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Brian Dorricott

Business Specialist at

Member Since November 2014

Pymble, NSW, 2073

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15 FOLLOWERS

Engineer, Entrepreneur, Leader & Coach bringing the benefits of Lean Commercialisation to businesses around Australia.

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Brian Dorricott answered this question

How do I find VCs or angel investors for my startup?

Short answer: if you're heading to investors searching for money, you're probably too late. It's going to be a real challenge.Top tip: Research who is likely to invest when you need it, find out which events they go to, find them, talk to them and build a relationship. Keep them informed of progress. Then when (and if) you need money, you'll be talking to someone who knows you and the chances of success are way higher.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Why do Australian startups fail?

Top of the list for me is:They don't provide a solution to a problem enough people care about to give them money to sovle it.Why does this happen? Usually failure to understand the world from the users' point of view. Does the problem really exist? Will they pay to solve it? How soon do they need the problem fixed? If you don't know the answers to these, then do the research before building anying.It's much cheaper to fail at the research stage.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Startup

What are the typical costs associated with launching a startup?

It depends...The biggest one is going to be your own living expenses to begin with. If you are living at home and have no expenses, then you're down to laptop and internet connection. On the other hand, if you need to cover the costs of running a family with two kids, start at $10K per month and see how long your savings will last before you start getting money in the till from sales.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Startup

Which are the best seed accelerators in Australia for a startup?

Good question.I would suggest you ask why you want to go into an accelerator before deciding which are best. Different accelerators have very different sylabus (some have none) and therefore the outcomes are very varied. In addition, some accelerators ask for equity in your company which you may not wish to give up.Once you know your parameters, it's time to do the research. I suspect 99% of people who are looking to get into an accelerator shouldn't even be trying! In my view, you're better off discovering if there are customers for your idea rather than spending the time in an accelerator.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Tim Greig
Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd

Business Planning

Do you have a vision for the future in your business?

As Jim Collins stated in his book "Good to Great" many years ago, having a vision of your future is a critical sign of a company that is going to succeed. It is important not just so you can tell customers but so you can test all opportunities against your vision to see whether you should spend time following it.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Hazel Theocharous
Hazel Theocharous, Small Business Support Specialist at Expert VA

Business Growth

What is one thing every business should outsource to an expert?

My suggestion would be a "Business Coach" because the right one can have a massive impact and introduce you to any other people who can help the business.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Does Anyone Know How Much Intellectual Property Laws Cost?

Unfortunately you don't give enough information for a good answer.Are you trying to protect a program you've developed? Is it a computer program or a program you deliver in person? Are you expecting to be sued (and want to know how much you need to set aside to defend yourself)?Best bet would be to speak to an IP Lawyer for 30 minutes to find out more about the possibilities are - perhaps ask for a review of your IP. Most will give you some time for free (in the hope you'll buy the solution from them).I hope this helps.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Business Coaching

How much does a small business coach cost in Australia?

There are two coach strategies:1. Hourly with discounts on block booking.2. Monthly retainer.In general, you pay for quality. Less than $300 per hour and you are probably not paying for the experience and knowledge that you expect. Remember that just one comment can easily increase the PROFIT line by more than $300.As always, the challenge is determining whether the coach can deliver what they say they can. I would suggest start by writing down the 20 things you want to get from a business coach (quantity) and then refining down to the 3 key things and use these to measure what potential coaches can offer. If you don't know want you want, ask a number of coaches about the impact they've had.I would always get an understanding of whether the coach has ever run their own business (other than a coaching business). If they've been a CEO of a business with over 20 people, they will have an understanding and ability to connect with you 10x better than those who've read about it. And that means an impact x10 greater too... 

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What meetup events do you all go to?

First question to ask is what sort of people do you want to meet at the event. This will give you a good indication of which events to go to. So, what are you looking for? Drinks for the evening, to learn something, to sell something? 

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Kealey Nutt
Kealey Nutt, Director at Eleven & Twelve

Offline and Direct Marketing

How do you pitch a creative idea to a client?

Before you even start putting your pitch together, take a look at the potential client and see what they are doing. By understanding what is driving them to do what they are doing you can put together the pitch to nail the problem they have. Only if this nails the problem would I suggest you go to the effort of creating the solution.Saves $100K and lots of time.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

How can I drive traffic to my website?

Create a product or service that lots of people want. If you find out how people are feeling just before they need your product you can work out how to provide information that will help them solve their problem. Then, when they are solving their problem, they'll come to you to solve it.Using Social Media and a PR campagain pre-supposes that you know your customer really well... if you don't, it'll be money wasted.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Should you share business ideas with others?

