Watch out – this number can be dangerous

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A company relied on one business line to carry it through the digital camera revolution. Other digital camera makers and then cell phone manufacturers made the market too fiercely competitive. The company tried one big thing– to use its chemical know-how in film to produce pharmaceuticals but did not succeed. The company: Kodak.

Out of the blue a business person was told that he was no longer needed at the company which he worked for. His one source of income was cut overnight. Unable to get a job again, he dabbled in this and that but could not create a regular source of income.

A successful entrepreneur invested most of his money in one asset class – property. Over the years property became virtually worthless after political upheavals in the country where he lived. He’s broke now … living on family handouts.

Sobering stories. All demonstrate a common lesson. If you rely on one thing, you could put yourself at serious risk. Number one can be a dangerous number: one income source, one product line, one large customer, one key supplier, one marketing approach, one investment class, one source of electricity (for on-line marketers with no offline presence).

Here’s an example of a business that has placed small bets not on one income source but several. The business owner runs an up-market restaurant, accommodation for tourists and a car wash.

Some people start other income streams of income by buying a second-hand business or franchise. Although a reputable business or franchise minimises risk, the cash outlay needs to be repaid over a number of years.

Why not try come up with something of your own?

Could you take a hobby or sideline business and turn it into something that could provide you with an additional source of income?

You could try brainstorming three ideas a day for the next 30 days. Or you could try other idea generation techniques to stimulate your thinking: freewriting, random words, word combining, mind mapping or a simple nature walk.

Whittle your ideas from your list down to the most promising three. Evaluate which ones would work best in the marketplace.

Test your best idea with a small trial market to assess demand. Make sure that your business idea satisfies a real need with customers.

In this economy, it’s risky to rely on any one thing – take a first step to avoid becoming a statistic.

Stay inspired.

Chesney Bradshaw

One Reply to “Watch out – this number can be dangerous”

  1. Very inspirational article! But then there are those among us who are risk averse and will never take that first step. So, in the end they opt for a comfort zone instead.

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