On the road from Aliwal North down to Cradock in the early morning crows are picking at roadkill on the tarmac. Two white breasted crows swoop down and devour the fresh flesh from a small jackal who didn’t make it across the road. Three other white breasted crows are perched on a telephone wire waiting their turn to feast on the jackal.
We arrived in one of the small towns struggling to survive in this economy. It was a town with no large fast-food chains. We had to ask a man at a petrol station where where we could find a take-away food place. We drove down the road to the small take-away that he suggested and that from the outside looked dodgy but they serve the most delicious hamburgers and chips, at a good price, better than anything you could get from a fast-food chain. Just before we got back in the car I noticed two dilapidated buildings that displayed a hand-painted car wash sign. In one of the buildings five men were sitting around but but no cars had stopped there to be washed.
When I got back in the car I looked up towards my left and saw a sign that was sponsored by by some provincial governmental agency that was proud to be the sponsor of the car wash. The thing is, and not to be unfair, the sign had probably cost more than the investment that had gone into the car wash across the road.
It makes one wonder what sort of support this car wash received. What kind of business advice they were given. What business advice they received. But the real issue is who would take any sort of business advice from someone who does not even recognise that this small business is in a shambles.
Even for a tiny business such as a car wash the difference between good advice and bad advice means the difference between success and failure.
Picture the difference when an experience, hands-on business adviser provides advice to a start-up or small business owner. Here I am not talking about someone who is an academic in business studies but someone who has started and run a small business for some time. Perhaps the business adviser has started several small ventures and is presently running enterprises of his or her own. There is also no shame in having failed in starting, running and shutting down a small business. Such real experience even though it may not be considered valuable by others is priceless to helping to grow small businesses.
For those who want to come up with a new business idea and go it alone that’s all very well. But they could end up banging the heads constantly against the wall as they make mistake after mistake. Wouldn’t it be better if someone could hold your hand and guide you through the “Valley of death” that the the entrepreneur has to cross when bringing a product from idea to development, market testing and launch?
If you are facing a brick wall in your in your new business or with a new product or service, isn’t it time for you to consider talking to a business adviser?
If you don’t, you could easily end up as roadkill in today’s competitive and changing market. Isn’t it time that you join hands with a silent partner in your business who can help you to reach your dream sooner.
Whatever you decide to do don’t pick up the Yellow Pages and randomly select a business adviser. Choose wisely. Rather check out two or maybe three business advisers and see if they match your business and aspirations. Don’t wait. Call or email them now.
It’s no coincidence that that small road-side take-away cafe which served us such delicious hamburgers and chips is doing a thriving trade. They have worked out with the right advice how to draw customers to their business so that they continue to grow and remain viable.