One sure way to beat this fire walk

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Aren’t you just tired with people who make statements about small businesses but are far removed from the trenches of real business?

Politicians make yada yada in the media about supporting small business.

Academics chirp in on how jobs should be created by small business.

Conferences and summits with hefty admission fees are held on the state of small business where there’s much dreary theory but little hands-on practical advice.

While much noise is made about support of small business, the reality is that very little is done.

What happens to these so-called special funds that are set up for small business?

Almost no concessions are made for small business such as untangling the red tape, making employment policies less onerous and giving some tax breaks.

While almost everyone raves about the virtues of small business as a job creator, hardly anyone talks about the harsh realities of starting a small business of your own.

As anyone who has started a small business knows, it takes true grit to start a business … and keep it running. You need cash invested or raise loans for a new business, second-hand one or a franchise. None of these come cheap. The alternative is to search for business ideas or generate ideas and come up with something of your own.

Small business start-ups face much risk; failure rates are not for those weak at the knees. Often only after second or third attempts a small business person starts something that is a success.

Starting from scratch begins with a search for ideas, selecting those with the best potential and matching needs to the market. Each of your business ideas need to be researched to make sure they are viable.

You need to research customers and markets to determine demand as well as identify trends that will reach into the future. Your business idea needs to be tested in the marketplace through a prototype, pilot or test market.

Once your business starts running you need to constantly find new paying customers. You must maintain tight control on expenditure, cash flow, debtors and creditors among many other business necessities.

The difficult economy has lowered demand in many areas and this has made it hard to start and operate small businesses. Those who are doing well are especially fortunate yet they are able to succeed through courage, determination and street smarts.

Meanwhile, to prevent marriages breaking up, houses getting sold and cars repossessed … small business people have to carry on with little or no support and focus on the things that matter most: finding ideas and product solutions that attract more paying customers.

Stay inspired

Chesney Bradshaw

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