Warning: turning your promising idea into a viable business requires hard work

Woodfired pizza oven at Pizzeria Sorbillo, Naples
Wood-fired pizza oven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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”

How do you keep going in difficult times?

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

People face all sorts of difficulties and challenges but how do they keep going and lift themselves up?

You hear of personal tragedies all the time: financial loss, health problems, job losses, businesses in trouble, crime and violence.

For some people it could be the end of the road. They may decide to take their lives. One person took a pistol and blew his brains out when his business collapsed. A woman reduced to living in a caravan park couldn’t see any hope in life and hung herself. A young man with an illness killed himself through alcohol and drugs. Continue reading “How do you keep going in difficult times?”

Bouncing back after emotional upheavals and falls as an entrepreneur

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

Some time back after leaving for home after dark I stopped at a traffic light and my passenger front window was smashed and my two cellphones were stolen from my car. It all happened in a flash. I heard the loud bang against the window, the crashing glass and looked up but I didn’t even have a chance to see the criminal’s face. I drove home with glass splinters in my hand and back and when I got out the car I could hardly stand my legs were so weak. Continue reading “Bouncing back after emotional upheavals and falls as an entrepreneur”

Are you failing fast enough?

failure (Photo credit: ‘PixelPlacebo’)

Some small business owners fail big time. On a radio show the other evening a small business adviser told the story of a business person who secured a large order with a chain store. The owner went to his bank, took out a big loan and built a plant to manufacture product. The chain came back and renegotiated the product’s price and made it clear that his business would need to pay for delivery costs. He hadn’t factored these costs in his business plan and now he is on his way to financial ruin unless he comes up with a solution fast.

How do you deal with failure? What have you learnt from failure? What are the more effective ways of dealing with business failure?

First time entrepreneurs fail a lot. In fact, many Internet marketers brag about their early failures and recite many valuable lessons that they have learnt from their failures. Continue reading “Are you failing fast enough?”

Keep trying until you get the recipe right

A photograph of Fried calamari (squid).
Fried calamari (squid). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t made calamari for a long time and while I was on holiday I went to a fishmonger to buy some and asked him for his best recipe.

The calamari from the fishmonger was fresh and a perfect white colour. For frying the calamari I used a vegetable oil – sunflower seed oil – and coated the calamari rings in flour. The only problem was that the fishmonger had said that the calamari should stand in meat tenderiser for about 20 minutes and then be washed off. I lost track of time and let the calamari stand for about one and a half hours, thought nothing of it but when I had fried the calamari it tasted too soft. The entire 600g of calamari was completely wasted.

The next time I fried calamari again I made sure that I had all the best ingredients and only used the meat tenderiser for the stipulated 20 minutes. This time the calamari came out golden brown and the texture was pleasing and soft but not unnaturally so.

How often have you found that you have the right recipe for something but perhaps don’t have all the necessary ingredients or do not correctly follow the recipe to the letter and come up with something that is not pleasing to the palate? Continue reading “Keep trying until you get the recipe right”

It took 5,000 ideas to take this product to market

James Dyson came up with an idea for a bagless vacuum cleaner — inspired by an industrial cyclone at a timber mill — in the late 1960s.

After five years of testing and more than 5,000 “mistakes”, or prototypes as engineers call them, his vacuum cleaner concept was ready to take to market.

But all the big brand manufacturers slammed doors in his face.


Their business model was selling vacuum cleaners and bags — which made them lots of money.

He had to eventually launch his vacuum cleaner himself – in 1993.

He became a billionaire.

It’s hard not to admire this guy. Think of the many rejections he had to face. Imagine having to deal with all the people who must have thought he was crazy.

“What’s important is that I didn’t stop at the first failure, the 50th, or the 5,000th,” he wrote in a news magazine. “I never will.”

Such persistence is incredible. How many times have we come up with promising ideas and keep working on them for years?

In my case I had an idea for a website similar to www.ideaaccelerator.co.za that I started in 2005 for entrepreneurs. But I packed in it after a year because of competing interests.

It was only in 2010 that I decided to start a new blog on the easier WordPress platform. Keeping the momentum for the first year was difficult but now it has taken on a life of its own.

Persistence, someone said, is to the character of people as carbon is to steel. It’s hard to define but so essential for bringing a product or service to life.

How often do we have ideas and just give up at the first obstacle? How far would you go in pursuing your idea for a product or service? Would you keep at your idea for several decades until you finally brought it to market? Could you keep going, refining your idea after 5,000 mistakes?

Look at it this way, each one of Dyson’s 5,000 mistakes actually involved coming up with a new idea each time. It’s a myth that innovation is one single event or flash of inspiration. You sometimes need to build ideas upon ideas as you refine your product or service for the market place.

It’s ironic that Dyson was forced to sue one of the companies that had rejected his design years back. Success leads to copycats.

Want to come up with and develop ideas of your own?

Tune into www.ideaaccelerator.co.za for ideas and articles.

Stay inspired

Chesney Bradshaw