Ideas come in all shapes and sizes. And while it feels normal to shy away from the overwhelming it’s important to remember: the bigger the idea, the bigger the potential for return. Oh, and that it’s not how big the idea, it’s how you use it that matters, of course.
So many of us get lost in the idea that we can kick off a business with next to no dollars, but some ideas just can’t be birthed from such a small sum. That being said, you don’t need to be one of those rare humans you hear about with savings stashed away, either.
Peta Fielding is evidence of that. She started Burleigh Brewing Co in 2006, after realising that Queensland had a well, kinda tragic craft beer offering. Perfect, right? You find a hole in the market and you fill it? Not such a cinch, apparently.
“It was a challenge because nothing was happening here, it was really hard to break into the market,” she told PEDESTRIAN.TV. “Beer wasn’t something at that point where you ventured out from the brands that you knew.“
She, alongside her husband / brewmaster, Brennan Fielding, knew they needed a bigger-scale idea than simply another boutique beer company.
When we first started looking at the market we had a concept in mind of what we would do, but what we actually realised was that to make it sustainable and to make it successful, we really needed to do something bigger than what we were initially thinking. Bigger is scarier, but that’s where the research led us.
Business size and projection changes everything. But rather than let that deter you, see how you can navigate the change below with tips from Peta herself. Proof’s in the pudding and all that, right?
BUILD AN EXTENSIVE-AS-HELL BIZ PLAN
Let us confidently tell you this, she owes a lot of what her business is today to her well thought out business plan. Get one of those stat, fam.
“[Finding out our idea was going to need to be bigger] really increased everything about what it was going to take, including the funding and how much it was going to cost to get it off the ground,” Peta told us.
That in itself is a mish, let alone wanting to start a business that’s not so black and white.
Because it was a business that banks weren’t used to lending to… they didn’t know. They didn’t really *get* what we were trying to do, or what it could potentially be.
We knew we had to write a very detailed plan and really be able to show that, not just what we wanted to do, but we’d thought of as many things as possible of what could go wrong or what could go right – what would we do if these things went wrong and so on.
FYI: business.gov.au has a pretty nifty template to get you started.
MAKE SURE YOU’VE GOT THE STATS TO BACK YA
A business plan in and of itself isn’t going to cut it. If you want to attract funding you’re going to need to give people, as well as yourself, real life evidence and scenarios surrounding your idea.
And numbers. You need so many numbers. If someone’s going to give you real, legitimate money, the least you could do is get mathematical.
It was substantiated by real numbers and real research – we weren’t just saying, ‘We think it can be this big’ or ‘We think the market can do such and such’.
Obviously, you can’t just put together a business plan, research and numbers and hope that the right people will come to you.
“Once we started putting the plan in front of people, attracting funding didn’t take very long. It happened so quickly,” Peta said.
Who do you look to? Peta found moolah through a combination of private investment, and, at the time, about a fifth of the funds through bank funding. Honestly, just start talking to people who you think might be able to point you in the right direction.
“We didn’t have a list of people we could go to. Once we put it in front of someone then they said ‘You should talk to so and so’. I think we only got two or three nos tbh but we definitely didn’t have a network of angel investors or anything,” she added.
REMEMBER WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YO’SELF INTO
People don’t just throw away money, (Unless they’re feeding, sheltering and raising a human for 18 years, of course. Thanks mum.) Investors want something in return and you should always remember that before taking their lump sums.
Think of it like a person you start dating. You should tell them upfront if you’re not looking for a relationship, right? (RIGHT?!) Same thing with investors. Peta recommends making sure the expectations are real clear.
It was about making sure there was a match. It wasn’t just a cheque that we wanted. It was people who we cared to be in business with for a long time. The important part of it is managing investor expectations.
We made it very clear to people investing in Burleigh Brewing that there’s a big capital outlay, there’s a long time of having to build your capacity and your revenue and so on to justify that investment until you get to a point of return, and being able to distribute that return to investors.
Wanna know more about what you’re tasting? Watch the vid for yourself below and feel inspired, fam.
Given, starting a biz and understanding everything from business plans to investors and whatnot is mind boggling at times. But it’s achievable nonetheless.
Success is in the eye of the beer holder, folks.
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