over some of my mother’s old recipes and searched online for fish soup so that I could get an idea of the basic ingredients and steps in cooking preparation. I totally ignored some of the methods and ingredients because I knew it wasn’t the way my mother made this type of soup. I also used one method that none of the cooking authors talked about that I knew my late mother would have used.

A few hours later four of us had the snoek kop sop and without trying to blow my trumpet or anything like that the other three people enjoyed it so much that they asked for more and wanted me to make it again sometime in the future.

This is not a story to say how well I cook – not at all. The point I’m making here is about blindly following recipes whether they are in cook books or online and then expecting to come up with something delicious. It doesn’t work like that. If you’ve followed food recipes for as long as I have, you will notice that some recipes are done in the traditional way for the person who perhaps doesn’t like overdone or rich foods. Other so-called celebrity or glamour recipes cater for those who feel they need to imitate or copy what top restaurants and hotel kitchens serve. Other food recipes may cater for exotic tastes. Yet others may be so basic that they are easily understood and can be prepared by the man or woman who cooks for the family.

People who come up with new business ideas are often told that they should copy or imitate other people’s ideas rather than coming up with something totally new. There is good reason for this because of something called diffusion of innovation. It can take many years to promote something unique or brand-new and small business owners and entrepreneurs just don’t have the money to pour into awareness and promotion.

Imitating something that is already on the market, for example, energy bars and coming up with your own twist for an energy bar can be effective. But you can’t just cut-and-paste from another entrepreneur or successful business recipe book and expect the same results. Business gurus and celebrity entrepreneurs will tell you otherwise but in the real world cookie-cutter approaches don’t work so well as advertised.

Why is this so? Because customers, markets and local environments are so different. An approach that will work in one local market won’t work in another. You’ve got to come up with something that will work in your local market, test it and then develop it according to local needs. Yes, you may use some ingredients and processes that are generic to entrepreneurial ventures but yours will be different to all others.

If you are still waiting on the sidelines to start something from scratch, something of your own, perhaps now is the time to get on the priority notification list for “Breakthrough Ideas”. Shoot me an email and you’ll get the first bite of the cherry before anyone else. This resource will show you how to come up with a business idea for yourself, develop it, test it and implement it.

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