Russell Colbourne : Your Money Machine
Season 5 Episode 3 – Validating your Business Idea
19 April 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.
What You Need to Know - The What
#1 (Tracking Toolkit) set up tracking technologies and tools in order to collect ideas
#2 (Insights) For each Customer Problem, write a bulleted list of at least 10 keywords that would be used to find insights, news and competitors.
#3 (Initial Interviews) For each Customer Problem, speak with at least 3 individuals that have knowledge of the Customer Problem.
#4 (Identify Lead Customers) Evaluate the feedback from the Initial Interviews.
#5 (Market Research) Start initial Market Research.
What You Need to Do - The How
#1 (Tracking Toolkit) set up tracking technologies and tools in order to collect ideas, news and data for the Customer Problem(s). These tools include both a note taking system and a news tracking system. Specifically, consider including major tech news sources such as TechCrunch or VentureBeat and aggregators like Startup Digest.
#2 (Insights) For each Customer Problem, write a bulleted list of at least 10 keywords that would be used to find insights, news and competitors. Use these Keywords to search on multiple search engines, multiple app stores, AngelList, CrunchBase, LinkedIn and other distribution or discovery platforms.
#3 (Initial Interviews) For each Customer Problem, speak with at least 3 individuals that have knowledge of the Customer Problem or may be potential customers themselves for a total of at least 9 interviews with at least 9 different individuals. For each interviewed individual, write their name and provide a bulleted list of the feedback and insights. You may re-interview people in the coming weeks, so ask them if you can follow-up with more questions in the future.
#4 (Identify Lead Customers) Evaluate the feedback from the Initial Interviews, and examine what kind of customer showed the strongest need and most willingness to pay for your proposed solution. For each Customer Problem, write a series of bullet points that describes the individuals that showed the most interest in your solution and identify what they were specifically interested in.
#5 (Market Research) Start initial Market Research. Be as thorough as possible and try to get accurate data from reliable sources.
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 www.chiball.com.au a health and wellbeing business, and www.feesable.co a crowdfunding website for educational costs. In 2019 Russell and his business partner Peter Hattam created Feesable which graduated from the Founder Institute Program in 2020. 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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