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Justin Douché

Forum Replies Created

  • Hi Anon,

    Finding the right mentor for your business will really depend on what your goals are, what stage you’re at and importantly why you want a mentor. Are you looking for a technical expert in your field (courts/law/journalism), a business coach to understand how to build a small business in a smarter way (startup, or personal mentor to help push you to a higher level? Whatever reason, coaching/mentorship best works your when there is a strong personal connection and both parties are very clear on the expectations and outcomes.

    There are professional mentor groups (paid for) but I’d suggest as your at such an early stage, try talking to your local council or regional development agency to see your options in your area. A lot of people find their coach/mentor through their personal and professional networks so keep actively networking there too. Are there any industry people you respect that you could approach?

    A business startup is just really an early stage small business, usually setup different to the standard way. By changing your mindset to ask “how can I develop and test my business proposition and model quickly and effectively before I need to spend the money that I don’t have yet”. There’s plenty of great resources online to start with (e.g. search for Steve Blank/Eric Reis on Youtube), but also talk to your local regional business hub/incubator/accelerator about your options. A good place to find them and other resources is the NZ Entrepreneur site/magazine – https://nzentrepreneur.co.nz/ .

    Good luck on the journey ahead!

    Justin

    Hi,

    This is a great post that quickly helps your helpers understand the context, the problem, your solution, and how we can help you. It also importantly it shows the time, dedication and passion you’ve already put into Kainga Tupu!

    There will be specific Government or regional development funds to solve similar problems (Education, MBIE, MSD, etc.), however the process, timing and effort required to gain these for early stage founders can be really exhausting. Bootstrapping, philanthropy, personal networks or Iwi funds could also be good options more suited to your own values, but it will take time and many conversations to find out which is right for you, then how to access them properly.

    However unless you’re already well on the way, there is still a lot you can do before you need to spend or launch (market research, customer discovery, design, testing, minimum viable products, pitches/comms, networking with founders, etc.). Doing these early steps right (and cheaply) will really help you learn quickly so when you build Kainga Tupu the early. Then when you’re ready to go wider you already have the foundations, examples and relationships that then help you gain the right investment.

    Did you have a plan already on how you were looking to do build Kainga Tupu? Are you supported by a good founder network locally?

    On your growth question… Starting locally really helps you get close to your customers and deeply understand their subtle needs and challenges as build whilse saving precious cash. If you want to grow however, design K.T. for a national or international market(s) and treat local as the first step towards the goal.

    Great work so far and looking forward to hearing more!

    Justin

    Kia ora. Great to hear you’re starting up! The answer to most things at this point in your journey is… “it really depends”. It will depend on different things like what things you’re wanting to achieve, how you’re wanting to achieve them, and how your co-founders want to manage the business (e.g. risks).

    Can you give us any more context on your goals and situation (without giving away any secrets!)?

    Business.govt.nz also has some pages to help think through the different structures:
    https://www.business.govt.nz/getting-started/choosing-the-right-business-structure/business-structure-overview/

    https://www.business.govt.nz/choose-business-structure/

    Justin

    Hi Lara,
    Yay Splash! looks like a good site and had positive feedback when I tested it with friends. So to add to the discussion above…

    When scaling up it can be really tricky balancing the organic growth you want, with the growth capital you may need. Taking on debt or investors will fundamentally change your business model and your relationship with your business, so it’s really important to shop around and make sure the right solution will work for both you and your business. Get to know all the pros & cons with each option, and talk to other founders who have been through similar challenges to hear what worked for them, and what didn’t.
      
    Financing the next production line will just be one part of your growth strategy, so before spending cash on it there’s work you can do for free/cheap to properly fitness-test Yay Splash! first and make sure you’re still on target (so every dollar spent goes much much further). Although you’re not be a fan of social media, it will be a huge factor in connecting with customers, validating your product lines and scaling up. You may already be doing these but…

    – Increase your direct customer engagement (hear what they value most about your bikinis and swimwear, what do they want next)   
    – Coordinate social media campaigns (collect feedback on products and test potential demand before spending any cash)
    – Review your branding and marketing (update website, fresh images, new campaigns, experiments, etc.)
    – Consolidate product lines to strengthen your value proposition (use your sales and website data to grow fewer ‘great’ products)
    – Network with local entrepreneurs & promote local founder stories about you and Yay Splash! (raise awareness, meet prospective co-founders + partners)
    – Re-evaluate your manufacturing costs (materials vs. value proposition, consolidations scenarios, partnerships)
    – Plus lots more…

    Your local Regional Business Partner  and AucklandNZ networks (or even your local business association) have people dedicated to working with founders like yourself to grow your business. They’re a good place to start to take you through each step, so if you haven’t already register and bring them onboard!

    Kia kaha and look forward to seeing the next updates!

    Justin.