Will it fly? How do you know if your new business idea has been formed under the wrong assumptions… before you take the leap

Are you ready for the Thanksgiving turkey?

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”

What are the elements of a good business plan?

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Photo credit:  Chesney Bradshaw (Copyright 2014)

You get some new or would-be business owners who scoff at the idea of preparing a business plan. For the business hobbyist, someone who may only be growing vegetables in their garden for sale to friends and family, perhaps a business plan is not required. But for any business that requires reasonably substantial resources, investing money from your savings account or using other people’s money, then it’s hardly likely that you are going to get away without a business plan.

Not having a business plan is like taking a road trip but not planning beforehand. You don’t have a map, you have no petrol in your tank, you haven’t taken the right things to go with you on your journey and you have a general sense of where you going but no specific idea. Well, if that’s how you like to travel in a spontaneous, free-flowing way, then don’t blame anybody if you get lost along the way and never reach your final destination. Continue reading “What are the elements of a good business plan?”

Mexican blasted on Second Avenue

The Mexican... gone but not forgotten. Photo credit: Kevin Sutherland, Times Explorer
The Mexican… gone but not forgotten. Photo credit: Kevin Sutherland, Times Explorer

At 11 o’clock in the night we searched for the Mexican in the dark. We just didn’t seem able to find the Mexican. After driving around the block twice, I called my friend to tell him that we couldn’t find the Mexican.

That’s when he gave the secret away. After dinner at the Bella Casa, we decided to go to the Mexican restaurant in Westdene in Bloemfontein. The general idea was to have an evening closer whiskey (I wasn’t driving). I was particularly looking forward to seeing Steve the Scottish owner of the Mexican and tasting one of his top recommendations, Singletons whiskey. Continue reading “Mexican blasted on Second Avenue”

10 reasons why you must not start a new product, service or business (unless you know how to deal with each)

Risky Business (soundtrack)

It might seem ridiculous to put you off taking your idea and turning it into a product or service and starting a new business.

But I’ve seen too many would-be entrepreneurs’ dreams lying shattered because they didn’t plan beforehand, acquire the necessary know-how, skills and experience before they took the leap.

New product development and starting a business is risky. Unless you personally manage the risk every step of the way, you could lose a lot more than your shirt.

No incubator or six-week seed workshop will remove that risk nor will it give you the know-how to start and run a money-making business. You only develop know-how by doing.

Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t start a new product, service or business (unless you have a solid plan to rectify these weaknesses): Continue reading “10 reasons why you must not start a new product, service or business (unless you know how to deal with each)”