Mining for consumer gold

ShopperThe Sandton City shopping complex recently hosted a Japan week that showcased a range of consumer products. Products ranged from musical instruments, motorcycles, motor vehicles and stationery to exquisitely designed gel nails.

Looking at the array of products, you can’t help thinking about how much investment must go into designing products that will be desirable for consumers. Take the Yamaha compact sound system, for instance, which comes in a range of exciting colours and incorporates modern technology such as Bluetooth, USB input and a docking station for smart phones. This compact sound system under the respected brand name of Yamaha is so desirable that you want to buy the product on the spot. Same goes for the Clavinova made by Yamaha which was played by an international musician with digital sound almost exactly like the original instruments such as the violin, drums and piano. Continue reading “Mining for consumer gold”

Make your idea happen (even if you don’t think you’re ready)

IDEA
IDEA (Photo credit: mlinksva)

What does it take to get your new business idea off the ground? How do you make your new business idea happen? How much is it going to cost?

The challenge about starting anything new – and I’m not talking about inventors here – is that you need to be fairly high up the food chain to make your new business idea into reality. What I mean by this? I mean that you need to have the skills, time, motivation, contacts and money to make your idea happen.

Continue reading “Make your idea happen (even if you don’t think you’re ready)”

5 sources of innovation for start-ups and small businesses

IMG00035-20101223-1936_2You must have heard that about 85% of small businesses fail in their first year. But why then are so many start-ups and small businesses started? The reason is simply that a small business has the highest potential earnings out of all investment classes.

The news for small businesses making it past the first year isn’t too bad: two thirds of small businesses survive more than two years; and about 44% make it past four years. Continue reading “5 sources of innovation for start-ups and small businesses”

How come Lotto winners lose their money so quickly?

Hot Lotto logo
Hot Lotto logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the national weeklies carried a story on a man from Durban who won R10 million and within five years he lost it all.

Research shows that up to 70% of lottery winners lose or spend all of their money in five years or less.

With high amounts of personal indebtedness and small businesses going into liquidation in huge numbers just what is it that causes people to crash into financial problems.? Some pay their debts off but end up in catastrophic financial trouble again. Continue reading “How come Lotto winners lose their money so quickly?”

Can I tell you something personal?

The long descent
The long descent (Photo credit: VernsPics)

The other day a subscriber commented that starting a business was simple: you need to come up with a plan and then work that plan. The subscriber said he was frustrated that most people he deals with in his business just don’t get it. They aren’t prepared to put in the hard work and focus.

If you’ve been procrastinating on what to do when developing a new product or service or even new venture, it’s a sign that something is wrong. It may be that you have not done enough research. You may even not believe in your own vision. You also may not have “stretched” your ego far enough so that your plan fits into the mental picture of how you see yourself. Continue reading “Can I tell you something personal?”

Are you entertaining your customers enough?

English: Parisian mime working for tips entert...
Parisian mime working for tips entertaining crowd. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A research study asked 500 adults if they were more likely to pay for digital products which provided entertainment (such as music) and solutions (software apps) or for those providing knowledge such as an online newspaper.

The research, says ScienceDaily, found that younger and wealthier users were more likely to be willing to pay for online news. People who had bought software programs, online movies, apps and e-books were also more likely to pay for online news.

This research is important for anyone involved in online or traditional news media. It illustrates the ongoing effects of the digital revolution on news. But it also makes one ask how small business can use entertainment to their advantage.

How can you use entertainment to make your business, products and services more interesting to customers? Continue reading “Are you entertaining your customers enough?”

Why some small businesses battle to get their products in the hands (or mouths) of customers

English: This photo shows Wieden Bräu, a typic...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On a recent Sunday we went out to lunch in the country at a restaurant called Gilroy. The restaurant has a microbrewery attached to it or one could say that the microbrewery is attached to a restaurant. This restaurant/microbrewery has a great lesson for small businesses not only microbreweries on getting their products into the hands (and mouths) of the buying public. Continue reading “Why some small businesses battle to get their products in the hands (or mouths) of customers”

You’ve got ideas. What to do with them?

ideas
ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Not all ideas are equal. You’ve come up with an idea that you think is brilliant. You may have several ideas bubbling in your head or staring at you in your notebook. You might have used idea-generation tools and solo brainstormed perhaps 100 ideas.

To make eventual money from your new business ideas for products and services you need to have some process to select the best ones and experiment with them. Continue reading “You’ve got ideas. What to do with them?”

If you don’t have this one thing, sustainability is very difficult


A small business owner, or a start-up founder, visits a green fields manufacturing site and is forced to worry that her car parked nearby will be stolen.

A small business owner drives to work in fear of being hijacked.

A kitchen-table entrepreneur is too frightened to let her daughter walk to school down the road because what might happen. Continue reading “If you don’t have this one thing, sustainability is very difficult”