Our Online Business Lift-Off (OBL) Program helps those who can’t work a traditional “9 to 5” job. Through a range of face to face and online classes, held over the course of 12-weeks, we teach you how to find and validate a business idea, get your technology setup to start running your business and get customers coming to you.
Our featured online business this week is Rod McNeill of Ontime Plan Services. We spoke to Rod about his experience as a participant from 2019's Bendigo cohort.
Rod from Ontime Plan Services can you tell us a bit about yourself and your online business?
I was recently made redundant from my role in a major bank, after 20 years in the finance industry. My wife and I have 6 children, 5 on the Autism spectrum and 2 of those are on the NDIS. Over the last few years, we have been pretty disappointed by some of the service providers we have dealt with in the disability sector. So about 18 months ago, I laid down some plans to start a ‘plan management business’ for NDIS clients. The aim was to actually deliver what people wanted in the way they wanted it. My recent redundancy merely became a jumpstart for my future endeavours.
My business OnTime Plan Services is a plan management service provider for NDIS clients. A plan manager will pay the invoices for a client and manage their funded budgets. This ensures the client can access the services they need over the term of their plan.
It’s essentially a personal bookkeeper for your NDIS plan! Unlike many big providers in this space, we approach the service from the client's point of view. We also bring our own lived experiences with us to try to customise our service to the client’s needs.
Wow, that’s an awesome business you’ve developed there Rod! Since you had the business idea beforehand, what exactly were you looking to gain from the Online Business Liftoff program?
My wife has her own online business so I was fairly confident in what needed to be done for this idea. However, I wanted someone to take me through a step-by-step program on how to get setup. I didn’t want to overlook anything that could be vital in this digital age. Being from a ‘more mature generation’ I didn’t feel I had a good grasp on social media or marketing measurements like Google Analytics. It was important to me that I had these things explained as I went through them.
Great! Tell us more about the program – what was the experience like going through the 12-weeks?
My initial program began in August 2019, and then I was merged into another program, so overall it’s gone a bit longer than 12 weeks. Since then, it’s been 5 months. This alone has been a huge benefit to me because I’ve had more time to consolidate information and implement new knowledge, whilst also dealing with the normal issues of family life and children. I did double-up on some of the training modules, which was really beneficial as I was able to revisit topics that I was less sure about and gain a better understanding overall.
What did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed the weekly catch ups. They provided a great opportunity to not only think about what you’ve actually achieved in the past week but they're also a way of keeping yourself accountable to complete your task for the next week! It was a good time to discuss issues and brainstorm solutions for other people building their own businesses along side me.
If you were going to recommend the OBL experience to someone else, what would you say?
Personally, I knew how I wanted to run my business and how to deliver the best service for my clients, but I had little idea how to get the business up and running to a point where I could get the clients! Between setting up a website, SEO tools and social media, saying what you really mean through good copywriting, and asking the right questions to speak to a target audience, these are things that I knew needed to be done but were definitely in the ‘too hard basket’ until OBL.
Online Business Lift-Off Program is well worthwhile for anyone who’s serious about getting their business up and running. You never know what you don’t know until someone explains it to you, and OBL have experts in different fields who can explain the best way to attack different problems to get the best results for each business!
Well done Rod!
Founder of Ontime Plan Services
Rod has travelled the ‘well-worn’ NDIS path dealing with health professionals, assistance providers and Government organisations. He knows how confusing and frustrating this journey can be. OnTime Plan Services work for your interests. Ontime, every time.
To connect with Rod click here: https://www.ontimeplanservices.com.au/
So there you have it – a small insight into Rod’s experience with the OBL program! We aim to support and guide your business ideas and help them become a reality – everyone’s situation is different and it’s great to see Rod getting new customers to the online business we helped co-create.
If you’d like to know more about the Online Business Lift-Off Program, or want to see if you’re eligible for our next cohort, head to our Are You Ready quiz today!