It can get confusing. How often if you come up with a new business idea but don’t really know whether it is going to fly in the market? The trouble is you may fall in love with your new idea, think it’s so important and necessary for a potential market only to become disappointed when you find that others don’t share your enthusiasm. Continue reading “3 essential questions you need to ask before launching a big new idea”
Over the festive season, I walked down to the rocks near Kalk Bay to show my daughter and son an old fish trap along the coastline. They were amazed. They asked me how old the fish trap, made in the rocks on the water’s edge, was. I really can’t give a precise answer because to my knowledge there is no history of these fish traps around the South African coast. Some romantic historians would put these fish traps in ancient times but this one in particular looked as though it had been made about more than 100 years ago. Continue reading “An old Kalk Bay fish trap reveals a secret to sales”
On Christmas morning we went down to the beach at Muizenberg for a swim. The water was lovely and cool and enjoyable beyond measure. Afterwards, we all felt a bit peckish from the sun, sea and sand and went up to a small restaurant for some calamari, chips and coffee. The coffee was all right but the chips and calamari were nothing really to speak about. In fact, the calamari was tasteless. It was so easy to spot the fault with the calamari. It had been soaked in meat tenderiser to make it soft which had left the calamari tasteless. Continue reading “Businesses that don’t keep their promises to customers get away with it but at their own peril”
One of the best ways to find out if entrepreneurial ideas are working is to go out and look for yourself at real businesses in main street, morning markets or shopping centres. Rather than swallow hook, line and sinker the stories you read in small business magazines and newspapers, it’s good to get out there yourself and find out what’s working and what isn’t. It’s not only about the business idea itself but also about merchandising, store location and customer service.
Continue reading “Observation gets the ideas flowing”
The glossy business magazines will feature entrepreneurs who got their promising business ideas up and running in six months. These are the exceptions or what researchers call outliers. It leads you to believe that starting something from scratch can be done in record time and that instant success is forthcoming. What about all the other would-be entrepreneurs who take far longer to come up with a new business idea and even longer to get it off the ground?
The reality is that starting something from scratch, something of your own, something from a promising business idea, takes three times the duration to get it off the ground and will probably cost twice as much as the business gurus would leaf you to believe. It’s far better to have a realistic sense of what to expect when trying to develop something of your own than live in cloud cuckoo land expecting overnight success. One Internet business, for example, took 10 years before it became commercially viable, gaining enough traction to start getting noticed by Internet users. Continue reading “Better to start developing your new business idea soon as possible than wait for the perfect thing”
After working in transport and distribution John Bremner took a voluntary redundancy package and started learning computers to retrain for a new career. He came up with an idea to start “The Green Engineer” which offers maintenance, modernisation, installation and repair services for the domestic market in electrical, plumbing, heating and renewable energy.
John plans to build a business by working with renewables from rainwater harvesting to domestic heat recovery systems and would like to create a positive impact in reducing our collective carbon footprint. Continue reading “How to turn on your discovery channel”
The experts will tell you that if you want to create new ideas all you need to do is get out a pen or pencil and stare at a blank sheet of paper and write down your ideas.
Has this ever worked for you?
I’ve found that it’s very difficult unless you come prepared to you blank sheet and at least have some questions in hand that can spur your imagination. Continue reading “When you’re stuck for ideas, try these three questions”
I’ve got a problem I just can’t seem to solve. I have been at it for some time but there is no clear-cut solution. Nothing seems to work. I’ve used various idea-generation techniques (attribute listing, mind maps or think bubbles, the 20-Idea Method) but alas no simple solution. I’ve discussed the challenge with people and researched the Internet but I’m still waiting to connect the dots.
I don’t think it’s because the idea-generation techniques in themselves are not working. I’ve just come up against a massive challenge that has no easy solution. It’s not as bad as something like Rittel’s wicked problems because I can at least find that but it’s wickedly difficult to solve. Continue reading “What happens when ideas just won’t come?”
Finding uses for products can help to open new markets. For an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner an interesting task is to take your product or service idea and generate a number of uses for it. Stretch your imagination. Don’t censor your ideas. You may come up with one that could give your product a whole new market – and a whole new life.
Take colas, for example They started out as a medicinal drink and then became a soft drink. Yet people still use colas for some interesting purposes such as for meat tenderising and cleaning battery connections.
Speaking about car batteries, while their primary use is for starting cars, people use their 12 V batteries for powering house lighting, radios, television sets and camping equipment.
What other uses do your products or services have? Continue reading “Unusual uses for the world’s dumbest product”
Home owners faced the worst drought in half a century in the US. Water rationing and conservation became imperative. So what could home owners do about their lawns?
Many decided to paint their lawns with green organic dye. It’s incredible isn’t it, that homeowners would rather spray their lawns green than replace them with indigenous grasses or even endemic plants that need little water?
Although spraying residential lawns may be new, golf courses and athletic fields have used green spraying for years to get a more deep green lush appearance.
Dyeing grass makes water conservation screen around the gills but the point I’m making is that new ideas often come about when people face crises. They have to do something to change or respond to events. It brings challenges and opportunities.
Small business owners and start-ups aren’t usually looking for ideas to solve lawn water problems but they often need to come up with ideas in a hurry. Continue reading “Ideas crisis: 3 lucrative tools you can use to instantly pump ideas”