IMPORTANCE OF A BUSINESS PLAN BEFORE YOU START YOUR BUSINESS

Dash

EPISODE 51

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ABOUT THE SHOW

Dash

It is common and normal to get excited about starting your very own business. Maybe you’re passionate about a particular project or area that you think would make a great business. Maybe you have just always wanted to be your own boss and have some freedom in your life.
Whatever the reason you should always start with a well-researched business plan.
The importance of a business plan can not be overestimated when it comes to starting and running a business.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Dash
  • The importance of a business plan
  • How it will help you explore the viability of your business idea
  • How it identifies the opportunities that exist in your chosen market
  • How it will prevent you from making costly mistakes
  • How it will Prevent you from entering into high-risk transactions
  • How it will give you clarity and transparency about what you are signing up for.
  • How it will ensure you are entering into a commitment that will achieve your goals both personally and financially

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Dash

Jason: You’re on episode fifty-one of the Business Made Easy podcast.
Let’s do this, Mia.
Mia: Thanks, Jason. [background music] You’re on the Business Made Easy podcast
where we make business easy. Here’s your host, Jason Skinner. [background music
stops]
Jason: G’day. G’day and welcome to the business Made Easy podcast where we make
business easy. Jason Skinner, your host here for episode number 51 of the podcast. I
cannot believe we are at that number. It’s been a year now and we, uh, we’ve been
going for, for a year so happy birthday to us and uh, thank you if, if you’ve been
following us on the journey along the way. Thank you so much for your support and the,
and, and encouragement and uh, I love just putting a show together every week. And
uh, if you’re new to the show, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button uh, so that you
get each episode and I’m glad you’re here with us as well. And I hope you get some
value and uh, help with your business and out of this content as well.
And today we are going to talk about um, something is going to save you a lot of money
and a lot of heartache and uh, I’ll get to that in the second. But before I do, if you
haven’t um, joined our free Facebook community, please feel free to do that over at uh,
businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community. If you join the group over there, uh, I’ll be
there to, to welcome you in and, and you can uh, get to meet some other great business
owners and entrepreneurs and share your stories and wins and challenges that you’re
having. There’s lots people over there to help you with the various things as well. So
check that out at business made easy podcast dot com slash community.
Alrighty, today’s episode, I wanna talk to you about the concept of it’s cheaper to uh,
mark things and plan things out on paper uh, than it is to commit. And what inspired,
what inspired this week’s topic was something I’ve observed during the week. I always
love to have a lesson in a story, uh, behind what the content that we provide and this
story is basically a shop that is in the, our local area and the shops being empty for — it’s
a vacant lease premises — and the shop has been empty for some time like a, a long time
and quite a size of a shop. It wouldn’t be cheaper and I’m sure, I’m not sure what the,
the rate is, but it’s kind of irrelevant to the story, but it’s been empty for some time and
all of a sudden, we see things starting to happen in there and they’re starting to um, put
in expensive equipment. Starting to uh — and it turns out that the, the shop they’re
going to put in there is, is some form of um, grocery store. I’m not sure what type of
grocery store it’s going to be but it’s going to be some form of grocery store.
Now, the area that we are in um, really is quite, let’s just say, a grocery store to me
would not be a real smart move to put in there because there’s already another one
close by and we just don’t have the population to, to support um, such a, such a venture.
Now, these people are going to go to a lot of cost and a lot of money. I’m going, I’m
looking at the equipment that’s going in there, you know? It’s, it’s thousands and
thousands of dollars, if not, you know, it’s tens of thousands of dollars, and it’s sort of
got me thinking that the market research just hasn’t been done clearly or properly
before committing the dollars.
Now, you know yourself that being in business what’s involved in setting up a business
and, and whether it’s online or physical business, there’s a lot of cost involved and a lot
of work. And I, it pains me to to see business owners committing like this. Um, the
people getting their hard-earned money and, and chucking it at something hoping that
it’s going to work. Whereas, if you took time, a lot longer time in the planning stage, if
you did your market research. Now, for businesses online,
(4:00)
the same research needs to be done, you know? Is there a market? And that’s a big
question you got to ask, is there a market for the thing that you want to do? And if
there is a market, how big is it and what competitors are in the market? And plan all
this, this out.
Now, Mind-Mapping is a great way to do this because you can just collect um, you can
collect resources and tool uh, information and, and thrown into a mind map. That gives
you a big picture of um, of what it is that’s going on, in your head.
So, you know, if you got, if you’re looking for um, if you’re trying to assess the market
place, uh, and you, you come across articles and things like that, throw them into the
mind map. I have and some other questions you could ask, you know, as you say,”How
big is the market? What competitors are in the market? Um, what’s the average sale,
what the transaction uh, in that market, you know? Is it a — is it a one off top
transaction that people will go or is it a product I’m gonna sell that’s gonna um, be used
