How much risk are you willing to take in this economy?

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

A business owner running a large factory was closed down because of cheap imports. He then decided to become an importer himself. Things turned out all right in the beginning but he made one wrong move with a container load of goods because of a sudden currency decline and lost millions. He sat down, did some hard thinking and to rescue his dire situation started a takeaway and restaurant business. This business owner knew full well that the restaurant business is risky and made plans to take as much risk out of his new enterprise as possible.

His secret was to start small and keep things small. After opening up in a down economy, a year later he has done exceedingly well. Even halfway through his first year trading he had so many customers that the temptation was they to double up the size of these restaurant space. But he didn’t do this. Having been bitten twice before, he decided to increase his retail space only marginally more. This is meant that he has so many customers that he has an overflow on the pavement outside. Continue reading “How much risk are you willing to take in this economy?”

Would you treat your key asset in your small business this way?

English: Artist by Langdale Beck An artist bus...
English: Artist by Langdale Beck An artist busy at his easel is oblivious of the rain on this miserable day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was talking to a business woman who worked for an art studio but left because she was treated like dirt. This business woman provided the core competence for a small business which made the business flourish. She worked tremendously hard, gave of her expertise and talents freely and attracted many new customers. But the owner of the business treated her badly, maybe threatened or ungrateful for her level of expertise.

The situation between the small business owner and the key employee eventually came to an end. It’s not surprising because of the way that she was treated. It’s unlikely that the studio will find someone with such competence and at the rate that she was receiving fast enough to rescue the existing business. It’s difficult to predict what will happen next but one scenario is that over time the art studio will close its doors. Continue reading “Would you treat your key asset in your small business this way?”

What early detection systems do you need in your business?

White_sharkA start-up co-founder Craig Anderson has come up with a shark attack mitigation system in the form of a product called Clever Buoy, which is able to detect sharks and warn lifesavers of their presence in bathing areas.

The Perth-based Shark Attack Mitigation Systems business has developed Clever Buoy with the help of Google and Optus (A POTUS). The company has used a process from the oil and gas industry to develop new software that recognises sharks through sonar based on their swimming patterns.

Continue reading “What early detection systems do you need in your business?”

Spine-chilling fears of small business owners (six of the best capsules of terror – not to be taken at bedtime)

 Alexander the Great battling monsters, the French 15th century miniature (Credit:  Public domain work of art)
Alexander the Great battling monsters, the French 15th century miniature (Credit: Public domain work of art)

My father who retired early at about 55 because of ill-health signed surety for a motor business owned by some real smart characters in Cape Town. He was excited to be a business owner for the first time in his life. Unknown to him the other part owners in the business were spending the money my father had put into the business hand over first. Large bank loans were outstanding.

The bank came and confiscated every asset my father owned including the family house on the side of the mountain at Kalk Bay where I grew up. He never died before his time of a heart attack but because of a broken heart, lying in a cheap boarding house in Wynberg.

Be very careful of signing a surety. Know the danger from your business adviser. Check and double check with your lawyer. I will never sign surety for anyone or anything. Continue reading “Spine-chilling fears of small business owners (six of the best capsules of terror – not to be taken at bedtime)”