Almost 75% of small businesses are started from scratch

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LOGO5John Janning was asked by his wife to find the bad bulb in a string of Christmas-tree lights. He investigated and this gave him the inspiration to come up with a way to keep tree lights lit even if one burnt out.

Knowing that he didn’t have the manufacturing expertise or marketing prowess he decided to obtain a patent for his lights and then research manufacturers and found one willing to mass-produce his product and sell it. He received an upfront fee, plus a royalty of 5% on future sales.

Research shows that more than 75% of small business owners start their small business from scratch. The remaining percentage buy a second-hand business, which could include a franchise. What this means is that at least 75% of aspiring business owners come up with their own ideas for a new product or service.

If you came up with a new product or service idea, how would you go about developing it? You could take the route that John did by getting someone else to manufacture it and sell it for you. Yet this is a highly competitive area and unless you have a known demand for your product or service you would not want to pursue this route. The downside is that it may take you months if not years to find the manufacturer interested in your product or service who will take on for you.

How then do you go about developing your idea, test marketing it and selling it? Other entrepreneurs decide to go it alone and that’s all the way through learning each area of developing their idea on their own.

Others may have an uncle who may own a small business or may have once owned a small business and could advise you on how to go about commercialising your new business idea. The problem with this is that the good uncle may well not be up to date with modern manufacturing and marketing methods.

Another method that has gained big popularity is the business incubator that takes you through an up to two-year programme which gives you support and helps you to develop your business concept. The downside of this production-line approach is that it is exceedingly hard to get into these programs unless you have deep pockets or a corporate sponsor. You may also not qualify for the criteria which are aimed at screening out individuals from certain affilliations.

A business adviser who is not pushing a preset agenda and that is totally independent can provide possibly the best form of support to an aspiring small business owner. This search for an independent small business adviser is made difficult by the many self-anointed so-called small business consultants. Yet such as searches are worthwhile if you are able to find an independent small business adviser. The first question that you need to ask them is whether they have successfully started and run their own small businesses. If your prospective adviser has only learned business in universities and from textbooks, you might as well give up straight away.

The only possible disadvantage or downside of an independent small business adviser is their capacity. They may be dealing with a set number of clients at any one time and would most likely not be able to accommodate you at short notice.

Do your homework. Choose wisely. Yes, you may want to go it alone and act as alone-wolf entrepreneur doing everything yourself. But this trial-and-error method may chew up valuable resources and time that could be better spent getting your product to market.

PS Even if you don’t have a clear idea of what business you wish to pursue or have some promising business ideas but you don’t know how to take them further, then go here to find the best accelerator for your new business idea. We’ve helped others come up with ideas from scratch and turn them into viable income-generating businesses that provide incomes for themselves and their loved ones.

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