BootCamp for Start-Ups: Mayo Ideas Week


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Mayo Ideas Week morning boot-camp for start-ups, delivered in conjunction with SWMDC [LEADER].

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BootCamp for Start-Ups: Mayo Ideas Week

  1. 1. Welcome to the Start-Up Bootcamp Designed for budding entrepreneurs22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  2. 2. What are we going to cover today? What does entrepreneurship mean? The nuts & bolts of developing your idea… Steps to get you started… Practical – testing the idea [incl. 1-2-1] Q&A22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  3. 3. A little bit about your trainer… •Owner of Irish Business Intelligence •I work with start-ups, small businesses, and developing SMEs •Providing coaching, mentoring and consulting advice •On planning, development, messaging / communications and strategy 087 799777222nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  4. 4. Timings for Today 9.30 Start 11.00 Break 11:15 Restart 12:00 Practical 12:30 Lunch 1.30 Guest Speaker, JFC22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  5. 5. Let’s get started!22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  6. 6. What does entrepreneurship really mean? A few definitions… Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur, which is a French word meaning "one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods.” Thinking like a business person, not a banker. Playing to win, not avoiding losing. Applying lessons from other industries. Taking advantage of an opportunity no matter how small it may appear to be. Someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it. Simply starting a business and working for yourself.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  7. 7. What do you think these people have in common?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  8. 8. # 1 - Vision22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  9. 9. # 2 - Planning22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  10. 10. # 3 - Determination22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  11. 11. What’s the most important lesson to learn from successful entrepreneurs? Simply… it’s about: Knowledge + Skills + Attitude22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  12. 12. So now… down to brass tacks… How do I get my business going?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  13. 13. This is where I’d like you to start putting your thinking cap on! There are lots of questions you need to ask yourself.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  14. 14. What is the idea? Put simply – what is the product / service? Who are my clients? How will it improve / offer a solution for my potential clients? Is there anything else on the market similar to it? If there is competition – how can I differentiate my product [or do I have a niche?] Will I just be a ‘Me Too’ product / service?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  15. 15. Finance The tough questions… How will I finance this business? Who can I approach to support it? If traditional funding isn’t available to me – what can I do next…? How will I survive during the start-up phase?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  16. 16. Market Research Where is my position in the market? Size, service offering etc. Is there competition – if so, what kind? Established, ailing, growing? Do I need to conduct a feasibility study? Am I entering a saturated market? Is there a demand for my product / service?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  17. 17. This is a practical workshop… … so we’ll be stopping along the way for questions, and one-to-one…22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  18. 18. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research Take-Away from this section? Know how YOU will research your business idea. •Before you can tackle a business idea, or compile your business plan – you need to RESEARCH it. •WHY? Because you could be taking quite a bit of a risk if you don’t! •Some entrepreneurs go on their ‘gut’ instinct – be careful to back it up with some actual evidence that a need exists. •Research will also form the basis of how you develop your product / service and help you put structure on it.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  19. 19. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research •Research can take all forms. Usually, the type of research you do will depend on the business / service / product you are developing. •Central to your research should be the audience you want your information from – and why you’ve chosen them specifically – make sure they are the audience you wish to BUY your product or service [no point in getting feedback from a non-consumer]. •Identify CLEARLY the type of information you want to know from the potential customer – how is that going to inform your business? •LIST the kinds of questions you want to ask and critically analyse how beneficial / useful they are in compiling your data.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  20. 20. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research Ultimately – what do you need to find out? •IS THERE A MARKET FOR THIS PRODUCT / SERVICE? •You need to be a solutions-provider – someone who will provide an answer to something which is a problem for the potential client. •So… how do you find out? •Ask clear, concise questions – starting with the perceived issue [the problem you are going to solve]. •Deduce – through clever questioning – how your solution will / won’t make a difference.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  21. 21. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research Watch out: Don’t communicate any details about your product which may compromise it [or you may find it ‘lifted’!] What else should you research? • THE COMPETITION, of course! • Why? So that you understand their service offering, level of establishment – and, essentially, what you are up against. • Key to your success in business is having a marketplace to trade in… and ensuring that you can compete in it.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  22. 22. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research What else should I know about the competition? • Can I work with them? Is there room for mutual benefit? • If I can’t – do I have a stab at competing against them? Remember: Business is all about competition. It’s healthy! • What are their Key Success Factors? Delivery? Timeliness? Service? Portfolio of services / products? • Can you differentiate yourself from them? … the list goes on… there may be others based on your product or service!22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  23. 23. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research What forms of research can I use? • The advent of the internet has provided superb opportunities for research and insight – particularly through social media. • The one key thing [and I’ll say it again] is the relevance of the data you retrieve – there’s no point in testing wrinkle cream sales on a group of 18 year-olds! • This applies with online – you have to be, ultimately – ruthless in ensuring the validity of your data. This can be hard when you’re trying to start a business and are full of hopes and expectations.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  24. 24. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research • However, it’s best to look at all the possibilities before you get off the ground rather than trying to fire-fight issues when things are further down the track. • OK – back to research methods! • #1: Online • Surveys • Forums • Questionnaires • Social Media22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  25. 25. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research • # 2: Offline • Focus groups • Questionnaires • Industry publications • Newsletters • Agencies / organisations – State or otherwise • Consumer surveys • Universities / schools22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  26. 26. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research • # 3: People-power! • Colleagues • Networks • Business associates NEVER, EVER, EVER ASK FAMILY [or some friends]! You want an unbiased opinion? You won’t get it there!22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  27. 27. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research … and now, the fun bit! Researching Funding22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  28. 28. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research • Funding and projections will be covered shortly [planning] – but in the interim – a key aspect of the research process is in discovering the available sources of funding for starting up. • For example: Leader or regional development funds, assistance schemes or back-to-work / enterprise entitlements, County Enterprise grants or subsidies, bank or other lending / capital availability. • N.B.: Have your story straight and ask the question.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  29. 29. Start-Up Item #1: Doing the Research • What do I mean? • DO prepare a ‘speech’ [it is daunting ringing some organisations for the first time] – know what you’re going to tell them… e.g. How you came to the notion of setting up / starting up – the sort of assistance you would like – your own investment in the business / concept. • DON’T be afraid to ask about the other channels / opportunities available to you. • DO ask what is required from you in the event that you are successful in your application.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  30. 30. … so that’s the research… DONE! Any questions?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  31. 31. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan Take-Away from this section? Know how YOU will put your business plan together. WHY do I need a business plan, I hear you ask! • If you don’t have one [even a short one] – it’s like driving to a new destination without a map – you might get there, but it’ll take you a hell of a lot longer, and you could end up in some pretty remote places! • Business plans don’t have to be hugely complicated, intricate documents. They are YOUR plans for YOUR idea.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  32. 32. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan • Your business plan should be a living document, one which you review over time – your first business plan will often not reflect your business after 12 – 36 months in business… indeed, some businesses’ plans change entirely in their first six months in business. However, this can sometimes be a negative [as in, where research hasn’t been conducted properly.] • It is a great piece of business ‘kit’ to help you monitor your progress, note ‘milestones’ [through projections etc] and evaluate success.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  33. 33. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan • A business plan should reflect the current position of the business, its long-term goals, plans, development etc. A type of ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’. • It needs to be structured and easy to follow – without jargon or ‘fluff’. • It should be a quietly confident document which clearly demonstrates vision, commitment and clarity – that you’re not just giving entrepreneurship ‘a bash’ – but are committed to it.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  34. 34. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan What should I put in my business plan? • Content varies per business and per individual, however, a good rule of thumb to stick to would be: 1. Objectives What are the objectives of the business – what is it going to achieve? What is your VISION for the business? 2. Professional Background What is the professional background of all those involved in the business.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  35. 35. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan 3. Suppliers Who will your suppliers be? What terms will they offer you? 4. The Market Where the research really counts – know your customer, your competitor, and your place with both. 5. Financial Projections These guys get a slide all of their own…22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  36. 36. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan 6. Premises / Equipment What you’ve got and what you need – where will you work from? What are the costs involved in the things you need? 7. Legal Issues Are you going to be a sole trader / limited company? Register a business name? Have you registered a business name or even checked if it’s available [or its website for that matter!] 8. Key People Who are they? All the professionals you deal with – advisers, accountants, etc.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  37. 37. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan The Projections & Cash-flow • Some of you may be lucky enough to have a predilection for Excel and / or figures, if so – you’ll en joy this! If not, stay tuned and fee free to ask questions. • Projections and cash-flow are key to the management of your business to ensure outgoings can be dealt with on-time, any accruals can be handled as necessary – and funds are available to pay your income [if you intend on taking one, some don’t]. • The key element in reflecting correct cash-flow is being HONEST and as WELL-INFORMED as possible when compiling them.