Some of the tricks and pitfalls when starting a new business

By Antony on July 23rd, 2013 | 1 Comment

 Some of the tricks and pitfalls when starting a new business

Starting a new business is the ultimate aim for those independent spirits out there. It is the chance to solidify any expertise you’ve developed, and the phenomenon of transforming a unique idea into something successful, popular and financially rewarding is enriching in many more ways than one.

On the other hand, seeing that wonderful idea transformed several years later into bankruptcy and failure can be demoralising and embarrassing. So what marks out the difference between success and failure?

A gamble on the wild side?

Certainly the idea has to be good and be something simple that is either missing, or which you firmly believe can be done better. Generally that is a rule that most entrepreneurs and investors would be adamant on.

However there are examples where economic and organisational genius have made the most outlandish ideas flourish. There’s a gizmo that involves two coconuts, attached via cogs to the cogs and chain on a bicycle. When the bike moves, the coconuts bang together creating the sound of a trotting horse. This is possibly the most ridiculous creation on the planet. Completely unnecessary to cyclists and generally a downright nuisance. But somehow they sold and the man made rather a lot of money. This is an extreme example of when business acumen can make give birth to success for the most ridiculous concepts.

Safer bets

However, narrowing down to the less ridiculous, here are two examples of companies that have not reinvented the wheel. They started their businesses working on unoriginal concepts. There were already plenty of sandwich shops and plenty of removal companies but both Pret A Manger and Ward-Thomas Removals had a clear idea of exactly what was missing in those markets.

It wasn’t solar powered trucks or Viagra in the wraps. For both it was care and quality. For Pret it was healthy food, fresh ingredients and a quality service that has since become the mantra for all new sandwich shops. For Ward-Thomas Removals it was trust, efficiency and care. Both very simple.

Pret A Manger was started by two men of different skills, Julian Metcalf with the creative flare and Sinclair Beecham with the economic and financial eye. Both were able to balance off the other and the business steadily grew from something very small and inexpensive into the ever-developing empire that lines our streets now.

Ward-Thomas Removals was started by one man, Anthony Ward-Thomas. While there was no shortage of home removals companies in London and an absolute abundance of perfectly secure storage facilities, Anthony felt strongly that there was a distinct lack of quality and trust available, and that was his selling point.

Sound principles

So these two are businesses that have flourished. Their work-forces are plentiful but not oversupplied, which is part of their secret.

A lot of companies overfill their offices to avoid stress or overwork but, in actual fact, those extra people are completely unnecessary. Aussie Man and Van was an example of a removal company that failed simply because it was badly managed. A main factor of this bad management was its gross over-staffing. Aussie Man and Van had a great brand that people loved but the simple act of over-staffing was its downfall. So when it was bought out by Ward-Thomas Removals, half the staff was removed and now it is doing quite nicely.

The secrets to success in starting a new business are endless and can fill many books, and do. The main tool available is other businesses, watching them, gauging their success or failure and investigating the reasons.

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One Response to “Some of the tricks and pitfalls when starting a new business”

  1. nice post keep it up realy enjoyed your post

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