Ignore your pie-in-the-sky thinking if you want but don’t cry when your competitors steal a scrumptious slice of your market

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Why has pie-in-the-sky thinking got such a bad rap?
Why has pie-in-the-sky thinking got such a bad rap?

Last night while driving to a jazz club I was listening to a new Johannesburg radio station and I heard a business consultant interviewing entrepreneurs who have taken a second-hand car sounds business and through innovative ideas have made it super successful.

What stood out for me was a remark made by the wife of the husband-and-wife business partnership. She said her husband was the “pie-in-the-sky” thinker. He was the one who had come up with ideas such as to showcase a classic car from the 60s in their car sound audio fitment centre.

Audio Evolution, which sells car sound, car security, vehicle tracking and car entertainment, has as its branding mascot this car from yesteryear. It has added interest and fun to this business’s branding in the highly competitive car audio aftermarket.

Do you have a pie-in-the-sky thinker in your business but don’t ever listen to him or her? Are you a pie-in-the-sky thinker who is too timid or scared to try out your “wild”, “wacky” or “weird” ideas?

Why is it that the term “pie-in-the-sky” has been used to derogatively label creative thinking? What are business people so afraid of?

A while back I met a small business owner who faced a new competitor moving in down the road from him but he didn’t seem to be listening to the “pie-in-the-sky” ideas that his partner was suggesting to make his business more competitive. He may still do and I certainly hope he does. Any small business ignores their competition at the own peril.

In today’s competitive markets especially in local communities where even big business is stealing the food out of the mouths of local small business owners (think chain pharmacies, garage stores and chain supermarkets), I would have thought innovative thinking is critical. And with businesses less likely to survive in shrinking markets “50% survived for five years in 1995, while 47% survived for five years in 2005 – Source: Staff.com) new ideas and innovative thinking has become even more important for business success.

For a business owner to turn a second-hand car sound business into a successful operation through range extension and clever marketing takes innovative thinking. Buying a second-hand business and thinking that it will be a cash machine for you forever is simply foolhardy – you need to change things, innovate and get your customers excited for your products or services.

Just imagine then how much innovation and “pie-in-the-sky” thinking is required for a start-up to take a new business idea from conception to successful implementation.

If you’re a pie-in-the-sky thinker, not afraid to innovate and want your ideas to work for you, use every creative fibre in your body to subscribe in confidence to my daily posts on innovation and idea generation.

Stay inspired

Chesney Bradshaw

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