over and over again? Um, how am I going to attract the customers in that market to, to
my business? What point of difference am I going to have to the other competitors in
the market? Not just because there’s other people doing the same thing that you want
to do or the same business you want to set up, doesn’t mean that you can’t go and do it
but have a look at them and really assess what, where the gaps are in the marketplace,
you know? Where the pain points that are not being met by um, the competitors in the
marketplace?
So and, and this can come down to research by doing um, surveys of potential
customers or um, there are research services out there that you can employ to, to
gather this data. Um, Google is a fantastic um, resource. Like it’s, it’s, honestly I can
understand people doing this just setting up a business back in the day
(6:00)
uh, and, and you know, hoping it works because — or I, we didn’t sort of have I guess the,
the internet and the, the level of competition but we didn’t have the research tools uh,
available that we have now. And I’m gonna share a couple of those tools with you in a
second but Google is just a fantastic resource for finding, finding out about a
marketplace and finding out about products and services and what people are, are
doing in Facebook’s and all those things.
To join some Facebook groups is uh, another way you can — there’s just heap of ways
that you can get information and do, and do this research before committing a single
dollar into a business that may or may not work. And look, the, the example that I’m
giving you now, this, this um, this grocery type store that was going to be setting up,
seriously, I don’t want to be a doomsday’er or I don’t wish them any bad luck but I just
can’t see it lasting in our, in our immediate area.
And then we’ve got um, in a similar, similar thing. We had at one stage we had
something like about four or five chicken shops, barbecue chicken shops in the one
area. You know to support a very trendy and sort of population that really wasn’t, that
really wasn’t a — and let me score another one opened, you know? And this guy put a lot
of work into their fit out. Big shop, big premises and you know, they lasted all of nine
months in there and then they closed the doors. And now the place is locked up, all
their, all their hard-earned money is now just sitting in equipment locked up in this, in
this store and ideas they have, they have um, you know have to follow. Because it’s just
weren’t getting accustomed coming into the business. And it’s the same of your online
store. If you go and, if you go and buy a heap of uh, stock of, of bicycles or lawn mowers
or whatever it is on, on Alibaba and, and you uh, send them all over to, um, to Amazon
to, to fulfill but you don’t — there’s no marketplace for what it is that you’re selling,
(8:00)
then you, you haven’t done your research, if you haven’t done, you know, your costings,
your budgets, your cash flows, all those things are need to be done um, prior to you
spending a dollar because it’s so, so much cheaper. And the lesson for today’s podcast
is, it is so much cheaper to plan it out on paper than it is to commit uh, that the
expenditure and the dollars to something that’s, it’s just not gonna, not gonna fly.
So you know, you can sleep at night. You can, you could have five planning projects on
the go, wait until you find your perfect one that’s gonna work for you but um, you don’t
just go and commit all those blindly and just, just start out, really think about it. Think
about all those things that I mentioned and make sure that you’ve got those under
control.
Now, a few tools that I can give you to — and their free tools — um, that you can use to
do this market research. Firstly, mind, I prefer mind mapping. You don’t necessarily
need to use the mind mapping. You can just use a Google sheet so it’s free. You can
open up Google sheets and basically start just listing, listing things down in columns
there. That’s a good, free way to do it. I prefer a program called, Mindmeister, which is a
mind mapping tool and I’ll put a link to that on our, in the show notes. I’ll put links to all
these things in the show notes for you today. But the Mindmeister is a great tool to
basically get your thoughts out and to sort of these little nodes and you can move and
drag and drop them around and really, really see things in a nice clear, clear way.
It’s cloud based; that’s another reason I really like it. So yeah, that’s Mindmeister and as
I said, I’ll put a, a link to that in the show notes.
And then also um, so that’s sort of the, what I like to use to gather my thoughts and,
and, and gather this information. Then I would use um, there’s a program called, answer
the public dot com. So if you go to answer the public dot com — again,
(10:00)
I’ll put the link in the show notes for you — Answer The Public is so fantastic tool
because what you do is you type into it, it’s got a really strange guy on the screen. You’ll
know when you’re on the right program ’cause it’s got a really strange guy looking at
you with a beard, in a jumper and he kind of, tells you to hurry up, but don’t, don’t be put
off by him. Um, but Answer The Public is a fantastic tool because you type in there the
topic that you are looking for.
So let’s just say, we’re um, uh, we wanted to look up uh, dog washing. So I could type in
Answer The Public dog washing and they go away and bring back every single question
or search term that people are typing in — have typed into the internet about dog
washing. So uh, where to do dog washing? How to do dog washing? Um, what types of
dog washing? Also everything about — although I’m not sure if they all, all proper terms
but you get my drift? Um, I’m not a dog; I don’t have a dog so I don’t — that yeah, if you,
you type in it any term that you like and Answer the Public will give you all that
information.
Now the beauty of this is you can convert those questions into a table and download
them. And it’s a great way to find out all the sorts of things that people are searching
around your particular topic. And again, it, it doesn’t matter what businesses, you could
