Some time ago I went to the farewell party of a successful entrepreneur who built up a marketing consulting business over many years. It was interesting to learn how many awards he had achieved over the years for brilliant work and how he had always been able to attract blue-chip clients. But now that he’s in retirement, he has had to set new goals. He will be lecturing at universities, engaging with the media and communicating brand and marketing leadership and helping to nurture young brand leaders.
A small business owner recently bought a pizzeria and restaurant franchise in a local shopping centre. Not happy with the appearance and interior design of the restaurant, he set about refurbishing it. His contractors started early on a Sunday morning and by the Wednesday evening had completed the entire refurbishment of the restaurant. (You can buy my book “Breakthrough Ideas here: http://wp.me/P1A3Pz-2hY)Continue reading “Warning: turning your promising idea into a viable business requires hard work”
In Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, a grade 8 student James Murphy came up with the idea for a solar air heater, constructing the energy-producing equipment with recycled materials. He used about 160 empty soda cans, an old door found at a dump, a big piece of glass and aluminium tape. He included several of his fellow students in the project. The solar air heater they designed and built was part of an initiative to make the school more energy efficient. The project won the Zayed Future Energy Prize for Global High Schools. Continue reading “The power of a new idea for personal success”
An entrepreneur starts a new business from a promising idea. Take the woman who started a double-insulated water bottle. She got the idea while out hiking with her mother. She’s sold 4,000,000 units to date. This business gets a lot of media coverage but is it wise to start something based on an idea?
Be aware that you can’t stand still in whatever profession or business you are in because changing times demand new ideas, new approaches and new methods.
The sad fact is that people are being left behind, professionals are being made redundant and businesses are closing down because of rapid change and economic upheaval.
Fortunately, there is a way to come up with new approaches, new concepts and new solutions whatever your professional business. For individuals who are inspired to act and small business owners who are ambitious and open to new ideas, opportunities can be found that put them ahead of their peers or competitors.
If you are in any one of the professions or small businesses listed below, you will find that my new book “Breakthrough Ideas: How to Produce Ideas for Profit in Your Life and Business” can help you quickly think up new products and better ways to multiply the value of your personal services and income.
Retail business owners – Look around, see how restaurants close in six months and become Asian clothing stores. Pool shops in six months become pet stores. What’s happening? Changing times. Use proven idea tools and techniques to “recession proof” your small retail business and diversify your customer base.
Bed and breakfast owners – You can increase your business by using techniques and tools that bring in more visitors and improve your gross margins.
Saturday morning market owners – Generate new ideas to more effectively attract quality store owners and bring more customers to your morning market.
Country business owners – If you’ve always yearned to live in the country and enjoy a country lifestyle but don’t know how you could make income, then use the easy-to-follow steps to come up with income-generating opportunities.
Sales managers – Punch-up your sales with personal brainstorming to give better value to your customers and leave your competitors grovelling in the dust. In this challenging economy, new solutions are crucial to new problems.
Trainers – Your same old “creativity” exercises no longer interest your participants. Why not come up with new creativity games or exercises that excite your participants… and encourage them to tell their friends?
Farmers – only if you’re a farmer will you know just how important profitability has become to farming operations. Now, you can come up with new ideas, new methods and approaches to make your farming income more viable. If you’ve wanted to develop a side-income, use the idea-generation system to produce a business that will provide “insurance” in tight times.
Teachers and lecturers in entrepreneurship – As entrepreneurship makes its way into basic and higher education curricula don’t be left behind. Get your creativity working to make your courses more real-world and intriguing, and show students how to turn their business ideas into viable new products and services.
Marketing agency owners – Your clients are demanding more creative ways of marketing on ever tight budgets. Don’t rely on luck or what you’ve done in the past. Learn to systematically come up with attention-getting, more profitable marketing plans and campaigns.