Like all things, it depends.I advocate talking to as many people as possible - that have the problem you are solving. So you can find out more about other people who are possible customers when you get your product sorted.There really is no need to talk about the idea.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Yee Trinh
Yee Trinh, Cofounder at

Branding

How do you come up with an original business name that is catchy, yet not outlandish?

There are several ways:- A name that describes what you do (perhaps based on company values, etc.)- Join two words together to create something unique (and memberable) e.g. BlueChilli- A random, made-up word.I'd avoid names based on your name simply because it can be a limiting factor in the future if you're not a lawyer or accountant.Each has benefits and disadvantages.I hope this helps.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

When is "critical" for a small business owner to call on a business coach?

There are several reasons to go out looking for help. One is when you know things need to change but are not sure what or how to achieve it.City of Ryde are running a free Business Mastermind for exactly this next week.(I happen to be one of three facilitators).

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What Topics Do You Attend Webinars For, How Long Should It go?

An hour is enough for me. I've only taken one on being a Master of Ceremonies. The challenge for me was keeping present when there's a screen in front of me.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

How can startups raise funds?

Some stats for you. 88% of new business use the Entrepreneur's, family, friends, neighbours, etc. funds. 8% use Business Angels and 4% use Venture Capitalists.Money from freinds and family is also easier to obtain since they believe in you. When you go to strangers, you are in sales mode which makes it challenging... always check out any grants that are available too (although they can come with reporting strings attached).I'd only recommend selling equity (i.e. .to Business Angels and Venture Capitalists) when every other single avenue (including banks) has been exhausted. 

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall, Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

Business Planning

Which do you consider the most important in building a sustainable business?

Profit.Returning customers.Customer referring other people who become customers.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Do you need accountants to help write business plans?

No.And your last question is a good one - why do you need one?It all depends how much you know about your business. Writing  a plan can certainly concentrate the mind and make sure you've covered all the basis. However, I'd head out and see how many people will buy the product first. If you're in the latter categories, work out who the business plan is for and write it for them!

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Where do I get funding from?

It all depends what stage your business is and how well you know your customers. Without knowing this it is hard to give you a good answer. Feel free to contact me directly and I'll see how I can help.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What is the best way to get some funding (less than $100k) for a new business?

HI, I ran a Business Angel network for two years and there are specific things that Business Angels look for in a potential investment. That you have proven demand and means that you are ahead of your competition for their attention. To give you advice about the next step from what you have written is a challenge, however my first questions are:- How have you proven the demand? How mnay have you sold?- How big is the potential market? Does it have international potential?- What problem are you solving for your customers?- Who are your competitors?I hope this helps,Brian

Brian Dorricott answered this question

How does one go about creating a website that has the best user experience?

I suggest you take read of "Hooked" by Nir Eyal - while the subject is broader that websites, it gives very useful insight into how you create a product/service where people keep coming back for more.If you're interested, I wrote a quick review of the book. https://www.briandorricott.com.au/have-you-been-hooked/

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Do I need a business plan?

No. You don't need a business plan.However, that does not mean you don't need to understand all the elements of what is required to put a business together and make it work. Yout still need to be able to understand the problem you are solving for customers, how to make your product/service, how your customers will find you, how you are unique, how everything is financed, etc.Having a business plan is useful for finding funding and proving to others that you know what you are doing.However, it can simply be bullet points and pertinent details. The best one I've seen was just 5 pages (and yes, they did get funding from Business Angels off the back of it).

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What aspects of the process are entrepreneurs blind to?

Having worked with thousands of entreprneurs over the last twenty years, the biggest issue is not understanding the "world" of the customer. That is, they don't understand what their customer-to-be's life is like, the problems they have, how the approach finding solutions, etc.Without knowing what problem your potential customer is trying to solve, it is impossible to provide them with a solution.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What are the mistakes to avoid when starting an online business?

Just as there are a huge number of mistakes starting a company, there are many mistakes starting one online as well.In fact, your question is too generic. Perhaps explain a little about what your business is aiming to do and you'll get some answers.

Business Management

Lean Commercialisation and Cycling: Getting Your Ideas to Work

In the late 1980’s, I remember a lecturer on my Engineering course at Imperial College, UK telling me about an exciting new production technique that was being pioneered at Toyota and that it would make a massive difference to manufacturing. We heard how all employees understood standard deviation (which is where the name of Six Sigma comes from) and were able to apply their knowledge to a metho...