type lawn mowers. If you’re going to sell physical lawn mowers and you could type
anything in there and it will give you all that. Now, the other thing you wanna do then is
do your search analysis. Do your research around what’s, what’s sort of competition is
in. So when you go through the list of questions, clean them up. Get — there’s some
rubbish that gets in there.
There’s, you know, things that aren’t relevant so you delete all those away. But you’ll
end up coming up with a nice clean list of keywords search terms that you can use to do
further research. And when you put those into Google, Google
(12:00)
will show you uh, who the competition is in that area. Google will show the sorts of
things that people are doing in that space or in that marketplace. So check that out
because it’s, it’s a great way to get so you go to Answer The Public first, get the quick
search terms and then you use those search terms in your business and in your
research to — or potential business — uh, to do your um, analysis and your research.
Now when you do a search term, let’s say we put in there lawn mower, uh, how to, how
to or best lawn mowers or something like that. Let’s say that was the search term,
Google will also give you other search terms. If you get down the bottom, very bottom
of the the Google screen, it’ll actually show you there um, other search terms — and
again, I’ll put a, a picture of this in the show notes for you — but it will show you um,
what other people are searching for with regard to that term. So another way to drill
down and, and get that, get that market research done, okay? So that’s uh, that’s using
Answer The Public and then, and then you just use your, your normal uh, Google search
and that’s, that really a great way to do it.
Another quick one, quick tool to use which I’ve been getting a lot of enjoyment out of is
called Keywords Everywhere. And if you go to — oh, again I’ll put a link to it in the show
notes — um, but what this does is it will show you how many people the volumes of, of
being searched from those terms during the uh — each month as well. So you can sort of
see whether there’s a marketplace or an interest for those keywords and those topics
that you’re looking for. So that’s a really good way to do that.
So market research, spend the time. If it takes a month, spend a month. Spend the time
researching and exploring before you commit to spending the dollars and signing a
lease, building a website. I mean, it’s — it will be like you know, in the modern business
now where we’re all online.
(14:00)
It will be like going and building a big e-commerce sort of take on the Amazon for
instance and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars or thousands of dollars
building something that no one’s going to go to or it’s just not going to work you know?
Like you just can’t commit to that so you’ve got to do your research, plan out exactly
what it is that you get clear about your customer. Who they are? What they look like?
Get clear about what markets you’re going to serve in your business? Get clear about
how they gonna find your business? Get clear about, you know, the competition and
what they are doing and what they’re not doing. And honestly, I can’t stress it enough, I
just say time and time again hard-earned money being poured into businesses that it’s
just no research done.
Absolutely no planning done and it’s all driven by passion and this idea that we will be
different or I’m excited about this cuz I love lawn mowers, you know? So I’m gonna start
a lawn mowers sales business. Well, what if, what if there’s no market, you know? What
if, what if I forgot and bought all these lawn mowers and I don’t — there’s no market for
it? So do your research people as that’s why our lesson for today, I, I really want you to
plan and if you’re already in business, now here’s a thing, this doesn’t just apply to new
businesses. This applies to existing businesses also because you may want to make a
change or you might wanna grow that existing business, well, this market research and
this research that you, you could be doing in your marketplace will certainly help you
as well.
Again, it’s a lot easier to, to spend the time you know, putting in research, good
research and in getting good data or and good information and formulating a great
plan. Again, you can use Mind Maps um, but that’s a far better uh, way to go than it is to
go and take a hunch and invest in new products or services or training or whatever
shining objects that, that you don’t know whether they’re gonna work or not. So you
can do your research
(16:00)
with those tools exactly the same way that I talked about there earlier. And if you want
more help in doing that sort of research or, or you know, if, if I can help you in any way,
feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] Um, just an email,
you can send me an email or and I can point you in the right direction or just go over to
our free Facebook group which is at businessmadeasypodcast.com/community.
So that’s businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community. I will be more than happy to help
you in there and uh, we can do some training around it together and do that market
research and, and let’s, let’s um, save you some dollars in, in terms of committing to um,
into, into a business that may or may not work. Uh, yes it’s just crazy. Alrighty, that’s all I
have time for today. It’s a bit of a short one today. Um, I normally have them about half
an hour but it’s a really relevant topic that I do. Uh, I just wanted to, to share because I
see these things happening in Australian um, in practice and, and I really, I really hate
seeing people waste their money and, and, and go down the wrong path in life.
So yeah, alrighty, that’s all I have time for today. I hope you’re well. Thank you so much
again for joining me and here’s to your success.
Have a great week. Take us out, Mia.
[background music]
Mia: You’ve been listening to the Business Made Easy podcast, where we make
business easy.

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