How can you learn to be more creative?

Mind-map showing a wide range of nonhierarchic...

Mind-map showing a wide range of nonhierarchical relationships (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurial venture founders use idea generation and creativity in coming up with a new business idea whether that be starting something from scratch or taking a second-hand business and repurposing it for a specific target market. Once the small business is up and running, the small business owner would typically deal with a number of difficulties, problems and challenges – all of which need creativity to be solved. Continue reading

How do you find your best ideas for a start-up?

A woman in a bikini at a Beauty pageant 7 Marc...

A woman in a bikini at a Beauty pageant . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A student completing her law degree and her fellow student studying Spanish and finance have started a venture to sell dance shoes.

There is a new trend among the generation of millennials who say they don’t want to limit themselves and aren’t afraid to take risks as they start their own businesses different from their formal studies, according to a recent report.

Many have watched their parents lose their jobs during economic downturns and don’t dream of climbing the one-track corporate path. They have discovered the reality that job security is a lie, said a coach who helps students to start up their own businesses. “Millennials are really looking for meaning and purpose,” she said.

How did these two graduates find their idea for dancing shoes? Continue reading

Can you find opportunities in zombie business ideas?

Zombie Influx

Zombie Influx (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some time ago there was a flurry of interest in BlackBerry because the rumour was that Samsung would buy it out. These rumours were squashed promptly. But the whole saga tended to make one think about slow-moving zombie technologies that refuse to die.

Despite the changes in technology, older technologies such as teletype still exist although in some smaller applications such as secure electronic messaging services in Europe. Why is this? Because it’s possible to deliver messages securely to a recipient without knowing their email address or phone number. Continue reading

How much do you value the hard work and honesty of your staff in your small business?

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

One of the massive fast-food chain stores suffered a loss of 245 pieces of chicken and 63 kg of chips in three days. In two shifts 424 cans of cold drink and 518 cans of juice had disappeared. Management tried to stop the losses by locking the freezers, storerooms and the walk-in coolers. But the stock losses continued. The business hired new supervisors and managers and implemented more stock handling measures. It was an impossible task and eventually the business dismissed all their staff in the particular team at a disciplinary enquiry. The problem was resolved immediately. Continue reading

How much is a new business idea worth to you?

Ideas are the Basis of Progress. Every Improve...

Ideas are the Basis of Progress. Every Improvement in This World was the Result of Someone’s Idea – NARA – 534220 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A civil engineer came back home after his contract ran out in Papua New Guinea. Because jobs are hard to find in his home country he sat around sending out more than 300 CVs, started running out of his savings, eventually had no money to make cellphone calls and by the hair on his chinny chin chin after one year secured a job in Saudi Arabia. This is the prison that the person with no new ideas experiences. All he or she can sell is skills and time.

A young woman landed up in Worcester, Western Cape, fell in love with the place and wanted to stay but there were no jobs. She wracked her brains, desperate to find some idea to make an income so that she could live in the town. Even though Worcester sauce is made by the giant food manufacturing companies right there in Worcester, she came up with an idea for her own special Worcester sauce, developed her product and it took off. Continue reading

Does walking spark new ideas for you?

IMG_1434.JPG.storyboardOn Sunday late afternoon I took a walk along the Braamfontein Spruit watching the baby ducks that had grown up during the summer months. I went up to the bird lookout at Delta Park which overlooks a field of bulrushes where small finches were eating the seeds in the setting sun.

During this walk an idea that I hadn’t thought of for a while slipped into my mind. I tossed it about and came up with a potential market for the product, a name for varieties of the product, how to package it and what I would have to do to test market it. By the time I’d finished my walk I had a reasonably developed idea, much more feasible than when I had first thought about it. Continue reading

How often do you as a small business owner get out to see what is going on in the market?

IMG_0284I mentioned to a small business owner the other day that a similar business to his had started down the road. He told me that he spent so much time in his business that he didn’t even know about it. Perhaps when he gets a chance to take off an hour or so he may go down the road to look at the business and see what his competitor he is doing.

How often do you get out of your start-up or small business to go look what’s happening in the market? Do you have the time? Is it worth your while? Continue reading

Which is your path to new business ideas?

(Copyright © 2014 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

(Copyright © 2014 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

Every creativity guru out there has a different process or description for generating and developing new ideas. But which ones of them work? Do you have to play on all sorts of levels of creativity to come up with a viable business idea?

The latest process I saw was one that breaks down creativity into five levels:

– idea preparation
– idea generation
– idea development
– idea enhancement
– idea activation

If any of this makes you want to fall asleep, I don’t blame you. I am extremely wary of these so-called success systems that claim to be helpful but are not nearly as new as they make out to be or are just simply unclear and filled with impressive abstract terms. Continue reading

Can you really learn how to come up with new business ideas in seven days?

Copyright © 2014 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved

Copyright © 2014 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved

You see it all the time. The guru experts who come up with programs that can, for example, build self-confidence in seven days guaranteed. What do you make of this? How is it possible to develop self-confidence in only seven days?

Yes, perhaps a program like this can show you how to become more self confident. Maybe it takes just seven days to inform you how to do it but to go from low self-esteem and a shaky self-confidence to high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence in just seven days is a claim that is hard to believe. Continue reading

Where do good ideas come from?

John Ward's House

John Ward’s House (Photo credit: Lawrence Whittemore)

If you think you’ll get your best ideas from standing in the shower think again. You might be lucky to receive a sudden flash of inspiration in the shower but most of these ideas are unlikely to be strong enough to launch a viable business.

The reason is simply that such “pure thought” will probably not be bounded in the reality of the marketplace. Sure, if you suddenly combined two concepts or objects that you had found in the marketplace, then your idea may hold promise. There are always exceptions to any general rule. Continue reading