Is there an opportunity in your domain expertise?

Street Art, Buenos Aires
Street Art, Buenos Aires (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A young graffiti artist spent a lot of time after he matriculated skateboarding and doing graffiti after hours in the dark. This was his passion and he enjoyed it thoroughly. It wasn’t too long before he went to America and learnt from some top graffiti artists there but also learnt about specialised spray-painting methods. He’s come back and now is running his small business doing a new kind of graphic design that sets himself apart from all the graphic designers that are churned out from high-charging colleges.

A young woman, a successful model, in Srilanka started selling personal care products and later garments from a factory because her father had encouraged her to become a business person. One day while she was selling garments from the back of her blue station wagon she came up with an idea to come up with her garment range. Several years later her fashion house is one of the top such companies in Srilanka and is listed on the stock exchange. Continue reading “Is there an opportunity in your domain expertise?”

When times are tough, keep the spirits high

English: Brian Wilson during a performance at ...
English: Brian Wilson during a performance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the song “Heroes and Villains” from Brian Wilson’s “Smile”, there is that memorable line “In the Cantina Margarita keeps the spirits high”. It conjurors a picture of men and women in a bar having a fun time possibly after hearing bad news or witnessing some awful event. But it reminds me of the importance of morale, especially when times are bad. Continue reading “When times are tough, keep the spirits high”

Is “bare bones” enough to keep your small business alive?

photo-1433321768402-e8ed97b0324cTwo small business advisers were saying on radio the other day that many small businesses had cut their expenses “down to the bone”.

Economic times are so hard that small business owners are looking for every opportunity to cut their costs.

These business advisers felt that costs had been cut so close to the bone that there was hardly any more room to cut costs further. Continue reading “Is “bare bones” enough to keep your small business alive?”

A business owners’s experience and skills triumphs over another who just pumps money into their small business

Español: Croissant en Colombia
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A small business owner who was a “marketing expert” started a small business but soon ran into trouble. The reason was basically because the small business owner had not worked in the retail food market before. But being a “marketing expert”, he thought he knew better.

Within 18 months the small business had to be shut down, the equipment sold to cover unpaid expenses incurred by the landlord and plenty of frustrated customers who wondered why the business had been opened in the first place. Continue reading “A business owners’s experience and skills triumphs over another who just pumps money into their small business”

Unsung heroes with real community spirit

Free high-resolution photos from Unsplash
Free high-resolution photos from Unsplash

In the local communities small business owners contribute to their communities in many ways. For example, one small business sells off their large hessian coffee bags at a dirt cheap price and collects the money for a charity. Without fanfare, this business quietly and in a dignified way does its bit to make a difference in its local community.

That’s just one example. There are so many others. Perhaps the biggest contribution that small business owners make, in contrast to big businesses, is that they create jobs for the local community. Instead of hiring people from other cities and countries, the small business owner in one community hires local youngsters for his business and helps to develop them so that they can go on to bigger things. Continue reading “Unsung heroes with real community spirit”

Starting something of your own is hard work but it can be exciting and rewarding

3_1Unless you’re prepared to learn the mechanics of running a business you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of commercialising your promising business idea

How many new business ideas come to naught because people have an unrealistic belief that an idea in and of itself will bring rewards? Self-appointed small business experts push the line that you just need a business idea and some hard income will magically appear. But the claims misleading if not downright irresponsible. Continue reading “Starting something of your own is hard work but it can be exciting and rewarding”

Wouldn’t it be great if you came up with an idea like this?

swell-water-bottlesWhy can’t you come up with something like this?

A tax auditor was more interested in entrepreneurship than accounting but put plans to start her own company on hold. A few years later after consulting and real estate she attended a panel about the global clean-water crisis.

Some months later Sarah Kauss was hiking and all she had for water was a cheap, thin metal bottle that had warmed in the sun, according to a report in Fortune. She suddenly thought, “Why not create a more upscale, fashionable, reusable bottle that would keep the liquid cool?”

The bottles called S’Well retails from $25 to $45, depending on the size. She has sold about 4,000,000 to date. Continue reading “Wouldn’t it be great if you came up with an idea like this?”

Finding a gap in the market

IMG-20150808-00845A fashion model from Sri Lanka decided to go into business for herself when her father wanted her to do something in business. She decided to give it a try. She started selling haircare products to salons and subsequently also added garments from a factory which she sold to family and friends. Through selling garments she learnt all she could about the fashion business and eventually came up with her own fashion brand. She now owns a publicly listed company. Continue reading “Finding a gap in the market”

Do you need to review your goals?

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Some time ago I went to the farewell party of a successful entrepreneur who built up a marketing consulting business over many years. It was interesting to learn how many awards he had achieved over the years for brilliant work and how he had always been able to attract blue-chip clients. But now that he’s in retirement, he has had to set new goals. He will be lecturing at universities, engaging with the media and communicating brand and marketing leadership and helping to nurture young brand leaders.

Continue reading “Do you need to review your goals?”

The power of a new idea for personal success

Power up with the sun's energy.
Power up with the sun’s energy.

In Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, a grade 8 student James Murphy came up with the idea for a solar air heater, constructing the energy-producing equipment with recycled materials. He used about 160 empty soda cans, an old door found at a dump, a big piece of glass and aluminium tape. He included several of his fellow students in the project. The solar air heater they designed and built was part of an initiative to make the school more energy efficient. The project won the Zayed Future Energy Prize for Global High Schools. Continue reading “The power of a new idea for personal success”