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  • #964335
    Lestki
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    Hi

    I’m new to this but would appreciate some advice.

    I recently came up with a new business concept which I had vaguely heard of but I was intending to expand it offering more of a service than the competitors of which there are only a few Australia wide.

    I spent hours and hours searching the web for the right concept and approached a company in the US with the prospect of onselling one of their products together with the service I envisaged. They are more than happy to for me to onsell and so consequently I rang a large Victorian organisation to see if they would look at my concept and perhaps offer their endorsement. That is all I wanted, just to be able to say that they recommended the service. They said they would be happy to look at it and I advised them that it was still early days so i would be back in contact.

    The organisation I approached, with over 2 million members, rang me back today and said they had looked at something a bit similar some time ago but it was unsatisfactory. He said he liked my concept and asked me to put together a proposal for them to look at with the prospect of also onselling the product and service in their outlets. I advised them I would be back to them next week.

    My problem is I have nothing ready. No promotional material, no website, not even a business name.

    I am a bit dumbstruck as this opportunity is just simply too good to pass and I just don’t know where to start. The concept was meant to be a little part-time business for me from home but he advised me that a lot of major companies would be really interested as well.

    What type of business professional should I contact to help me out here. I am not that experienced in anything like this so don’t want to mess up this opportunity. I also don’t have lot’s of $ to hire a large company to do everything for me.

    Any help I can receive would be really gratefully received.

    #1004847
    peppie
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    I would be inclined to treat this as a research opportunity, in that, they have already told you that they had looked at something similar but dropped that and for some reason there is something about your idea that attracts them.

    So, I would get back to them and say that you had been developing a concept but it seems that what they want is a bit different, could you arrange a meeting with key people who could tell you want THEY want. Use it as an opportunity to pick their brains since they have obviously done some sort of research. Otherwise you may make the mistake of proposing something quite different than they have in mind.

    Ask questions of your client/perspective client, find out what THEY want. This has happened to me recently with a training project I am working on. The client has given me lots of material but only today in a face to face meeting have I been able to finally tie down exactly what he wants and how he wants it to be presented.

    Be aware though, that what they may really be saying is that when they looked at this before they decided it would be too hard for THEM to do and now here is a bunny who is going to solve that one!!!!!

    #1004848
    Burgo
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    Hey but you have an idea, it needs to be put down in writing, then at any stage it can be expanded. If you feel you can provide this service at what cost, etc etc etc

    Your business name will develop without too much worry think of what you are offering then check to see if such a name is available but dont worry about this at present just concentrate on getting the concept all together, the rest will follow.

    #1004849
    JodieR
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    I would definitely get some professional advice ASAP. Strike while the iron is hot. You also want to make sure your backside is covered, I would have a chat to your solicitor and accountant about it as well.

    A little bit of pro guidance can go a long way for you presenting yourself professionally to this company and giving you credibility.

    Good luck with it all. Sounds very exciting (and daunting!)

    #1004850
    Lisa Murray – Biz Coach
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    great challenge to have! without knowing a bit more about your product, it’s hard to say where to start. Do you have any basics in place eg a list of features and benefits, a pricing structure, a method of distribution?

    Sometimes its good to think backwards – if you were to get the contract, what would you need to have in place? Try putting all of this into a mindmap – at least you’ll be able to see what connects to what and start a short business plan / strategy from there.

    Also, Paul’s suggestion re research is a good one – maybe you can find out if the organisation would be willing to do a trial with a smaller number of people to start with – a gradual roll-out (eg from one geographic location to start with) may be more feasible!

    If you want to chat, I do offer a 30 minute free laser coaching session – this might help you put some priorities around what needs to be done – it can be overwhelming when you’re just starting out! Just give me a call to book in.

    great opportunity – well done!

    cheers
    Lisa

    #1004851
    Lestki
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    Thank you everyone for all your replies and emails. I am run off my feet at the moment and will get back to all your messages as soon as I can.

    Some great advice and I’m taking it all on board. Am meeting with a Business guru in the morning, I should say, this morning, to go over everything and put a strategy in place.

    Again, thanks for all the responses.

    #1004852
    martinprint.com.au
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    I agree with Peppie.. Find out what it is exactly they want to see first. There is no harm in asking and never feel bad about it. Im sure they will happily tell you.

