The events over the past few weeks have made me wonder about what is a precious gift when you find yourself in times of adversity. We accept bumps in the road and minor setbacks as part of life but when major disasters or tragedies strike it’s sometimes difficult to get back onto the saddle and ride your horse again.
Disasters for small business come in many forms including a cash crisis, loss of a major customer, changing technology and the entrance of a new and strong competitor. These are just some. But as the business founder, the business owner, you are the driving force in the business. When personal or family tragedy strikes such as the loss of a loved one, you may take some time to recover. Continue reading “What is your precious gift in small business?”
When we arrived at a farm where we were staying overnight we went out to the fields on a Saturday afternoon and found the whole family working in the fields. When it’s not raining, it’s an ideal time or the best time to harvest wheat. At times like this, the farmer works from early in the morning right through into the evening.
Life on a farm teachers you the value of hard work. Farmers are not shy of hard work. Two large harvesters were being used on the farm to harvest the wheat. You see, if you harvest when the wheat is wet, you risk spoiling the wheat because of fungi. So when the good weather comes, sunny and hot, it’s the best time to harvest the wheat. The farmer and his son started out early on Saturday morning, after harvesting the previous day and went on into the night continuing to harvest the wheat. Continue reading “One thing your start-up must do to avoid crashing and burning”
On a Sunday evening we went down to Kalk Bay Harbour to eat some fresh fish and chips at the Harbour Cafe. Afterwards we went to the Polana restaurant that overlooks the sea to relax. It’d been a long day visiting friends in places and we wanted to relax. Just before nine a Latin jazz trio walked in to the restaurant and set up the musical equipment.
An art student asked a master teacher how she could find more time to work on her art because she works full-time and supports a family. When she does have time, she doesn’t have any energy left. Should she just put aside her love of art and wait until the kids are older when things are not so time intensive.
The master artist said to her that the mistake is to look for more time rather than look for motive. It would be better for her to look for compelling reasons to develop her art. But this implied that she needed to be honest with herself and determine what she really wanted from art. It was time to throw off the “genteel answers”. Did she want to sell her artwork in a gallery? Did she want recognition from friends and family? Was her motive to be independent and not tied to full-time employment? Was it to count for something? Continue reading “How do you find more time to work on your new business idea?”
I just got back from holiday when I saw something wrong in my local shopping centre. There it was: another empty shop. A business that had run smack into the wall. It was the video shop. Now, video stores have been under threat for a number of years. A whole chain went under administration in the UK recently (528 stores employing 4,000 people). But I’m not here to talk about the reasons why video shops are collapsing (hint: the rise of e-commerce) and retail chains going under (50 folded last year in the UK alone).
Ever-rocketing energy costs didn’t force that business to close. But not caring about it may have been just one of the many indicators of laxness in the business. For example, I never once saw the owner ever in his store. Says something, doesn’t it? Continue reading “Will energy costs break your business?”