“Don’t stress about people stealing your idea. If it can be stolen, its worthless. The only valuable ideas are the ones that only you can execute.”
Question: I would very much like to create a business that deals in Jungian psychology and the interplay between seeing nature as a great healer for the psyche, and environmental education. The problem is that I don’t have a product per se. I have information that I know extremely well and can speak very eloquently on (with great passion). How can I monetise this information? I have very good counselling skills, I know my subject matter backwards, but I’m struggling with how what I know can benefit the market. — Lavinia
Product is easy. Selling is the hard part. You feel confident you have a solid product, now you need to package it, market it, and sell it.
Start with packaging. Create a website. Explain on the landing page what you offer the customer. Make it simple, no jargon. (ie: I will make you happy). Testimonials are highly effective.
Remember: Selling aspirin is easier than selling vitamins. Relief from pain is an easier sell than prevention of ill-health.
Okay, you have a website. Now you need to raise awareness. Share with all your friends and family. Share on Twitter, on Facebook. Get the word out there. Someone will eventually contact you. Now, you have to actually sell your product.
Make sure you give the right price, and make sure you collect your cash. Business is not for folks who feel squeamish when asking for money. Help your first customer. Wait for word-of-mouth reference. Help the next customer. Rinse, repeat.
Related: 20 Quick Money-Making Business Ideas
Selling hours is hard to scale. If you want to grow your revenues without working harder, consider online counselling, or group counselling. Books are great for PR, not great for revenue.
Should I bounce my idea off someone I trust and whom I believe would give me constructive feedback? What type of person would this be? — Ian
The first question to ask is, ‘What is his incentive?’ If the person you ask has the same incentive as you (ie. your success), then pay attention to advice. If not, ignore. That’s why you should ignore most advice. Only seek out those that have your best interests at heart.
The second important question to ask is, “Does he have experience?” Asking a life-long Post Office employee his opinion on your start-up idea is a pretty useless exercise. Chances are he won’t know that he doesn’t know anything about start-ups, and so will spout a fount of advice that is not grounded in reality. Same goes when asking a Professor of Entrepreneurship. For the most part, academics have great theories, but have never had skin in the game.
Regarding the question of trust, don’t stress about people stealing your idea. If it can be stolen, its worthless. The only valuable ideas are the ones that only you can execute.
How do you crowdfund a food business? — JC
All things being equal, crowdfunding doesn’t work. Especially for start-ups in South Africa. It’s like trying to be Jay-Z or Taylor Swift. You see the success stories, every day. They’re paraded in front of you. What you don’t see are all the failure stories. For every successful crowdfunded company (or Jay-Z), there are hundreds of thousands of failures.
Related: A – Z Easy Small Business Ideas
If I were you, I wouldn’t put energy into crowdfunding, no matter whether it’s a food business or a rocket business. The way to raise money for start-ups is family and friends.
I’m not making as much money in my chicken business as I thought I would, and I think it’s because I’m buying complete products for re-sale. I’m thinking of buying live chickens, then slaughtering, packaging myself to re-sell, giving me the freedom to manipulate pricing to my advantage. What do you think? — Mam
Your instincts are right: You must control the price. You want to be a price-maker. The opposite of a price-maker is a price-taker. Don’t be a price-taker. That way lies stress and poor-dom.
First step in price control is to understand demand and supply. You must control supply. If you can’t manage supply, you can’t control price.
Sometimes that means being the ‘platform’. Sometimes it means vertical integration (slaughtering chickens). Sometimes it means both. Just ask yourself: What do you need to do to control price? Then do it.
Do you have a burning start-up question?
5 Simple Ways To Identify Business Ideas That Could (Really) Change The World
Want to come up with a world-changing business idea? First step, think locally. What exactly does your community need?
It’s one thing to be able to identify industries and businesses that are poised for major market success. But entrepreneurship requires more than just finding an idea that can make a lot of money. For entrepreneurs to tap into the motivating power that drives lasting success, the ideas they conceive must be powerful enough to change the world through major economic, social or environmental impact.
If your idea meets that criterion, quite simply, you’ll be far more motivated to get through the entrepreneurial challenges that will follow if your product or services are a force for good. The reason is that it will be something you can truly become emotionally invested in. The challenge, of course, is identifying these business ideas in the first place.
How to do that? Here are five simple ways through which you can identify world-changing business ideas:
1. Find opportunities in your own community
Though cultures and languages may vary, many of the challenges facing our world are similar across many parts of the globe. As such, one of the best ways to identify world-changing ideas is to start locally: Look for issues that concern your local community.