Business Management

Lean Commercialisation and Cycling: Getting Your Ideas to Work

In the late 1980’s, I remember a lecturer on my Engineering course at Imperial College, UK telling me about an exciting new production technique that was being pioneered at Toyota and that it would make a massive difference to manufacturing. We heard how all employees understood standard deviation (which is where the name of Six Sigma comes from) and were able to apply their knowledge to a metho...

Brian Dorricott answered this question

How do I find VCs or angel investors for my startup?

Short answer: if you're heading to investors searching for money, you're probably too late. It's going to be a real challenge.Top tip: Research who is likely to invest when you need it, find out which events they go to, find them, talk to them and build a relationship. Keep them informed of progress. Then when (and if) you need money, you'll be talking to someone who knows you and the chances of success are way higher.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Why do Australian startups fail?

Top of the list for me is:They don't provide a solution to a problem enough people care about to give them money to sovle it.Why does this happen? Usually failure to understand the world from the users' point of view. Does the problem really exist? Will they pay to solve it? How soon do they need the problem fixed? If you don't know the answers to these, then do the research before building anying.It's much cheaper to fail at the research stage.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Startup

What are the typical costs associated with launching a startup?

It depends...The biggest one is going to be your own living expenses to begin with. If you are living at home and have no expenses, then you're down to laptop and internet connection. On the other hand, if you need to cover the costs of running a family with two kids, start at $10K per month and see how long your savings will last before you start getting money in the till from sales.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Startup

Which are the best seed accelerators in Australia for a startup?

Good question.I would suggest you ask why you want to go into an accelerator before deciding which are best. Different accelerators have very different sylabus (some have none) and therefore the outcomes are very varied. In addition, some accelerators ask for equity in your company which you may not wish to give up.Once you know your parameters, it's time to do the research. I suspect 99% of people who are looking to get into an accelerator shouldn't even be trying! In my view, you're better off discovering if there are customers for your idea rather than spending the time in an accelerator.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Tim Greig
Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd

Business Planning

Do you have a vision for the future in your business?

As Jim Collins stated in his book "Good to Great" many years ago, having a vision of your future is a critical sign of a company that is going to succeed. It is important not just so you can tell customers but so you can test all opportunities against your vision to see whether you should spend time following it.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Hazel Theocharous
Hazel Theocharous, Small Business Support Specialist at Expert VA

Business Growth

What is one thing every business should outsource to an expert?

My suggestion would be a "Business Coach" because the right one can have a massive impact and introduce you to any other people who can help the business.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Does Anyone Know How Much Intellectual Property Laws Cost?

Unfortunately you don't give enough information for a good answer.Are you trying to protect a program you've developed? Is it a computer program or a program you deliver in person? Are you expecting to be sued (and want to know how much you need to set aside to defend yourself)?Best bet would be to speak to an IP Lawyer for 30 minutes to find out more about the possibilities are - perhaps ask for a review of your IP. Most will give you some time for free (in the hope you'll buy the solution from them).I hope this helps.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Business Coaching

How much does a small business coach cost in Australia?

There are two coach strategies:1. Hourly with discounts on block booking.2. Monthly retainer.In general, you pay for quality. Less than $300 per hour and you are probably not paying for the experience and knowledge that you expect. Remember that just one comment can easily increase the PROFIT line by more than $300.As always, the challenge is determining whether the coach can deliver what they say they can. I would suggest start by writing down the 20 things you want to get from a business coach (quantity) and then refining down to the 3 key things and use these to measure what potential coaches can offer. If you don't know want you want, ask a number of coaches about the impact they've had.I would always get an understanding of whether the coach has ever run their own business (other than a coaching business). If they've been a CEO of a business with over 20 people, they will have an understanding and ability to connect with you 10x better than those who've read about it. And that means an impact x10 greater too... 

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What meetup events do you all go to?

First question to ask is what sort of people do you want to meet at the event. This will give you a good indication of which events to go to. So, what are you looking for? Drinks for the evening, to learn something, to sell something? 

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Kealey Nutt
Kealey Nutt, Director at Eleven & Twelve

Offline and Direct Marketing

How do you pitch a creative idea to a client?

Before you even start putting your pitch together, take a look at the potential client and see what they are doing. By understanding what is driving them to do what they are doing you can put together the pitch to nail the problem they have. Only if this nails the problem would I suggest you go to the effort of creating the solution.Saves $100K and lots of time.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

How can I drive traffic to my website?

