We’ve all had that experience some time or another when a consultant comes into our business and believes that they have all the answers. Worse still, they believe that their way is the only way and the right way. Never mind that they know very little or next to nothing about your business.
Why is the consultant there in the first place? You may be struggling with a certain part of your business such as operations, distribution, marketing or even product development. The consultant may be there by invitation but not always so. They could be fobbed on to you because of your investors or shareholders and for some larger businesses they could be there as part of a business recovery plan. Continue reading “Trust me, I’m a consultant”
An accountant who worked in large companies has started an advisory service for small businesses in her home town. The accountant is focusing on smaller businesses who often receive poor business advice which leads to horror stories.
I went on a trip down to Bloemfontein en route to a game park in the Free State where the Caledon and Orange Rivers meet. On the Saturday morning we went shopping in Bloemfontein in the smaller suburbs and came across a small burger business called Burger Mania that is doing very well.
On the way to the game park we came across a roadside stall that is doing a thriving business despite being situated in a remote area along the N1 highway. This roadside stall mainly stocks home-made food products and crafts that are made by locals. You won’t find one packet of branded chips there. Almost everything comes from small suppliers. The business owner told me that she’s been running her roadside stall for seven years and is doing well. Continue reading “Traps for first-time start-ups”
With supposedly serious small business magazines touting headlines on their cover that anyone can start a business without any cash, it seems as though business skills to develop a product or service idea and launch a business are hardly necessary.
But we all know small business magazines with controlled circulations battle on the newsstands. Their hyped up headlines are there to merely tease or tantalise prospective readers but when you turn the pages and find the article it’s the same feeling that you had as a kid when you opened a lucky packet to find some cheap plastic toys inside that break on first use. Oh boy, lucky those lucky packets are no longer around. Yet am told they could make a comeback at one of the larger grocery chains. Continue reading “What should you expect from a business adviser?”
John Janning was asked by his wife to find the bad bulb in a string of Christmas-tree lights. He investigated and this gave him the inspiration to come up with a way to keep tree lights lit even if one burnt out.
Knowing that he didn’t have the manufacturing expertise or marketing prowess he decided to obtain a patent for his lights and then research manufacturers and found one willing to mass-produce his product and sell it. He received an upfront fee, plus a royalty of 5% on future sales.
Research shows that more than 75% of small business owners start their small business from scratch. The remaining percentage buy a second-hand business, which could include a franchise. What this means is that at least 75% of aspiring business owners come up with their own ideas for a new product or service. Continue reading “Almost 75% of small businesses are started from scratch”