After knowing what one wants to achieve, the next step is what I like to call, THE Real Hard Part. Going about getting it, it won’t always be fun, and it will be a lot of work, and will call for sacrifices, and I guess it proves how much you want to achieve whatever you set as your goal.

goal

Goals are usually hard to reach, at least if they are ones worth pursuing.··

A couple of weeks had passed since I had THE Idea, to produce my car design, I now had a finished design, I had found the needed manufacturers, I knew how much money I would need, and I knew many places where I could see about getting it. What next? I had zero experience in any of this. Better find some info I thought. After reading some books, and some stuff on the internet, I started having an idea of what I was supposed to do, so I wrote down all the things I could think of that had anything to do with making this business plan. This included my actual business idea, what I was going to do, how I was going to do it, why it would be a success, and when this would happen. It also included some background info of RC Car Racing, I analysed my competitors, I studied prices, I set my price level, planned production and logistics, sales strategy, marketing strategy and ideas, intellectual property rights, future products, estimated the sales numbers, set goals, thought about strengths and weaknesses, analysed the risks involved, and figured out the timetable.

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BusinessPlan

Preperation is key.

One thing I realised was that there was no way I would be able to pull this off alone. It proved to be very hard to figure out who to include. I needed partners. I ended up finding friends with the suitable and needed areas of expertise, and together we set off to try and make our little piece of history.

When I had a decent idea of what was going on, I visited just about every place I could think of that could be of any help, this included my school, the Helsinki University of Technology, The Centre of Economic Development,· The Foundation for Finnish Inventions, Tekes which is a Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, and luckily Technopolis Ventures (nowadays Spinno Enterprise Center). It is a business development company, that helps start up companies in the technology sector get up to speed. I set a meeting with them, put THE Car prototype on the table and said I am going to put this into production, and that was just about all that was needed to sell the idea to them.

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Next, with the guidance of the staff at Technopolis, I was able to re-write my business plan into a much better and comprehensive document, including financial projections, a description of the market size and division into different segments, toys – backyard bashers – racers etc, amount of customers in the different segments, amount of money spent on RC products, a better financial plan and a realistic system of getting the needed investments. I also got about a gazillion new questions, that I didn’t have answers for, because I hadn’t even thought of the questions, so I had a lot to do. I asked a number of people in the RC industry a lot of questions, and many actually replied, a big thank you to them! I researched some more and found answers for the ever-growing amount of questions. In a bit over one month of work, I reached a satisfactory result together with the people at Technopolis, and we sent off a number of applications for loans, aid and investments. This was the first time I thought: Hey, what if I don’t get the money? I never even considered that option because I knew I would try until I got it.

Growth

The “easy” part is planning how great the growth will be, the hard part is achieving it!

After the initial idea of starting my own company, 3 months had rolled by, and I now had a good idea of what I was going to do, and I also had the means by which to do it. I had visited the manufacturers, the project had started, and now it was just a matter of time before I had pre-production samples of THE Car. Surprisingly, I didn’t start panicking, or celebrating, I just felt relieved. Designing a car of nearly 200 different parts from scratch, mainly during evenings and nights in your free time, is a lot of work, and finally I knew it wasn’t all going to waste. I felt like even if I only sold 14 cars, all to my mother, I would be happy, because I would have achieved something which probably no one believed I could, including myself for the longest time. A car visualised in my head, into production and onto the market. Ok so I would be forced to eat rice and live in some of those big ProLine cardboard boxes for the rest of my life, paying back my debts, if my mother really was my only customer, but at least I would be happy that I got up and attempted to achieve something. And anyway, assuming that did happen, I would probably get bored of rice, and would think of another way to get where I want to be. There is always a way.

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Questions

So many questions, so little time (allocated).·