Create a product or service that lots of people want. If you find out how people are feeling just before they need your product you can work out how to provide information that will help them solve their problem. Then, when they are solving their problem, they'll come to you to solve it.Using Social Media and a PR campagain pre-supposes that you know your customer really well... if you don't, it'll be money wasted.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Should you share business ideas with others?

Like all things, it depends.I advocate talking to as many people as possible - that have the problem you are solving. So you can find out more about other people who are possible customers when you get your product sorted.There really is no need to talk about the idea.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Yee Trinh
Yee Trinh, Cofounder at

Branding

How do you come up with an original business name that is catchy, yet not outlandish?

There are several ways:- A name that describes what you do (perhaps based on company values, etc.)- Join two words together to create something unique (and memberable) e.g. BlueChilli- A random, made-up word.I'd avoid names based on your name simply because it can be a limiting factor in the future if you're not a lawyer or accountant.Each has benefits and disadvantages.I hope this helps.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

When is "critical" for a small business owner to call on a business coach?

There are several reasons to go out looking for help. One is when you know things need to change but are not sure what or how to achieve it.City of Ryde are running a free Business Mastermind for exactly this next week.(I happen to be one of three facilitators).

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What Topics Do You Attend Webinars For, How Long Should It go?

An hour is enough for me. I've only taken one on being a Master of Ceremonies. The challenge for me was keeping present when there's a screen in front of me.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

How can startups raise funds?

Some stats for you. 88% of new business use the Entrepreneur's, family, friends, neighbours, etc. funds. 8% use Business Angels and 4% use Venture Capitalists.Money from freinds and family is also easier to obtain since they believe in you. When you go to strangers, you are in sales mode which makes it challenging... always check out any grants that are available too (although they can come with reporting strings attached).I'd only recommend selling equity (i.e. .to Business Angels and Venture Capitalists) when every other single avenue (including banks) has been exhausted. 

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall, Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

Business Planning

Which do you consider the most important in building a sustainable business?

Profit.Returning customers.Customer referring other people who become customers.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Do you need accountants to help write business plans?

No.And your last question is a good one - why do you need one?It all depends how much you know about your business. Writing  a plan can certainly concentrate the mind and make sure you've covered all the basis. However, I'd head out and see how many people will buy the product first. If you're in the latter categories, work out who the business plan is for and write it for them!

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Where do I get funding from?

It all depends what stage your business is and how well you know your customers. Without knowing this it is hard to give you a good answer. Feel free to contact me directly and I'll see how I can help.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What is the best way to get some funding (less than $100k) for a new business?

HI, I ran a Business Angel network for two years and there are specific things that Business Angels look for in a potential investment. That you have proven demand and means that you are ahead of your competition for their attention. To give you advice about the next step from what you have written is a challenge, however my first questions are:- How have you proven the demand? How mnay have you sold?- How big is the potential market? Does it have international potential?- What problem are you solving for your customers?- Who are your competitors?I hope this helps,Brian

Brian Dorricott answered this question

How does one go about creating a website that has the best user experience?

I suggest you take read of "Hooked" by Nir Eyal - while the subject is broader that websites, it gives very useful insight into how you create a product/service where people keep coming back for more.If you're interested, I wrote a quick review of the book. https://www.briandorricott.com.au/have-you-been-hooked/

Brian Dorricott answered this question

Do I need a business plan?

No. You don't need a business plan.However, that does not mean you don't need to understand all the elements of what is required to put a business together and make it work. Yout still need to be able to understand the problem you are solving for customers, how to make your product/service, how your customers will find you, how you are unique, how everything is financed, etc.Having a business plan is useful for finding funding and proving to others that you know what you are doing.However, it can simply be bullet points and pertinent details. The best one I've seen was just 5 pages (and yes, they did get funding from Business Angels off the back of it).

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What aspects of the process are entrepreneurs blind to?

Having worked with thousands of entreprneurs over the last twenty years, the biggest issue is not understanding the "world" of the customer. That is, they don't understand what their customer-to-be's life is like, the problems they have, how the approach finding solutions, etc.Without knowing what problem your potential customer is trying to solve, it is impossible to provide them with a solution.

Brian Dorricott answered this question

What are the mistakes to avoid when starting an online business?

Just as there are a huge number of mistakes starting a company, there are many mistakes starting one online as well.In fact, your question is too generic. Perhaps explain a little about what your business is aiming to do and you'll get some answers.

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