You start a business idea recipe but what happens when you leave out key ingredients?

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A black bun cut open, showing the fruit cake i...
A black bun cut open, showing the fruit cake interior. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A woman who had no experience in baking got hold of a recipe for a butter and almond cake, got the ingredients and prepared the cake just as the recipe said. Voila! The cake was delicious.

She took a piece to work and her boss loved it so much that he asked for the recipe. She gave him the recipe and he cooked the cake for his in-laws who were flying up from another city to visit.

But when he brought the cake to work, it didn’t taste the same. He had used the same recipe but left out key ingredients that gave the cake flavour. So on his day off he had to start again to try bake another cake in time for the arrival of his in-laws.

You have to be careful about copycat ideas. You can be given the best recipe possible but you have to remember that circumstances are not always the same. The temperature and conditions may have changed. You may have all the ingredients – the expertise, the experience, the investment seed money, the contacts and even a mentor – but still you fail.

Let’s get real and face it. Failure is good. It might be painful when you fail, knocking and bruising your ego, shattering your self esteem, but if you can look back and analyse the causes of your failure, then your failure will prove valuable. Failure is a teacher. A hard teacher.

In life you can curry favour with your lecturer and through that influence obtain good marks. What does that prove? That you are brilliant or you have a soft lecturer? In a job your performance counts but a boss who thinks highly of you may cut you slack. You may get away with many things in life. You may be a good talker. Talking yourself into OIr and out of things. But what’s your contribution? What’s the value you’ve created?

Starting something from scratch, starting a small business is different. You may be the brightest, intellectual, educated person but you are only going to be rewarded if you provide the other person with value.

Your potential customers will judge your value for themselves. They will either decide that they like what you are offering or they don’t like what you are offering.

They will buy your product or service if they think it’s good or they will walk away, saying nothing, and not buy.

Here you are not being judged by someone you can influence, persuade them to buy from you because you’re a nice man or woman, but only if they believe what you are offering will bring value to their lives, their homes and their business.

The new business failure rate is about 80%. Let’s make it clear – 80% of new businesses fail in the first year. Only 20% survive. If you look over a five-year period, not many of that 20% are left.

If you don’t want to get eaten alive in today’s competitive environment, if you don’t want to bumble along, stumble and eventually fail, then you need more than a secret recipe dished up by small business celebrity gurus on radio and TV.

Or best-selling book authors who have never run a business themselves.

Or consultants who are good at their consulting business but have not started small businesses and failed,

You may want a resource that takes you by the hand and leads you with practical advice through a process that will increase your chances of success.

But don’t think for one second that it provides a guarantee.

Only the naive believe results can be guaranteed in small business.

It’s a roadmap, not a ready-made business to order.

If you want a ready-made business go buy a second-hand business.

It’s a resource that is more like a compass in the jungle.

It will help you move to your destination but the journey is up to you.

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