Unknown Unknowns

Start by planning the knowns…

So, where did I start? I started with my accountant, which luckily for me, is my partner in crime. My partner and I discussed possible company structures, insurance, materials I needed to commence and the kind of investment we would need to make in order to be ready to offer services.  I made lists and wrote a project plan using a basic Office 365 planning tool.  I collected quotes for the basic elements and prioritized the items in the order of ‘need’ to understand the forward projection.

Once complete, I saved the file and set all of it aside, knowing that if I needed to progress quickly, I would simply follow my plan.

The unknowns will find you.

In project management, we sometimes use the term the unknown unknowns.  A known unknown, is something we know we need to research/buy/organise and will do at some point in the future but the unknown unknowns catch you by surprise out of left field and hence could never have been planned for.  They are issues not even the most seasoned PMs would believe could have occurred.

But dealing with the unknowns was the part of the journey I was most looking forward to (jump right into your fears) as I knew it would set my mind at ease to actively seek out any ‘gotcha’s.

I started my research with all the obvious things.  I visited the Australia Bureau of Statistics site to understand the how many businesses were operating in my local area. I learnt about the average age of business owners in my area, their professions and business income ranges. I performed Google searches on my service type to understand who was offering this service locally and more broadly/globally, the context of the services offered and the names of the more successful providers. I performed ABN searches on business names and accidentally stumbled across businesses that were providing services in my areas of preference.  From here I let my mind wander…and I stumbled into and through the rabbit warrens in the following sequence:

  • ABN search
  • How to start a business (government website)
  • Venture capitalists
  • Start-ups
  • Technology start-ups and accelerators
  • UK based accelerators (FCA)
  • ASIC accelerator
  • Compliance industry in Australia
  • Regulators here and overseas
  • Uses of machine learning and AI in the finance industry
  • British Digital Transformation strategy
  • Australia Digital Transformation strategy
  • Digital Transformation Office (Australian Government)
  • Sandpit development
  • US Fintech Accelerators

What had started out as a simple, “Can I do this?” question, led to an entire world of activity that I had not known existed – the unknown unknowns. Did it shake my confidence?  No. It amplified my sense of absolute confidence. This undercurrent of digital transformation, improved user experience, questioning, poking, pushing, was thriving with a whole world of people that aspired to the same things I did.  All I needed to do was find ways to connect and collaborate. And luckily for me, I love nothing more.

Thoughts From Our Principals

Mark Semmens

Mark is a Chartered Accountant with a wealth of experience in accounting and taxation. Mark is a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the Tax Practitioners Board and the National Tax and Accountants Association.

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Daniela Semmens

Daniela Semmens is a Co-Director of Semmens & Co. and joined the company as General Manager in 2017. Daniela is an Affiliate Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and also a Member of the Australian Institute of Project Management.

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