So you have a business idea and you have decided that 2018 is the year to get started?
Then this article is exactly what you are looking for.
There is nothing like the joy of seeing your business idea take flight. However, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that more than 60% of small businesses closing within the first three years of starting a business, we need to provide a community around new business owners to help them receive not only the training but also the support that is needed to help them succeed.
The key areas that have been shown to cause business failure include:
- Poor Strategic Management
- Inadequate Cash Flow or High Cash Use
- Ideas that were never going to work
- Lack of Proper training
- Business owners thinking that they don’t need help
Is there an answer to this? Of course, there is – the answer is Co.starters.
What is Co.starters?
Co.starters is a nine-week, cohort-based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavour.
How does Co.starters address the issues why business don’t succeed?
1. Through education
The program covers the following:
- Week 1: Knowing yourself (Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles)
- Week 2: Knowing Your Customer (Problem, Solution, Benefit, Competition, Advantage, Customer)
- Week 3: Getting the Relationship Right (Marketing & Message; Getting, Keeping & Growing Customers)
- Week 4: Building the Model to Scale (Starting Small, Distribution, Revenue, Typical Sale, Price)
- Week 5: Strengthening Your Structure (Business Structures, Licenses, IP, Hiring)
- Week 6: Discovering the Bottom Line (Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Event Point)
- Week 7: Accounting for Growth (Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, Cash Flow, Accounting)
- Week 8: Planning for the Future (Raising Capital, Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Pitch Prep)
- Week 9: Pitch Night/Sharing Your Story
The core of the program is based on Co.starters one-page business canvas.
You can download the canvas here
Or watch a previous webinar I’ve done on the One Page Business Canvas in the video below:
2. The Building of community around the business owners
We do this through running the course in groups of 12 to 16. That in itself is a great help as you have support and encouragement those who are doing what you are doing. Sharing what you are learning with others and them sharing with you.
Secondly, from weeks 2 to 8 we have a guest speaker in from those who are practitioners from industry. Whether that be other starting a business, marketers, accountants, lawyers and seasoned business owners. Plus we connect people to a broader network of businesses that are networked with the individual facilitator.
3. Heavy Emphasis on Speaking to Potential Customers
A key component of the Co.starters course is the emphasis on talking to customers and potential customers. Each week at the start of the course we review highs and lows from the past week and the number of customers that they speak to. A tally is kept of the number of customers and a prize is given for the person who talks to the most customers.
This has a huge impact on the plans for their business. What happens is that as they talk to customers they find out whether or not their idea is one that will work or not! For example, one of the recent cohort found out the type of plastic that he was planning on using for his product would have cut out 30% of his potential customer base.
What do Graduates of the Program say?
I could personally tell you how great the course is, but way better to hear from the first Brisbane Cohort of the Co.starters course:
A wide range of businesses
To give you an idea of the type of businesses that each one is working on, here are the videos of the different pitches that each one did at the end of the course:
If you would like more information on any of these business ideas, plus do not hesitate to message me with further details of your request and I can put you in contact with the appropriate person.
Who is the course for?
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a seasoned entrepreneur, or an intrapraneur in an organisation looking to launch a new product or service, CO.STARTERS is for you. The only real prerequisites are (1) having an idea you’re ready, willing, and excited to share and pursue and (2) a willingness to study, shape and fine-tune that idea in a supportive, collaborative, and welcoming environment. If you’re creative and community-minded, and you’re serious about turning your passion into a sustainable business, we want you. We’ll surround you during and after the program with the power and support of our larger business community in Australia and the world.
What to Expect when you do the course?
CO.STARTERS is an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded people. Led by a facilitator who is an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll identify your assumptions about why and how your businesses will work and then talk to customers in order to validate your ideas. This approach enables you to rapidly uncover flaws in your concept and find viable models more quickly. You’ll leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate your model, and repeat the process with your next great idea.
Dates for Courses in 2018
These are the current dates that I will be facilitating Co.starters Courses in 2018:
Brisbane on Tuesday nights from 6 pm to 9 pm:
Starting: 22 January 2018
Starting: 17 April 2018
Starting: 16 July 2018
Starting: 8 October 2018
Sydney on the following Saturdays from 8:30 am to 3 pm:
24 February, 10 March, 24 March, 7 April
For those in Cairns & Townsville plus message me about your interest.
How do you apply to do the course?
Simply go to www.startupsinaustralia.com.au and hit the apply now button and you can start the process.
Alternatively, give me a call on 1300 058 929 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I can answer any questions you may have.
At the end of the 9 weeks..
Your idea will be tested and either ready to get started or a decision made not to proceed. Which by the way is always a great outcome
Is this course just for Christians?
Absolutely not it is open to all!