To get an expert view on how to look for opportunities locally, via email, I reached out to Geoffrey Leslie, CEO and president of Screems. This Netherlands-based company is slated to affect changes on both a local and global level using MAPS (Major Appliance Power Station), a clean energy-generating device that can be installed in a home or business. It’s a device that just might change communities around the world through the affordable, self-sustaining electricity it offers.
“So many of the best ideas come from our own personal observations,” Leslie wrote to me, echoing my thought about looking locally. “But to obtain these insights, you have to get out in the community.”
He suggested joining a volunteer group to learn more about the issues it’s trying to address, and reading news articles that discuss problems in your city. “These micro-level interactions can make all the difference in finding an issue you can address,” Leslie said.
Rather than trying to transform the entire world all in one go, you might instead identify ideas that can first be tested in your local community. This can serve as a great way to fine-tune your efforts and quantify your impact as you prepare to take your idea to a much bigger stage.
2. Draw upon your own personal experiences
Many of the most powerful world-changing ideas come from the experiences and challenges an entrepreneur has faced in his or her own life. Take a moment to consider the problems you’re currently dealing with. These problems could be affecting your current business endeavours, your personal life or your home.
Chances are, you’re not the only person facing these issues.
Rather than wait for someone else to solve your problem for you, take steps to change the world by developing a business idea that directly addresses the issues you’re confronting. More importantly, understand that when you’re addressing your own problems, you’ll be more likely to be passionate about creating and making available the best solution possible.
In Leslie’s case, for example, this meant looking at his home in the Netherlands and seeing a heavy reliance on fossil fuel. This, combined with rising concern over climate change, pegged his solution as not only an important advancement for his company, but for the world at large with the potential to democratise energy production.
3. Look for ideas that get other people involved
Many of the most successful world-changing ideas don’t just offer a new product or service. They seek to change the way people approach their day-to-day living. Changing someone’s mental outlook will have a far greater reach and impact in the long run.
Take this example shared by business consultant Monica Bourgeau. As she wrote in HuffPost, “[Author and TEDx speaker] John-Paul Flintoff works to help protect the environment and prevent global warming. He realised he could make an immediate difference by reaching out to his neighbours. However, he did this not by overloading them with facts and research, but by giving them … tomato plants.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
300 Business Ideas To Inspire You Into Entrepreneurship
You can’t start a business without an idea, instead of spending weeks and months trying to come up with something we’ve compiled 300 business ideas to help you hit the ground running.
Starting a business is tough, it’s a challenging marathon and statistically, not many make it to sustainability. But trying to achieve sustainability and then profitability is only a challenge once you have a business idea. It can take a significant amount of time coming up with something you actually want to do, so we’ve compiled the ultimate list of 300 business ideas to speed up the process.
There are 300 business ideas divided into the following categories – choose a section you feel best applies to what you’re looking for and explore the different opportunities and how-to advice:
- Food Business Ideas
- Home Services Business Ideas
- Personal Trainer Business Ideas
- Childcare Business Ideas
- Educational Business Ideas
- Writing Business Ideas
- Design Business Ideas
- Photography Business Ideas
- Business Consultancy Business Ideas
- Personal Services Business Ideas
- Pet Business Ideas
- Clothing Business Idea
- Retail Business Ideas
- Online Business Ideas
- Manufacturing Business Ideas
- Social Media Business Ideas
- Tourism Business Ideas
- Party Business Ideas
- Cannabis-related business ideas
- Transportation Business Ideas
- Environmentally-friendly Business Ideas
- Rooibos Business Ideas
- Drone Business Ideas
- Sharing Economy Business Ideas
- Home Décor Business Ideas
- Film Related Business Ideas
- Vegan Business Ideas
- Elder Care Business Ideas
- Miscellaneous Business Ideas
12 Cannabis Products You Can Legally Start Selling Right Now
You can start selling CBD-infused products or items to support the budding marijuana industry right now.
Since the Constitutional Court ruled that consuming and growing cannabis within a private space is legal, the cannabis support industry has the potential to skyrocket. If South Africa follows the current global legal trend of making recreational cannabis legal, then you’ll want to be able to capitalise on the change as soon as possible.
All of the products below are currently legal to retail. Several of the products will support the private market and can be scaled to support the future recreational market.
The Cannabidiol (CBD) infused products can simply be altered to expand into this future industry. You should determine what recipes work and what flavours are popular among the CBD market, then when the recreational market becomes legal you can start testing what these new customers prefer.
Here are 12 cannabis products you can already legally sell in South Africa:
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