One thing your start-up must do to avoid crashing and burning

IMG_3093When 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”

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Are you working hard enough to grow your small business?

English: Kalk Bay habour, Cape Peninsula, Sout...
English: Kalk Bay harbour, Cape Peninsula, South Africa  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the summer months in False Bay when the snoek run was on we would get up early in the morning, around 3 AM, to go out to Simon’s Town with my father’s ski boat to be out on the water by 5 AM.

When the snoek were biting like crazy we would fill the ski boat fish hold with a load of snoek and take it back to Kalk Bay harbour to auction the fish.

If the fish were still biting and the fish market was still open at Kalk Bay we would go back for a second catch. Continue reading “Are you working hard enough to grow your small business?”

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Can you handle the “sea of pain” struggle in getting your new business idea or venture off the ground?

Bakhuizen, Ludolf - Ships on a Stormy Sea c1672
Bakhuizen, Ludolf – Ships on a Stormy Sea c1672 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A “marketing expert” started a new venture in the coffee shop-restaurant area, went through struggles to make it work but eventually before 18 months had ended, shut its doors. You can sympathise with this small business owner yet there was little, if any, evidence of the owner coming up with new approaches, new ideas or new concepts. Continue reading “Can you handle the “sea of pain” struggle in getting your new business idea or venture off the ground?”

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Hard work comes easier when your work is your passion

English: Catherine Malandrino - Fashion Designer
English: Catherine Malandrino – Fashion Designer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We went to visit a fashion designer in Salt River, Cape Town, because of my daughter’s interest in fashion. It was two days before New Year and the fashion designer was working flat out at 3 PM. She showed us some of her many patterns, we watched one of her staff cutting cloth from a pattern and were told how she farmed out the garment construction to a sub supplier. She preferred to outsource this part of her garment construction because it is a specialist field in itself and requires a different overhead to where this fashion designer is presently located. But one thing stood out. Continue reading “Hard work comes easier when your work is your passion”

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How hard are you prepared to work for your small business?

English: Jack Ma speaks during The Future of t...
English: Jack Ma speaks during The Future of the Global Economy: The View from China plenary session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China 28 September 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An interesting video surfaced on the Internet just after the Alibaba IPO in the United States about how Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of the Internet e-commerce site, started his business.

If you look at the video, you will see that Jack had a clear vision for his Internet company, Alibaba right from the outset. In other words he came up with a creative vision for not only having one of the top e-commerce site in China but also in the world. In his address to his five or so new employees he tells them that their goal is achievable but they must not underestimate how much hard work the Silicon Valley crowd put into their companies. He said that it was going to take them three to five years of tremendously hard work to get up and running and to build their company with the international presence of an eBay, Yahoo or Amazon. He went on to point out that they would not be an eight to five pm company but that they would have to put in the hours, working hard, if they were to succeed. Continue reading “How hard are you prepared to work for your small business?”

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