Starting A New Business

I’d like to introduce you to the man on the right:
Sake Dean Mohamed

Sake Dean Muhammed

He’s an interesting man in more ways than one, but the aspects that grabbed my attention were his courage and vision. … more about him in a moment.

In these interesting times, I feel privileged to meet such a broad mix of business owners, and in particular, the ones who are about to start a NEW business venture. I’d love to introduce all the moaners and groaners of existing businesses to these people…. it would make their eyes water. Most folk I meet who are about to launch a new business haven’t even considered ‘failure’. It’s simply not on their radar. They have a solid belief in their business proposition, and can’t wait to get it up and running.

The sad fact is however, that most new businesses fail, and usually within the first three years. I read at statistic somewhere that as many as 80% of new businesses will have failed by their fourth year (Does anyone know if this statistic is true and where it can be acredited to?).

There’s a thin line between ‘determination and tenacity’ and ‘foolhardy’. I’ve watched several businesses do things that I would consider to be crazy. For example, launching an ill researched business into a highly competative market, simply because it ‘makes sense to the owner’. Then, as the signs begin to emerge that it isn’t working, and may not ever work, they continue to pour money and effort into it. It’s only with hindsight you can be sure it was foolhardy…. what if those extra few thousands of pounds of investment made the difference and turned the business around?
Looking in on their activities, without the emotional involvement, it seems clear they are making a mistake…. but they rarely listen. Tenacious? Or Foolhardy?

Which brings me back to Dean Sake Mohamed. In 1810, Sake Dean Mahomed opened the Hindoostane Coffee House in central London. This was the UK’s first curry house, and was an idea way ahead of its time. Can you imagine the courage it would have taken to be an Indian in England in 1810, launching the first restaurant of its kind, a curry house? His plan was to serve “Indianised” British food which would appeal to the Indian aristocracy in London as well as British people who had returned from India. Sadly, it went bust two years later….. proving a point?

So, when is the best time to start a new business?

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4 Responses to “Starting A New Business”

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. I couldn’t resist leaving a reply here – perhaps the problem is that some businesses are just ahead of their time and this was what happened to poor old Dean Sake. I can certainly see that this is the case with a lot of the work I do.

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