Information is a commodity, specialised knowledge is valuable

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liquid paper (A bottle correction fluid), pict...
Liquid paper (A bottle correction fluid), picture and eraser – Nakhon Sawan, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the small businesses I was trying to get up and running some years back gave me a lot of headaches. A big challenge was getting the distribution right. Without distribution channels, the business could not get off the ground. Another issue was trying to attract a specialised staff person but with the small business not having any track record.

These are the kind of issues that the person who is starting something from scratch often confronts. Other issues could involve product prototyping and estimating market demand. These are not easy to issues to solve especially when you are a small business person operating on a shoestring budget with your resources only being yourself and meagre savings.

Most of the business resources you find begin with the legal formation of a company, the structural accompany and business planning. I often wondered where there was a reliable resource that covered starting a business from scratch, taking a mere idea and turning it into the reality of a product or service. Yet all the time I was hearing how important it was to value your promising business ideas because they could be a source of potential income.

Those start-up founders and entrepreneurs often only realise what it takes to turn a promising idea into a viable business when they start something for themselves. They quickly find out that it takes three times as long as they originally planned to get things off the ground and takes double the amount of investment. It’s not for nothing that you hear about the high failure rates of small businesses and new products. Even giant companies with almost unlimited resources get it wrong. Many of their new products and services fail within the first year but you often don’t get to hear about these stories because they are kept under wraps. New products are quietly taken off the shelves and discontinued.

It takes far longer than you realise to start something from scratch. For example Bette Graham invented the first correction fluid in her kitchen. She was working as a typist and she used to make many mistakes. She always looked for a way to correct her mistakes. She started using the basis of tempera paint she mixed with a common kitchen blender. The product that she made was a fluid called Mistake Out. She gave her co-workers small bottles on which the brand name was displayed. She worked from a kitchen nights and weekends to produce small batches of the correction bottles. After about five years she was fired from a typist job after she made a mistake that she did not manage to correct. Unfortunately, she had typed in her company name instead of the bank’s. She then devoted her full-time to her new company. She sold the product from a house for 17 years until in 1979 the name of the product was changed to Liquid Paper, which she sold to the Gillette Corporation for a large sum with royalties.

If you are looking to start a business from scratch, from a mere idea, you will need to have specialised knowledge. Such specialised knowledge is valuable because it can save you time and money. It also saves you the psychological stress of coming up against problems and losing money. Trial and error, they say, is the best form of learning. Yes, it’s irreplaceable. But if you can find a more intelligent, smart way of starting something of your own, it can help you increase your chances of success. You may want to consider my book “Breakthrough Ideas”, which is designed as a resource to help anyone of any age in any field to take their most promising business idea and turn it into a source of income. You don’t want to miss this opportunity if you are interested in liberating your creative potential.

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