Programming Fact Sheet
Russell Colbourne : Your Money Machine
Season 5 Episode 11 – Growth!
14 June 2021
Your business is Your Money Machine. Starting or growing a business has been likened to assembling an aircraft midway through its first flight. Having started and exited from a number of businesses including an Airline, I know what it takes to get your business off the ground. In this show, I’ll share some of the stories and lessons I’ve learned over my 30 years of entrepreneurial business experience as a Chartered Accountant with companies like Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. During season 5 we’ll be following a structured path to building a globally scalable, investable business based on the Founder Institute Pre-Seed Accelerator flagship program that will create a logical roadmap to success. I’ll take you through some real life business building examples including my recipes for creating high performing organisations and we will take a look at some the mistakes I made along the way and the lessons I learned from them.
This show won’t build your business for you – only you can do that, but I will show you how to build your business efficiently and effectively, so you won’t have to waste time and money doing things out of sequence, back tracking over work already done or making the same mistakes I and many others have made before you.
How do you define success for your business? We will discuss the various tactics to grow your business to success, how you can set growth goals and growth milestones and follow-up to track your progress.
We will also cover how you can communicate your growth progress and setbacks with stakeholders and advisors and the level of growth that investors will expect to see.
What You Need to Know - The What
#1 (Growth) Review your Growth Goals.
#2 (Sales) Make progress on Sales.
#3 (Product) Make progress on your Next Release.
#4 (Hiring) Follow up on your Hiring initiatives.
#5 (Pivot) Consider a Pivot if you are not meeting your Growth Goals, Sales, Product or Hiring progress targets.
#6 (Success Definition) Define success for the company.
#7 (Growth Plan Update) Update your Growth Plan.
#8 (Growth Tactics) Brainstorm alternative Growth Tactics.
#9 (Milestones) Identify newsworthy business Milestones.
#10 (Press and Blog) Set up your Press and Blog pages.
#11 (First Post) Start posting to your Blog.
#12 (Business Calendar) Review your Business Calendar.
What You Need to Do - The How
#1 (Growth) Review your Growth Goals. Look back on your original Growth Goals compared to the present Growth Goals, and quantify the degree of accuracy of your original estimate versus actual performance.
#2 (Sales) Make progress on Sales. Push yourself for a second week to close either a first sale or additional sales, which may be user payments, a signed contract, a pre-payment or a signed letter of intent. If you fail to close your first sale this week, then consider why you are not succeeding and how to fix the setbacks. If you have been able to secure sales, then consider how you can accelerate the closing of more sales and the faster delivering of solutions.
#3 (Product) Make progress on your Next Release. Work closely with your Project Team to make substantial progress on your Next Release. Work to ensure that each Release takes about two weeks to complete.
#4 (Hiring) Follow up on your Hiring initiatives. Review all of the Candidates that have been received through the various Recruiting Outreach channels and other activities, and consider which are the most effective channels. Think about how you will expand your Recruiting Outreach to drive more qualified Candidates. Start interviews and, if possible, Test Projects with any qualified Candidates. Collect and review proposals for any Outsourcing.
#5 (Pivot) Consider a Pivot if you are not meeting your Growth Goals, Sales, Product or Hiring progress targets. A Pivot is a moderate change in company direction to address the needs of your customers and build a successful business that has ‘product market fit.’ For example, you may want to consider a B2B option if you are a B2C company, or you may want to consider a different vertical or sector based on customer feedback.
#6 (Success Definition) Define success for the company. Consider what your company will look like when it becomes successful in the next two or three years. Think about the team composition and the culture of the company. Then, consider how many customers you have and the overall customer experience with your solution. Next, consider how you are growing and how you sustain your growth over time. Lastly, think about the challenges that you will be facing as a business and describe how you resolve those challenges organizationally.
#7 (Growth Plan Update) Update your Growth Plan. Review the percentage success with your Growth Goals and adjust your Growth Plan to improve your performance and accountability. Re-write your original Growth Plan with any new tools or incentives that you feel are necessary to meet your Growth Goals. Provide a bulleted list of Growth Goals or related tasks that you can assign to existing or new Team Members. Write a couple of sentences to describe one Test Project for hiring applicants to assist with your Growth Goals, and provide any content for the Test Project.
#8 (Growth Tactics) Brainstorm alternative Growth Tactics. Work with your team and Advisors to brainstorm 15 new ideas to increase the top of your funnel and to accelerate the closing of sales, and record a bulleted list of these Growth Tactics. Rank order the Growth Tactics, and select the top three to test over the upcoming weeks. For each of the top three, write a couple of sentences on how you will conduct the tests, measure the results and evaluate the effectiveness of each new Growth Tactic. Start working on the tests.
#9 (Milestones) Identify newsworthy business Milestones. Write a bulleted list of five Milestones that you plan to sequentially hit with the business over the next year that would be of interest to industry journalists. Write a couple of sentences for each Milestone that describes the importance of the Milestone within the industry. Find at least one journalist that has covered a similar Milestone by a related competitor, and provide a link to the story. Make an intelligent comment on the story or send a Tweet to the journalist relating to the story, and check back later to see if there is a response.
#10 (Press and Blog) Set up your Press and Blog pages. Set up a Press page, titled “Press,” “Media” or “News,” and a Blog for your company, titled “Blog.” Your Press page should include the Boilerplate and a transparent PNG logo file, as well as photos and bios of you, your Team and Advisors. Your Blog should be set up at http://blog.(yourdomain).com or http://(yourdomain).com/blog, and the Blog should use commercially available blogging technology, such as WordPress.
#11 (First Post) Start posting to your Blog. Write your First Post for the Blog that provides constructive or critical feedback on a popular narrative in your industry or sector. Link to multiple web sites and reference influencers and journalists in the First Post. Have the content proofread by a peer prior to publishing.
#12 (Business Calendar) Review your Business Calendar. Carefully review your Business Calendar for the next 12 months to ensure that you have all of your regulatory filing dates, all of your tax dates, all of your payroll dates, all of your outsourcing milestones, all of the relevant local and global events, all of your communication dates, all of your Advisor meetings, all of your content dates and everything else that you need to track for your business.
Written by Russell Colbourne, FCCA, GAICD
Your Money Machine
Russell is a CFO and Entrepreneur who has worked across a diverse range of industries over the past 30 years. After a short service commission as a pilot flying Seaking Helicopters in the British Royal Navy, Russell studied business and qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) in the UK. Since then he has been integral with the start-up of many successful companies and operations within larger organisations. He has bought, sold and spun off business operations in the UK, Australia and the US.
In 1994 Russell joined Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airlines where he was responsible for a number of innovative services that were, at the time, ground breaking and helped revolutionise air transport. From launching the world’s first limo boat on the River Thames to developing the world’s first handheld check-in device and implementing drive through check-in booths around the world, Russell has helped the Virgin Group deliver unparalleled customer service. In 2000 Russell was the first of the Virgin team to arrive in Australia to start a new low cost Airline, and within 8 months had built a team operating flights between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Russell now works as a Part Time CFO for a number of SME businesses in South Australia. He is the owner of a health and wellbeing business, and a crowdfunding website for educational costs. In 2020 Russell and his business partner Peter Hattam created – www.feesable.co which graduated from the Founder Institute Program. He is one of the local Directors of the Founder institute Program in Adelaide where he lives with his wife and 3 teenage sons.
To find out more about the Founder Institute program and how you can take your idea to a globally scalable, investable business, please see www.fi.co. The material used in this show is based on the Founder Institute program and is used with permission.
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