How To Launch A Business

Posted by Devin Miller on

The Inventive Expert 
Episode #62
How To Launch A Business
w/ Tristan Pelloux
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What This Episode Talks About:

How To Launch A Business

"My advice is always to put your thoughts on paper. A lot of things are in your head. As you put things on paper, it becomes a bit clearer how you are going to delegate them. It does not need to be very complicated at first. You write down this is my idea and, then you start to break it down. This is my idea; what is my product or service? What is my market? How do I sell to my customer? You try to answer these questions. After that, you start breaking down all these items. Putting things on paper because if it sits in your head it may be super clear to you. But as you put your idea on paper, you will already judge your idea. It's also what you can share."


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Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

ai generated transcription

 advice is always to put put your thoughts on paper is that a lot of things are in your head um and as you put things on paper it becomes a bit clearer on how you're gonna execute it so things that we've talked about that okay you literally doesn't need to be very complicated at first like you write down this is my idea and then you as i said you start to break down okay this is my idea what is my product or service out of this idea okay what is my market what how do i sell to my customer and you try to answer these questions and and after that you you start breaking it up breaking down uh all these items but putting things on paper uh because it sits in your head and maybe it's super clear to you but first as you put on paper you will already like judge like a bit your idea and also is it's what you can share [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive expert i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur has grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller iplock where he helps startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks if you ever need help with yours just go to and grab some time with us to chat now today we have another great uh guest on the podcast tristan palu and uh we're going to be talking with them a little bit about a lot which is uh or how to launch a business some things you need to be aware of um how to go from an idea to a business and then how to scale the business and what why a great idea doesn't matter as much as the execution does um some of the practices you may want to consider about business planning and even maybe a bit about idea validation and using data and using your data versus your gut and whatever role they may play so but that much is an introduction welcome on the podcast tristan thanks for having me david absolutely so now we've had you on the the other podcast the inventive journey and we went through a bit of that i'm excited to have you on the inventive expert but for those of uh that haven't caught that episode and i dare definitely encourage people to go back and check that one out um but uh maybe just take a minute or two to introduce yourself to a bit to the audience and uh why you have a background and experience in this area yeah sure so um i currently live in barcelona i moved here um a year and a half ago after a few years in london working in corporate strategy and corporate finance so a range of projects uh from ipo preparation to strategic planning and establishing joint venture and launching new products and and working with our own strategic partnerships and um after these years in london i i started working as an independent consultant and since then i've helped businesses launch and also kind of help businesses that were stuck at the middle at the moment of their their growth try to fix some some issues that they might have um and yeah so that's that's what i do i help help people figuring out how to how to go to market or how to go from as you say from an idea to an actual business um and that's that's a hard part yeah that is always the takes uh that is the hard part so i think that maybe this and definitely thank you for the introduction so maybe just diving into some of the topics at hand and the one you hit on is a great place to start which is you know one of the the things that i think people haven't you know probably are in no part or no small part due to television and movies and books and podcasts and everything else because i think all i need is a great idea and that will make for a great business in other words if i just have that one idea that's going to be there set me apart that's going to be what matters and then i'll you know the business will just fall in place and i'll be you know money will rain from the sky and everything will be great afterwards which i think is far from the truth in the sense that there's a lot more that goes into a business and it's a lot more bad execution which is a little bit more about what we talked about beforehand so help us get an id you know give us a bit of insight as to what is the tradeoff or how do you you know take it what is a great idea but actually or why does execution matter or how to get started on execution exactly i mean an idea is is somehow important but actually it doesn't doesn't matter so much is that she looks some of the great businesses that have been built over the years um the ideas are are generally not novel or um it's it's rather using the execution so if you look at when since the ipad wasn't the first tablet around but it was the one that worked better tesla wasn't the first electric car so it's it's more about how you execute an idea and you need to be you need to be like very organized and basically take your idea and kind of test it so you try to what you do is like you apply a framework you build a business plan around your idea and this is how you're gonna see how you go from okay i have this to okay what does it mean in terms of products what does it mean in terms of distributing this product or services um you know what what do i need in terms of people in terms of finances uh is it viable because sometimes a great idea actually to execute it you realize you need a ton of money that you don't have so you're like okay fine it's a great idea but it's never gonna work so there is this uh there is i i find it a lot a gap between uh people's expectations they're saying yeah i have a great idea but unless you find someone that wants to execute it for you you're gonna have to find a way to to execute it and i mean don't get me wrong if if you have a really great idea and a great execution you have a killer business sure but it's better actually to have a okay idea a great execution because you're going to have a business rather than a great