The Art of Turning Crackling and Cement into an Entrepreneurial Goldmine
Guest post by Hattie Burroughs
I was at my uncle’s last night for dinner, and we were discussing his not-going-so-well business while stuffing our faces with crackling. He’s this badass civil landscaper who, after a horse-riding accident, stumbled upon a game-changing pool paving cement mix. Seriously, his clients are raving about their pool paving looking like white sandy beaches.
‘Our pool paving looks like a white sandy beach.’ -Caroline, my uncle’s client.
Here’s the catch: my uncle’s business is barely treading water on Facebook. And let’s be honest, nobody’s scouring Facebook for pool paving specialists. If you were looking for someone to pave your pool, would you be searching on Facebook? It would take years for his invention to take off this way, like medieval times, when a butcher invented crackling, no that’s not a good example. Say when the axe was invented, it would slowly travel from one end of the country to the other, (wherever axes were invented).
So how does my uncle get the ball rolling? Because his careers advisor, Jude, whom he sees every Thursday, isn’t doing squat. His invention is ready for clients, but they can’t find his business. Entrepreneurial struggles huh?
Don’t Walk the Plank.
Ever been in Rob’s shoes? Those big grubby steel tipped boots. You know that moment when you’ve had a long-ass career, and suddenly, a light bulb goes off (not that it’s easy, but you get the gist). You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and crackling into making something real. But just because it exists doesn’t mean it’ll take off.
So, How Do You Give It Wings?
Here Are Those Steps You Need to Take.
Take your product, business idea. Perhaps you have designed a new style of wedding dress or the next type of baked beans (they are purple and are made with kidney beans). Ignore me, that sounds gross.
Cement Your Product.
Test, test, test. Yes, before you launch something. Make sure your product or idea has been thoroughly tested on a small scale. We don’t want you plunging into the depths to realise your suffering from unrequited business turnover due to a faulty invention.
Name it. Decide on a name for those purple beans. And for legal reasons, check that it’s not already taken at https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/RegistrySearch/faces/landing/bn/SearchBnRegisters.jspx?_adf.ctrl-state=17m1t9pmhy_39, if you’re not in Australia go to google and type in ‘check business name availability’, it should be a free tool so don’t pay for the search. Another thing to check is that the name is not taken as a trademark. Type in ‘trademark search’ and there will be a tool, like this one https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/quick , that catalogues registered trademarks.
Check the domain name for the website of your business, head to the GoDaddy website https://www.godaddy.com/en-au and get that online signpost. Or a website builder could help you with this step. Also don’t try and be too flashy or clever with your business domain name, remember; simple things work. And yes, we go crazy over alliteration. Lance Hill, that guy who invented the Hills Hoist did well out of his retirement, did he not?
If all that is tickety-boo, head to https://business.gov.au/registrations and pay the fee to register your business. While there, you can click on ‘company name’ and ‘ABN’ to apply for these at the same time.
Cheese or Crackling?
Financial planning and budgeting are paramount when starting a business. So, figure out a formula and stick to it. It’s a bit like catching a mouse; if you keep changing the bait, you’ll get yourself in a real muddle, and you’ll lose respect from your customers. Accountants can help in this department. Basically, once you find your cheese, trust it.
Clear The Decks
The organisation is key when it comes to setting up your business correctly. So, keep a clear head and take each task one by one. I myself find Post-it notes do the trick. You can use one colour for each task: accountant meeting, website builder meeting, etc. Or go get some fresh sea air on that mug of yours. It all helps.
You Can Steer Your Own Ship.
People do this all the time. How often do you see new businesses taking off on the street? Now imagine how many more are taking off online or, started online. As long as the business idea is sound, like Rob’s, it just takes a bit of grit (or cement) and the right steps to get there.
Gen X, bury that treasure. And boomers; get savvy times a ticking.
Frequently Asked Questions Section
How to work on time management
Time management is a choice. It’s you choosing to invest your time and energy into something. Yes, calendars, post-it notes, alarms, lifestyle, and many other things can help. And being able to say no, so you can say yes to the right things is where it’s at. Time management starts with you.
How to set goals
Write the goal down, whether that’s in your phone’s notepad or a piece of scrap paper on the wall (we find real paper works best). Physical reminders each day can be a great way to keep you focused and visualise how you are going to achieve that goal. So, when you’re chomping on your cereal or walking the dog, your brain is more likely to spark those useful problem-solving thoughts.
How to keep hold of your initiative when running a business
The initiative is key. The initiative is confidence, experience and intuition, all collaborating together. It’s having the ability to communicate, not with others (although this is important) but with yourself.
How can you act on it if you don’t know what you want? Or even set those goals to achieve them. When you take the initiative, you’ll feel it in your gut. If you think you’ve lost it the best thing to do is take a time out (whatever that looks like for you), a walk, a holiday, or even a long drive can put people back in the driving seat.
What is strategic planning?
Strategic planning is a business tool that allows you to achieve goals. It includes a list of steps to get you there, otherwise known as an action plan. It can be used for short-term goals or long-term goals. The most important thing that strategic planning helps with is pacing; it avoids burnout. Because hustling is not an asset.
How to get into the entrepreneurial mindset
The entrepreneurial mindset is the mind of someone who has a can-do attitude. It’s someone who has the ability to reassess whether they are faced with a problem or an opportunity.
An entrepreneurial mindset is not trigger-happy. It’s having a focus on long-term growth and being committed. Whether it’s a cold shower every morning or a Mars bar that provides that get-up-and-go mode, there’s something about life hacks and entrepreneurs.
The Bottom Line:
You run the show. But you also need help from others. If you want to reach that goldmine you need to avoid quick fixes, crappy marketing, and uninvested specialists. Make sure you incorporate the right specialists into your business. Feedback and collaboration are key.
+pictures to email
You need a photographer. Hire one, we have tips at the bottom of the blog to help you find a local one near to you. Get pictures of the product, or business in motion. You will need these for your website and trust me, it really shows if they’re not done by a professional (like my uncle’s), it’s not just a click of the finger, it’s angles, experience, lighting.
*The information this blog provides is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as financial or professional advice. The information may not reflect current developments and may be changed or updated without notice. Any opinions expressed on this blog are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s employer or any other organization. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this blog without first seeking the advice of a professional. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this blog. The author and affiliated parties assume no liability for any errors or omissions.