Breakthrough Ideas” it is for the solution-finder, the person who wants to become a better idea-generator and a sharper opportunity seeker. It’s based on real-world experience, research into creativity, proven methods and ideas that have succeeded. By the end of the first chapter, which will only take a few minutes, you will produce new ideas that could spark your personal or business breakthrough.
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A few weeks ago I came across a woman who had been in accounting but longed to start something of her own. At university she had plans for starting her own business but scrapped them for a “real job”. Some years later she attended a panel on the global water crisis which got her mind thinking. A couple of months later she was hiking with her mother when she thought about the metal bottle she was carrying for water. The water was warm. Then she had an idea to start a metal bottle of her own. In short, to date she has sold 4 million of her double-insulated metal bottles in attractive colours to high-end retail and outdoor stores with the price of each unit ranging from $25 to $45.
Some people think that you need all sorts of exotic idea generation techniques to come up with promising business ideas. They will go for techniques such as Rattlesnakes and Roses, Lotus Blossom, Cherry Split, Idea Streaming Windtunnel and the Gravel Gulch. Yes, these techniques have been well researched and documented but are they the Holy Grail to finding a promising business idea? Do you really need to learn a bunch of techniques to look for a simple business idea that will provide a source of income generation?
The point is that the woman who came up with the new metal, double-insulated water bottle in attractive colours most likely didn’t use these esoteric or exotic techniques. She used her own powers of observation to find an idea that could work for her and that she could commercialise. It was through her own experience, albeit something different such as listening to a panel on the global water crisis, and taking a hike outdoors that led her to her winning idea.
The thing is idea generation techniques can help but you can use your own observation, listening and experiences to come up with promising new business ideas. Either you do things differently such as going to a place where you’ve never been before, taking up a hobby or interest or you simply see things differently. It’s through a change of perspective that you become opportunity conscious and start to see problems, challenges, obstacles, complaints and frustrations as sources of opportunity. By flipping each one around rather than seeing the negative you turn it into a positive and come up with a solution that perhaps others have overlooked.
How do you look for ideas like this?
You may want to spend years looking for an idea or you could speed up the process. “Breakthrough Ideas” does cover some of the practical idea generation methods but it goes into many ways to show you how to think differently and become more opportunity conscious. It’s as close to real magic in finding your promising business idea as you will ever find.
Businesses, including small businesses, make mistakes all the time. Some of these mistakes are petty and the person who makes them in the small business apologises, feels bad and the business owner moves on. Other mistakes are more serious and can lead to disastrous consequences, even closure. Just think about it for a moment, if your cash flow dries up, especially in this economy, and you can’t get funds to resuscitate your business, the mistake you made in managing your cash will have the potential to put you out of business. Continue reading “Do you celebrate mistakes in your small business or whip yourself because of them?”
The other evening a business radio show had on a banker who was saying how many loans his institution provides to entrepreneurs. He said that the bad debt percentage was about 3.8%, adding that entrepreneurs manage their money carefully and pay back their loans. If they run into trouble, the entrepreneur would sit down with his or her banker and work out a repayment plan. Continue reading “Is a banker really your start-up friend?”
A standing joke of an optimist is someone who believes that they won’t encounter a pothole on their way to work, will find their electricity on in the morning, running water from their taps, have mail delivered, experience a drop in energy prices and not get robbed at their home or their car hijacked and stolen.
Creative living requires responding to life’s challenges. Blackouts have provided opportunities. Last Christmas new types of gifts appeared in Father Christmas stockings such as battery-powered torches and lights, LED reading lamps and butane and propane gas cylinders for boiling hot water. Outdoor and camping stores have many blackout survival tools these days. Not to mention the investment in generators and renewables for residents and business. Continue reading “Creative approaches necessary for solving everyday challenges”
I met a consultant and trainer the other day who told me how busy he was, never being able to stay much at home because he was flying to different cities. Such is the demand for his service that it’s hard keeping up with it all. It’s a fantastic story when specialised training is in high demand and you are one of the few suppliers who have a top-notch product. Continue reading “It’s so different when you create something of your own”