    Its fairly easy to write up a one page proposal and place it in a nice folder from office works. This wont cost you much.

    You may be interested in this book – its a quick read and I use the methods from time to time instead of writing long winded proposals that nobody can be bothered to read anyway. Get straight to the point. Here is the link to it on Amazon where I bought it. Not sure if its available in Australian book shops.

    http://www.amazon.com/One-Page-Proposal-Business-Pitch-Persuasive/dp/0060988606%3FSubscriptionId%3D0JE9C2T2RN684MDM6G02%26tag%3Daskcom-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0060988606

    Again its hard to give advice since I don’t know much about what you are doing exactly.

    If you want a sample ‘one page proposal’ just PM or email me and I’ll send it over.

    #1004853
    Cameron
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    • Total posts: 8
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    Hi Lestki
    We all wish we had your problem.
    You need to have some idea what you think you will turnover before you start, if its below $75 000.00 go Business.gov and follow the steps to set up a small business, ABN and stuff.
    If its going to turn over much much more I would go straight to an accountant and get your Trading entity setup properly, you may need a separate company to import as you are now liable (read can be sued for mega bucks) should your product cause injury or death.
    Insurance is so important and you should contact a good broker for that as well.
    Unfortunately if you are going to be big you need a solicitor to setup legal protection for you, a Trust perhaps to protect your assets as I mentioned above and for things like Trademarks and any other IP which they will be able to guide you through.
    Take one step at a time, write down the steps and then you just need follow those one at a time and that will hopefully stop you feeling too overwhelmed.
    This may sound stupid or out of place but look after your health, eat properly and get some exercise and enough sunshine (natures own anti depressant).
    Another good read and its free to download is http://www.about.sensis.com.au/small_business/small_business_big_opportunity.php
    Best of luck.
    Cameron.

    #1004854
    King
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    First and formost is to slow things down. Don’t make any promises and like others have suggested is to talk to the organisation in a low key meeting, just to sound out their expectation of you and of the product/service.

    Yes 2 million members is a lot, but get an indication from them what sort of stock levels would be needed, anticipated sales etc.

    They will want to haggle on price no doubt, and this sort of meeting will allow you to go back to the supplier and work with them as well on help with pricing etc.

    Issues to address
    Business name
    business structure
    Liability (so a Ltd co might be the way to go)
    CASH FLOW
    Human resources (might be simple if just supplying to one organisation
    financial management
    Dealing with further growth
    checking if import duty is payable, plus import costs

    The business guru will help with some of those I am sure as will a good accountant (maybe not your regular one) and a commercial focus solicitor.
    Maybe even an import/export agent (I’ve dealt with ICE in tha past – helpful people)

    Do a business plan (see sig link for good software) That will help clarify a few things too.

    But remember, don’t be, or feel inclined to be rushed.

    #1004855
    The Internet Bloke
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    There’s some good advice above.

    I’d like to add that large companies usually like to screw the hell out of their suppliers, so be prepared for pressure to supply for the lowest possible cost, and with the longest possible payment terms.

    Also be aware of any red tape and administrative hoops that they’ll want you to jump through. This unproductive time can really multiply, and soak up days/weeks of effort especially if they require certifications, licences, etc.

    An important thing to consider will be the juggling act involving the amount of stock the supplier will require you to buy, the terms on which they will supply it, the delivery times, and the payment lag from the purchasers.
    Depending on the volumes involved, this could require a significant investment of working capital.

    Also, make sure that you get your costings right on the services aspect.
    If you get this wrong and you underquote, the high volumes involved could cripple your business.
    Good Luck. Looks like your venture has a lot of potential.
    cheers, Eric G.

    #1004856
    Rebekah – Your Architect
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    The best thing this company has given you is the knowledge that you have a product/service that fills a niche that is currently unfulfilled, with little competition. That means that they are only one potential client.

    If they are keen for your product now, then it’s fair to assume they would still be keen in 6 months time once you had everything set up properly. I would be wary of rushing things to fast, when for a little more time you can make sure you’re doing it properly with a long term future.

    Best of luck!

    #1004857
    The Internet Bloke
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    Geez I feel like an idiot wasting time responding to a long dead thread, where the Original Poster hasn’t even been on the forum for months !
    That’ll teach me to check dates in future :-)

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