idea and a crappy execution then your business is not going to be viable no and i think that that that's definitely true or holds true now one of the questions i'll ask is kind of a bit of a follow-up which is you know the the difficult thing oftentimes is you you know coming up with an idea i don't want to excuse that because i think that there is you know you do need to come up with an idea that people are going to pay for that you're excited about and you're passionate about on the other hand you know people come up with an idea and then they're kind of okay came up the idea now kind of what's next or what do i do after i have the idea and oftentimes they kind of get stuck or they get uh you know stumbled there because you know we say we need to execute on it but they're not they don't have any their you know idea they haven't done this before they don't necessarily know how to execute so once you have that idea how do you go about figuring out what that execution is in other words how do you start to go about building the startup or building that you know that business around the idea so as in any big problem the the easiest thing to do is to try to break it down so you first try to break it down in into big categories so what is going to be the the marketing so how do i go to market who are my customers so you try to break it down into guama customers how what do i sell to them how do i sell it to them so you try to break it down in this big big categories and then you look at this and you break it down even further so you know marketing okay well these are all the bits that i need to do to in order to achieve this top objective um and basically by doing so you're actually building a business plan and once you have your business plan uh and you have all these steps and all these things that you know you know you need to do this is how you have your plan and then you start executing it and this is how you go from basically your idea to an actual an actual business and so it takes a bit of time obviously and but as i said the thing is you take it one step at a time is that first breaking now into three things which is okay what's your products who are your customers and how do you reach them how do you sell it sell to them you answer these three questions and then you go a bit deeper into into the three the three things and you add uh you add other other things to it uh but yeah as i said you need to be organized and metadata technical uh about it and i think that definitely makes sense and you kind of touched on one of the questions that's going to hit on which is okay you know you you have the idea you say you break it down but what are so and you started to touch on what are some of the things you should break it down into in other words did you first focus on who was your customer should you focus on the market size should you focus on how you're going to fund the business or how you're going to pay for it because there's a lot of aspects right and it's building a team there's where do you do this do you have time what is it going to cost to invest and so in other words there's a lot of things to start to break down into the business plan and if you've done it before you have experience great then you can you know have a bit of a leg up but if you're starting out for the first time you know maybe you go online and you google it what do i put in a business plan or how do i get a business started but what are some of the kind of the key or the core areas that you start to work out as far as that business plan that you really should be considering so i mean two elements are quite key when you when you build a business is well actually it's one element but you will hear a lot about finding product market fit uh which just means that what you offer as a market so uh so that that the two things are quite key that first look at the market so you think you have an idea okay is there is there a market for it is that is there anybody that is willing to pay and to pay for what you're offering um and sometimes there is a clear answer because sometimes you're looking at something that already exists and in that case it's easy to well easier to estimate your market i don't know you want to uh you want to build a hotel in uh in a city so then you know you know more as the industry you know like how many hotels you know so you can estimate your mortgage when you try to be innovative and launch something new then you will need to find some proxies and estimate what your market looks like and the the reason why it's important to look at the market is that this is where you know if there is any money to be made uh and how much money you think you're going to be able to capture because sometimes you can have a great idea but actually there is no market because no one is willing to pay for what you're offering or the market is so tiny or it's dominated by huge companies are going to crush you or you're never going to be able to compete on price that's why like looking at what your market what the market is it's super important and then you look at the product is that okay well this is a market and this is what i'm offering and then you try to see okay well you know is is is there any value do i think customers are gonna want this uh and this is where you start to go into like the next stage which is try to see if you how you can estimate that customers are going to want it so you can do like surveys or you can test it you know you go into beta you test it a bit you see how people react to it um so yeah so it's quite cheap but yeah for me market is is super important and then you go into like because this is where with the market this is where you see if there is any any potential and for instance if you go to if you want to find an investor what they're going to look at is your total address will market your serviceable addressable market but what they're really interested about is okay how much how big is the market the bigger the better obviously uh because this is this is giving you an idea of the potential size of the company um if the total market of your company is a few million then your company can be that big ultimately but if it's hundreds of billions then yes your company can be huge even if you capture a tiny bit of it i think that that's the good points i mean i think that you have to look and say okay well what's the address you know a lot of times what they call the addressable market right in other words how big is your market now that may be huge but if you have no plan to get a any piece of the market it doesn't matter how big it is you can say it's a 10 billion dollar market but if you know there's a whole bunch of players and it's a crowded field just because it's a big market doesn't mean you're able to get sales and vice versa it can