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 “How much is a new business idea worth to you?”

What you should know about owning a start-up – 8 must-have qualities for entrepreneurs

Test your concept on real customers first.
Test your concept on real customers first.

I wouldn’t want to put you off about owning a start-up but there’s some things you ought to know before you decide to go it on your own.

And that the one major thing you’ll have to realise and accept: when you start something, you are totally on your own. You will need to do everything in the beginning. Nothing will happen without you making it happen. Continue reading “What you should know about owning a start-up – 8 must-have qualities for entrepreneurs”

Are you staying opportunity focused in this economy?

Money_Man
Credit: Creative Commons

In this economy every source of income counts. But where do you begin to discover hidden or new sources of income?

You may wonder about the term “multiple streams of income”. What is it? A buzzword from some self-help business guru that helps him or her sell their books and other products. It’s really a term to entice people into believing that it so easy to make money that you merely need to turn open a tap and money will pour into your banking account. This does not happen in the real world. You need to work long and hard for any sort of income.

In every business or new venture knowing where additional sources of income will come from is important. The simplest example is a product business that adds after-market service to their offering. This provides two sources of income: product sales and service. Continue reading “Are you staying opportunity focused in this economy?”

What happened to entrepreneurial spirit? Finding the entrepreneur in you

Kalk Bay Harbour, Cape Town.
Kalk Bay Harbour, Cape Town. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was growing up in the seaside village of Kalk Bay, Cape Town, my father hired a spare outside room from the mother of a famous cricketer at the time.

The empty room was quickly filled with equipment that my brothers and I used for our watersports: surfboards, wetsuits, diving gear and fishing rods. I spent many hours in that room fixing surfboard dents or dings.

I didn’t know it then but this woman was being entrepreneurial by making some money on the side in her retirement years. Continue reading “What happened to entrepreneurial spirit? Finding the entrepreneur in you”

Sustainability – a must-have or simply an add-on for start-ups?


When a partner and me launched a start-up in the grocery trade a few years back most of our initial time was spent planning – thinking about things like setting up a small distribution centre, identifying larger customers, working out whether our range was big enough and doing sums to see that our sales would be profitable.

As soon as we got going, all our time was spent rushing out to customers from early in the morning until late in the evening, selling and distributing our products. We had almost no time to think about our strategy, financial objectives and marketing.

If you have been involved in setting up a start-up business, then you will know that a new business venture is a complex process which involves spending a lot of time on planning and preparation. Once you get started, your time is eaten up by serving customers, checking your expenses, cash flow and re-ordering. Continue reading “Sustainability – a must-have or simply an add-on for start-ups?”

Turn your passion into profit but look before you leap

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Dried fish biltong (bokoms) being sold on the side of the road at Velddrift on the Cape West Coast.

With this economy every bit of extra cash counts.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs are turning their hobbies, favourite pastimes, and passions into profitable businesses. They are making a living doing what they love. And because they love what they do, they work harder at it.

Experts say eight out of ten small business start-ups result from hobbies or long-term interests. Continue reading “Turn your passion into profit but look before you leap”