ONTHEGO is closing in on it’s fifth Birthday. It’s hard to believe how far we have come, since the first logo drawn on a garment in my parents dusty garage, with an iPhone dangling out the window for internet and a MacBook that barely worked.
I have had lots of early stage businesses ask me how I’ve built ONTHEGO, wanting my insight on building share, forming a brand that is changing the game, and how we have actually been able to succeed, despite limited resources, knowledge, economic stature or time. Basically, all of the things that you ‘should’ have to grow a business – they say!
I’ve had incredible mentors over the years, and to list a few;
1) Paul Zahra (Former CEO & MD of David Jones) – $2B+ department store
2) Hap Klopp (Founder & 20 year CEO of The North Face) – Now a $3.4B brand
3) Derek O’Niell (10 Year CEO of Billabong) – $2B brand
4) Harry Hodge (Co-Founder of Quiksilver) – $2B + brand
3) My Father (Founder and Director of Cercol) – Canberra’s best building company – 35+ years in business
5) Stuart Cook (CEO of Zambrero Group) – Australia’s best Mexican Restaurant chain
5) Bill Clarkson (CEO of Lorna Jane) – $500M + brand
6) Peter Johnson (CEO of Cotton On) – $1.5B Retailer
7) Jo Burston (Founder of Job Capital & Rare Birds) – Australia’s leading female entrepreneur
7) Brand Hoff (Founder of Tower Software) – Sold to HP for $200M+
8) many more other amazing execs / industry leaders
I’m proud of the above, because I went out there, wrote them down, and reached out, followed up until they met me, then annoyed them til’ they’d meet me again. I sold them the vision, the problem and the solution that OTG is building.
The one thing about the people above is that they’re all self made, that’s why I love them and they get it. They keep it simple, they focus and drive on that. Another thing that these people stand for, especially the ones who have been involved in founding a business, is keeping business planning simple.
I am not a planning type of guy, in fact, I’m the opposite. If I sit in detailed things for more than 60 minutes, anyone who knows me, knows I get mad and wired. It’s definitely not a space I like to be in!
I’ve decided to share and quickly explain the main business plan that was taught to me, years in to my business. As my mentor Derek O’Niell told me, ‘Mick, if you did too much planning when you started ONTHEGO, you would of seen it was 2010, a horrible year in the economy, an industry full of big conglomerates with massive resources, while you had $150, and no customers, not even a manufacturer, or a website, or people, you would not have started. So lucky your plan was to focus on customer service and delivery’ .
I’ve never paid for a business “coach” or paid consultants for massive “plans”, not because I think they’re useless, it just isn’t for me. I believe the best advice, comes from simplicity, foresight and ‘been there done that’ experience. This seems to be the way others have crushed it.
So, on that note, I’ve attached two documents, that a mentor drew for me 2-3 years ago while having a coffee, to get me to start thinking about planning – the simple way (by they way – I’m not trying to be a business coach here, this is purely to give away the golden simplicity I’ve learnt, that’s helped me, everyone’s different).
Business Model Canvas: (doing these in this order help)
- Problem: What was the problem, in the market, industry etc. What started the business…
- Solution: What is going to be the solution that fixes the problem
- Alternatives: What are the alternatives to your product/service?
- Partners: Who are you going to partner with to get there? Who is paramount in the business – Supplier x, Bank y, Accountant z, Lawyer, etc.
- Barriers: What are the barriers to entry? Can people steal your crap easily?
- Culture: What culture and values are you portraying in your biz?
- Rules: What are the rules in the business (terms etc>)
- Customers: List your customer groups
- Revenue: How are you going to make revenue, and how much? (online / retail / events etc.?)
- Cost Structure: List all your costs down, Fixed and Variable, if you dont know the difference, google it
- Breakeven – Do the math on the above, what do you need to hit to make it – month/year
- UVP: What really is your Unique value proposition?
- BHAG: What is your BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL? What is going to drive you and the team daily – the big things!
- PITCH: How can you break down your biz short and sharp.
- Strategy: Whats the big one strategy point (good to do after page 2)
4 Quad Strategy (Now / Be / How / Needs)
- Where are you now? Where are you / your biz, right now, list all things! (revenue / profit, customers, staff, processes, value, contracts, various things that are important to recognise)
- Where do you want to be? (1-3 Years, and 5-10 Years) List the things you want to achieve and be at in these times. Keep it sharp.
- How do you get there? What do you need to do to get to the things you want to get to? Do you need to win a certain contract, do you need a board, do you need to hire that kick ass manager? What is it?
- What do you need? What are the things you need to achieve all of the above. Typically this will be money – This x will cost y, – This can really give you a clear path.
The above are my views only. I must also add, I work on our one pretty much daily – the world changes so quickly, your plan needs to be workable.
Here is the link to download your next best PDF: OTG_BIZMODEL_Editable
Some of the boxes are locked, maybe just to give you a view on what to write.
You may need to contact us to get the full version!
For me, I’m out. But I hope the above may help.
And, you probably should get really nice customised sportswear to enhance your brand, because, you need to look kickass: Get awesome now
Every day matters,