be a 10 million dollar market there may be no there isn't anybody addressing it or there's only one player and you may be able to come in and you know get a very sizable piece of the pie out of the shoe um and it may be worthwhile to go after so i think that you know hitting both those two points uh one is how big is the market but you also how are you going to make an entrance or what is your plan to capture some of that market so now shifting gears just a bit and so one of the other things is so let's say you okay you have the idea you start to figure out break it down for execution you get the business plan you get the business up and going a bit and you say okay we've at least now making some income making some uh you know some profit and now we're looking to scale what are some of the ways that you should consider as far as scaling the business or growing that in other words there's kind of that hey we have to make something we get or find some customers they start to pay us we have some sort of success but now how do we get to that next step of growing it and expanding the marketplace what are some thoughts or things that people people should be considering as far as when they're scaling business um yeah so what i've seen is that some people without having this very organized approach to like building a business to just go for it and as you say they start to have a few customers and it works well uh and then they hit like some kind of wall uh in scaling and i i find often that it's because they haven't done this this work properly like around building a proper business plan and trying to see how you know how do you do you build more your business and because the thing is if you do a business plan properly you know the resources that you need to get to the next level you need you know what kind of marketing what kind of distribution you that that will be required to actually go after more customers what other products you could develop so this is when you start organizing all that is it okay i have this product and i have this number of customers how do i grow more am i getting more customers am i launching a new product to address what's your needs so i i basically like i mean to increase your turnover is that easier you increase your prices you launch a new product so you like kind of uh address the same customer but you sell them more stuff or you get more customers and so you need to like organize your business fund to know how you're going to grow and then what resources are needed to do that do i need more salespeople do i need to invest more in marketing but you need to do this work of figuring out where where the growth is going to come from and again you come back to the market is that okay well i've gone to this market and i've captured a decent amount can i grow more you look into it like actually i don't think so because the the dynamics of the markets are like this but i could go into this adjacent market or i could launch this new product like attached to it so so you go back to doing the same exercise and actually a lot most companies are quite established they do this exercise on a regular basis it's not because you're established and you're okay you're growing but you still need to do this exercise to know where the growth is going to come from but also where the threats might come from because you look at your market maybe you're in established business you look at your market and like okay there is this new guys are coming at us and there's this new product so our assumptions are not going to work if they capture too many too many customers or stuff like that so it's to have this this constant approach to to like driving your business uh in a very like organized manner um yeah so my advice is always to go back to the drawing board and go back to the basics oh and i think and i think that definitely makes sense and one or a follow up question to that is so how do you go about doing that in other words ones that you don't know you know it's always it always is easy if you know the questions or you can you know where to get started to get that information but let's say and i'll take an example let's say we're in the um legal services just because that's what i happen to be and i do intellectual property so your patents and i do trademarks and say okay i know my market fairly well now should i you know try and or throw more marketing dollars at the same market and that's how i scale in other words i just go out and try and find more customers but i you know i don't know where i throw those dollars at or should i go out and try and expand the number of servers or the types of services so maybe we expand into bit divorce law and i'm making it up but you know those type of things and so you know in that kind of real world application how do you actually go about analyzing where is the opportunity or where you should look to scale because maybe i don't know and i don't know you know i'm not real familiar with how i go about analyzing that how do you even get started yeah so i mean the the thing is you try to you try to find a number of opportunities that you can you could you could go after um as you say oh is it increasing my marketing or is it going into an adjacent market then once you you've you've identified a few opportunities you basically do a pros and well you you can look at frameworks or or stuff like that but it amounts to doing a pros and cons in doing that and not doing the other and if i spend uh you know ten thousand more marketing what am i expecting out of it if i spend that amount and i would i do something else am i getting better results so it's kind of trying to estimate where if you invest your time and money into something what are the returns what is the long-term long-term opportunity short-term so you try to capture as much information and try to make a decision based on data um so i mean it's it's the same like the way to look at it is let's say let's say i'm here in spain and i want to expand into a market like an another country so i'll look at a few countries i'll look at france i look at germany i look at italy let's say and i'll do just the pros and cons in like okay well if i expense this market is my product going to fit how much it's going to cost me what what size is the market what are the customers and and i do this across like different countries and then i make a decision based on and where do you go about getting that information because i said you you say you look at it you obviously have to get that information to begin with right you have to see what is the market number of customers well how do i know how do i know how many people you know going back to my example let's say i wanted to go and expand out my services how do i know how many people in a given location need a divorce or