I am not sure why, but Garden Gnomes seem to feature quite a lot on my Social Media timelines these days.
Are they in fashion again? Maybe I will have to resurrect one of my most embarrassing business ideas again.
OK family, I AM JUST KIDDING! Whew. I can just hear their collective sigh of relief.
About 15 years ago I decided I wanted a typical English garden in an area of my Gauteng smallholding. Of course a typical English garden required garden gnomes if it was to be truly authentic.
Well, according to me it did. The problem was that there were no gnomes of the size and type that I wanted available in my area. All I could find were small insignificant ones or even worse tacky plastic ones.
This should have rung a warning bell in my head but no it didn't. Instead I saw this as great business idea number 243 978!
What do you do when you have a great business idea? You research it of course. The internet was fairly new and we had a slow dial up connection but I persevered. I was a woman on a mission. Dave doesn't call me a "warrelwind" (Afrikaans for whirlwind) for nothing.
Whoopeee! I found a supplier in the UK who made concrete moulds and was willing to sell them to me. This was proving to be a doddle. Almost without drawing breath I planned my manufacturing facility, created a few spreadsheets about how I was going to market them and my bewildered mind bank account was overflowing.
Why had no one else done this before? Precisely Pat! Why hadn't anyone done this before? Because it was a stupid idea, garden gnomes were not in fashion, NOBODY WOULD BUY THEM!
Fortunately for my family a measure of sanity finally prevailed when I did the costings to ship these monstrously heavy moulds from the UK to South Africa.
If I am 100% truthful the real reason I abandoned the plan was because they would have to be sea freighted. This could take 2 – 3 months and by then I would have been on to business idea 365 854 and long forgotten why the hell I had ordered them.
Sometimes we need to be saved from ourselves.