Eighty percent of entrepreneurs make this costly idea mistake

Train your mind to look for and create income opportunities with the “Breakthrough Ideas” manual.

Most people wanting to start a new income stream come up with the wrong ideas because they focus on a product or service idea.

You see, when you go for a new idea you can face too many obstacles. You have to spend money testing your idea. You need to develop your idea and find distribution. All this costs money. The worst thing is that you only have an outside chance of success.

Even the big companies in FMCG don’t get new product development right. Something like 76% of new products in FMCG failed between 2011 to 2013 within a year. About 66% of the products never reach the sales volume of 10,000 items, according to a news report. Continue reading “Eighty percent of entrepreneurs make this costly idea mistake”

What can you do when costs get out of control?

Johannesburg (Photo credit: austinevan)

The Free State’s Young Farmer of the Year for 2014 shared his saddest day in his farming career:

He had to sell his 400-strong dairy herd five years ago because his declining profit margin made it impossible for him to continue.

The local agricultural publication Farmers Weekly reports that the farmer has now gone in for diversification to spread his risk through beef cattle and sheep, irrigated wheat, maize, sunflower and lucerne. Continue reading “What can you do when costs get out of control?”

How to market test your product at low-cost

George opens in Johannesburg
George opens in Johannesburg

My daughter wanted a shoulder bag to take with her on an upcoming holiday and we went to the new George clothing store in the Cresta Shopping Centre, Northcliffe, Johannesburg.

We weren’t in the shop for more than five minutes when my daughter found exactly what she was looking for and better quality than she would have found in similar priced local clothing stores.

What interested me is the temporary format of this clothing store to test the local market. George, which is owned by Asda, a subsidiary of Walmart in the UK, has been brought out to South Africa by Massmart (owned now by Walmart). Continue reading “How to market test your product at low-cost”

5 overlooked opportunities for your small business in this sick economy

Shipyard_Crane (Photo credit: shoebappa)

I heard this story once about a shipbuilder who would wait for an economic recession to build new ships. He could get labour, steel and services far cheaper when times were bad. By the time the economy mended itself and was growing again, the shipbuilder would sell his ships. Demand for ships was stronger again. That’s how he made big money.

This economic downturn has been running for five years. In South Africa, although we experienced 0.9 percent GDP growth in the first quarter (not unlike Mexico, at 0.8 GDP growth, mind you) we still haven’t gotten into negative territory. Some sectors have but here we are talking overall.

Look what the sick economy has brought: high administered prices, shocking energy spikes (electricity and petrol), tightening of cash and weak demand. As costs have risen so has inflation and wage demands. Small business has experience increased theft, stock loss and armed robberies.

Yet while many things are going south in this rocky economy, smart-thinking small business owners have been fine-tuning their costs, negotiating harder and sweeping out the dead wood.

Here are five overlooked opportunities for your small business in this sick economy: Continue reading “5 overlooked opportunities for your small business in this sick economy”

Why would you want to lose R1 million in Cape Town?

Table Mountain seen from Cape Town harbour's jetty
Table Mountain seen from Cape Town harbour’s jetty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was sitting outside with the proprietor of an Italian restaurant in an up-market suburb in Johannesburg. We were talking about the specials on the menu. These included rabbit and goats. Her son was telling us how he sources the goat meat from the Northern Cape and the rabbit meat from a special supplier in Botswana. I’m not quite sure why the proprietor mentioned it but in her thick Italian accent she said people ask her to start the same restaurant in Cape Town but she doesn’t want to go there and lose R1 million.

Would you invest R1 million opening a business in Cape Town? Continue reading “Why would you want to lose R1 million in Cape Town?”