how do i know how much they're willing to pay so how do you actually go about you know it's easy you know easier once you have that information to compare them side by side how do you go about gathering that information yes so that's that's the hard part is that uh um usually i mean unless you're super lucky it's not sitting here you google for five minutes and then you have like certainly exactly this information so usually easier you have to pay for it or you have to estimate it and and this is where as i said like the hard part comes in is that you need to do a bit of analysis around okay well um in this given market how do i estimate the the market and it can be like quite complicated uh i've done some market research market analysis that you can take quite a bit of time if you want to go granular and if you want to maybe you can estimate it by looking at competitors or for instance are public that might disclose information about the markets uh or you look at what all these com you you look at all the companies and the one that publish their results and you try to see their turnover by division so you can you can do like you can spend a lot of time trying to estimate the size the market or the number of customers or looking at public data or like but there is no i mean there is no straightforward answer to that it's just it takes a bit of time and analysis trying to but the best thing is to try to have as much data as possible from trying to get reliable sources and out of the strength to build some kind of view um and once you've done a bit of this homework um you try to bring it all together and and get your your view of of that opportunity but yeah i there's no i mean i've been doing this for a few years so it's never quite easy sometimes it's faster than other times because as i said sometimes you have a market and it's quite uh it's well defined and maybe you're gonna have uh like ideally you can have like a competitor like a public one that like or that has disclosed this information they said this market has that many customers it's that big and we're going after and you're like oh perfect then you have it but most of the time it doesn't work that way all right now i think that's some great guidance and pieces of advice so as we start to wrap up the the episode and always play more things that we could chat on that never have enough time but you know we've talked about quite a bit everything from going to idea to execution and how you might execute things to consider how you might scale where you might find that information and you know kind of a lot of things that people probably should and could get started on but most of the time you're saying hey there's way more things that i probably should be doing that i have time to do and so if they're to have kind of one takeaway one thing that they should get started on uh what would that one thing be um my my advice is because i i'm i'm doing some mentoring as well as consulting and usually entrepreneurs that have just an idea advice is always to put put your thoughts on paper is that a lot of things are in your head um and as you put things on paper it becomes a bit clearer on how you're going to execute it so things that we've talked about that okay you literally doesn't need to be very complicated at first like you write down this is my idea and then you as i said you start to break down okay this is my idea what is my product or service out of this idea okay what is my market what how do i sell to my customer and you try to answer these questions and and after that you you start breaking it up breaking down uh all these items but putting things on paper uh it sits in your head and maybe it's super clear to you but first as you put on paper you will already like judge pick your idea and also is is it's what you can share if you want the advice of someone you're like okay well this is my idea like like a one page this is what i'm gonna do what do you think uh rather than you telling it's it's easier to judge by by reading some things and if i'm telling you i'm gonna do this and that and that i don't have time to analyze and really know uh if this is workable well i think that that's definitely a great takeaway i mean i think the other thing when you're writing it down putting your idea on you know pen and paper so to speak is it also forces you to one thing through all of those things that you know a lot of times you may not think of through your head or your gloss over or don't give enough thought into it also helps you to sometimes identify those holes in uh where things where you may have thought we're fine and then when you actually have to write it down and figure it hang out oftentimes you'll say oh that is a bigger deal or bigger issue or it it presents a you know something that otherwise might not have considered so i think that's definitely a great place to start was people want to reach out to you if they want to um you know be a customer they want to be a client they want to be an investor they want to be an employee they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you contact you find out more um so they can find me on linkedin or go on on my website uh and and reach out through there like hello at and i'm always happy to have a chat here hear people about their story what they want to do um sometimes it's quick advice i i often like break dreams but that's a bit the the reality that i like to be honest and sometimes you know i can tell people like look this is not to work and i'm sorry to tell you that you your super idea is never going to work but it's it is a reality but yeah people can reach out any any place awesome well i definitely encourage people to reach out to you contact you and use your services because you know getting or one getting an idea to execution takes a lot of work and then to scaling the business is also it takes a different set of skills and so definitely worthwhile to cultivate and otherwise get mentorship and direction on how to do both of those so well thank you again tristan for coming on the podcast it's been a fun it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners uh just make sure to click subscribe make sure to click share and leave us a review because we want to make sure that is we can help as many entrepreneurs and startups and small businesses as possible and the best way to do that is to share this episode with them so they can get all this great information so with that um if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else with your business uh feel free to go to grab some time with us to chat and we're always here to help and thank you again tristan for coming on the podcast and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thanks for having me davin

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