Are your business skills, knowledge and understanding of the opportunities of technology past their sell-by date?

The other day my son sent me a link to an article from a UK publication pointing out how a woman just over 20 had acquired a £1 million home. She had achieved such rapid wealth through her prowess on the Internet and video sphere. If you don’t know about vlogs – video blogs – you wouldn’t have a clue how she did it. Would you know how she developed her business model?

It’s not only in the Internet marketing world where things are rapidly changing. I see people struggling with new technology, not understanding what the hang it’s about. Some small start-up business models are woefully out of date. New products are launched using old models that are doomed for failure while the start-up founder could have got up to date with lean thinking and know how to test market on a small scale before coughing up vast sums and depleting valuable financial resources on product development and marketing.

How do you stay up-to-date?

I think it all starts with having a blank slate. Why do I encourage blank-slate thinking? The reason is because we carry baggage with us. We have certain beliefs that we leave unchallenged. By putting your beliefs and attitudes to one side you can look with an open mind. Another thing is to become curious – instead of just marvelling at what others are doing you need to ask yourself: how did they do that? The answer will send you on an exploration journey and increase your learning.

You might want to also talk to younger entrepreneurs. Find out what the challenges are and how they are overcoming them. What are they doing different in today’s marketplace? How are they handling issues such as low-cost, no-cost marketing? What business models are they using? I heard the other day from an entrepreneur and business adviser about nine different subscription models for gaining additional revenue.

Another thing is to broaden your information sources. Thanks to the Internet this is much more possible and costs less than a few years ago. The Internet, despite some criticising it for its inaccuracy and bias, it provides much up-to-date information. Subscribe to newsletters, email lists, expert business advisers, pod , Twitter feeds and other social media.

Yes, look the newspapers but remember that over the past decade or so newspapers have become mainly vehicles for advertisers.

Much of the information that you get from them comes from press releases tarted up by journalists who do not investigate the facts.

They also don’t put the news into context so that you know what you are reading is important or not.

Even so-called business newspapers have deteriorated, becoming thin and filled with opinions and space that is clearly earmarked and allocated to advertisers and their press agents.

If you want to learn more about how to exploit information sources in the vast ocean of information that now exists on the Internet and use it to come up with a new business idea or two to improve your small business, then subscribe and find out more.

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Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

How do successful start-up founders and entrepreneurs find their purpose?

You may have a strong vision to build websites but enter the market when website building has been commoditized and you have to advertise like this on street poles.

Do you just fall into doing something you love or do you visualise it and plan it?

It’s got be one of the most difficult things to do. Deciding on pursuing what you want to do in life. Some people never seem to know what they want. They just carry on and accept whatever fate is handed out to them. Others, a minority, just seem to know where they are headed and even if circumstances change they redirect and move on.

The great difficulty is that there is so much happening in the world, so many options, so many different choices, that it’s difficult to know what you really want to do. That might be the case for someone who has grown up in a family with reasonable means but what about those who have fewer resources? Even if they dream big, what are the chances of them making a personal breakthrough? Continue reading “How do successful start-up founders and entrepreneurs find their purpose?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

Innovation gurus slug it out with innovation gurus

Traditional retail stores are shutting their doors as Internet outfits compete with new technology.

I was surprised to see an innovation guru openly challenging and criticising another innovation guru’s theories which she said were now outdated. The buzzword now is disruptive innovation, industry disruptions, reinvention, monetising data and economic models.

The main bone of contention it seems that previous innovation theories focused on innovation within businesses or companies and not so much from outside such as completely different industries. The prime example used is Uber in the taxi industry. But according to the gurus more “disruptive innovation” is on its way as outsiders to industries use technology such as computing or data processing and even robotics. Continue reading “Innovation gurus slug it out with innovation gurus”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

What makes one small business more profitable than another?

By Chesney Bradshaw

Two small restaurant businesses started up, one after each other, in the same premises. After 18 months, the first business went to the wall and had to shut its doors. The second business took over the same premises also with a restaurant but business is strong and growing.

What made the difference between these two small businesses? What made one unprofitable and the other profitable?

If you are looking to open a new business, what key fundamentals will you look for when it comes to profitability? Even if you are presently running a small business it’s worth looking at these key fundamentals because you may be missing out on profit opportunities. Without running your business profitably you are unfortunately not going to make it over the medium-to long-term. As a start-up or any individual who is starting any income-generation opportunity, you need to carefully consider how profitable your business is going to be. Continue reading “What makes one small business more profitable than another?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

Do you just fall into doing something you love or do you visualise it and plan it?

Do you just fall into doing something you love or do you visualise it and plan it?

It’s got be one of the most difficult things to do. Deciding on pursuing what you want to do in life. Some people never seem to know what they want. They just carry on and accept whatever fate is handed out to them. Others, a minority, just seemed to know where they are headed and even if circumstances change they redirect and move on.

Continue reading “Do you just fall into doing something you love or do you visualise it and plan it?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

What you think is the most precious substance in a country?

When in doubt paddle out.

Any guesses?

If you do a quick Internet search, you will find all sorts of things valued in grams such as saffron, gold and even drugs.

Something that is far more valuable than all of these is the creative person.

I was surprised when I learned that the Tesla corporation has surpassed Ford and GM in market capitalisation. Imagine that. These companies were pioneers in automobiles and at one stage were some of the largest companies ever created. Continue reading “What you think is the most precious substance in a country?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

Is it possible to recession-proof your business?

Over the weekend we visited visited a shopping centre in Northcliff, Johannesburg, where one shop owner told us that another 26 stores had closed down. Many other shops had closed in a shopping centre in Rosebank. These are big shopping centres but if you visit the smaller shopping centres the picture is also bleak. Continue reading “Is it possible to recession-proof your business?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

Does business have to be in your blood?

Some official was supposed to be inspiring young men and women about small business but ended up making nasty, unkind remarks about the origin of business people in the country. Sadly, this official was just displaying typical ignorance. The official even made some off hand comment about certain people having “business in their blood”, which was a sweeping generalisation. Continue reading “Does business have to be in your blood?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

How do you take advantage of customers’ frenzy for bargains in your small business?

Modern dancer. Brown ink on 80 gsm bond.

On the third last Friday of November Americans celebrate a shopping phenomenon called Black Friday. Over the years Black Friday has spread to other countries such as the UK and last year in South Africa it was introduced in large supermarket chain stores. Consumers went crazy for bargains and the crowds at some outlets was overwhelming with shoppers scared of entering into the fray. But those who couldn’t resist a bargain came away with some great specials.

The popularity of Black Friday and other special promotions shows just how hungry consumers are for buying product at knocked-down prices. Many will buy as many of the bargains as possible. They work themselves into a buying frenzy and it’s understandable because we don’t often see such deep price cuts. Continue reading “How do you take advantage of customers’ frenzy for bargains in your small business?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.

How much are new business owners responsible for entrepreneurial failure?

 

How many people who start new business ventures do so totally out of their own accord? A small minority of people – estimated at 35% – start because they have a business idea, see an opportunity, and are governed by their passion. But there are many other individuals who are thrust into entrepreneurial activity through force of circumstances. With not enough jobs being created people whether in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s  or even beyond have to get out there and bootstrap on their own. Continue reading “How much are new business owners responsible for entrepreneurial failure?”

Double your potential with breakthrough ideas
Do you want to come up with new business ideas? Choose Idea Accelerator for practical, hands-on advice without the myths and half-truths.