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  38. 38. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan The Projections & Cash-flow • The only person you are fooling by fibbing or ‘spinning’ is you, at the end of the day – the business can only survive if you know what costs it is likely to face, alongside projected income. SO. What are projections? • Somewhere between creativity and science… lie projections. • In essence, they are predicted sales based on a set of assumptions. • They vary based on the type of product / service you offer, the price per unit and how many units you are likely to sell based on demand.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  39. 39. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan • Your assumptions [which define the projections] need to stem from some level of reality / research – e.g. for a retail outlet: “Based on the surveys and interviews conducted, with an average of x footfall, and an average of x customers per day, and a spend of x per customer – projected sales will be x per month” N.B. This is where Excel comes in handy. • These projections form the basis of your annual sales figure. In your business plan, it is wise to provide year 1 figures, along with a 3-year forecast.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  40. 40. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan Now the adding and subtracting happens…well, mainly subtracting • It would be just wonderful if you didn’t have to ‘take’ anything out of the projections figure, however, for the purposes of cash- flow, it is necessary… • Ever heard of overheads? These are the things you need to consider … they are any and all the costs associated with running your business. The #1 being YOU. • How do I cost myself as an overhead? You need to understand your survival income: so how much you need to per month to meet your obligations, and outgoings.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  41. 41. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan Examples of overheads: • Advertising • Insurance • Materials • Fuel / motoring • Stationery • Computers / technology • Plus many, many more…22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  42. 42. Start-Up Item #2: The Business Plan When all the subtracting is done… you have your gross profit figure…22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  43. 43. So… there’s the Business Plan done… Still awake? Any questions?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  44. 44. Time for coffee… Resume at 11:1522nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  45. 45. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business Take-Away from this section? Know how YOU will market / promote your business • #1 in the process of marketing your product / service is understanding who your customer is [remember, you will have done this in the RESEARCH section!]. • Remember that you are aiming to offer that consumer a solution – something which they will be compelled to purchase. • Driving marketing is clever analysis and communications planning [e.g. who am I talking to and what do they want to hear?]22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  46. 46. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business • In applying marketing to your service or product – you need to have a PLAN. • This is reflected in your business plan and highlights HOW you will approach / target / connect with your audience. • If we look at marketing in a step-by-step process, it looks something like this: 1. Define TARGET AUDIENCE 2. Review CORRECT CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION [aka Route-to- Market] 3. Collate MARKETING PLAN & COMMUNICATIONS MIX22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  47. 47. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business 4. Implement MARKETING PLAN; 5. Review & IMPROVE! • Marketing is a communications process – remember this – and requires a strategic approach [aka targeted!] – that’s why researching your target audience is so important. • When putting your marketing plan together, never lose sight of your product / service or your customer. You’re working on connecting the two – and keep that at the forefront of your mind. • Marketing is CREATIVE – don’t be afraid of this fact – use it to your advantage.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  48. 48. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business Let’s look at your plan! I know my target audience… how do I talk to them? #1 Look at the vast amount of media available to you – PR, e-marketing, direct mail, advertising, social media; #2 Set an initial timeline for implementation – so, what period of time to do I want to measure this plan over? #3 Set a budget, however small, and budget the amount of TIME you are able to dedicate to the plan; #4 Select the types of media most effective in targeting your desired customer [aka marketing ‘mix’].22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  49. 49. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business #5 Execute your plan and measure the results intermittently [with a final review period]. N.B. Marketing is not a once-off activity, it’s an ongoing piece of work which you need to ensure you put time into, in order to remain in your clients’ [or prospects] consciousness. Think of a “slow- dripping tap”! Not sure what the difference between sales and marketing is? Here’s an easy definition for you… “Marketing is everything you do to get and leverage a client relationship. Sales is a one-on-one, non-automated (this caveat is necessary with “one-to- one marketing” being a popular buzz-concept) aspect of marketing.”22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  50. 50. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business Brand YOU – How You and Your Brand Develop Your Business Q: How do you think YOU will influence the sales your business makes? A: Massively. As a small business owner – you are the face of your business, you stand for your business’s brand and values, including customer service, delivery and follow-up. A business’s brand is very experiential, by which I mean, it’s completely tied in with how a customer experiences your business. This can be how they are treated by you, how they perceive your business’s physical brand [e.g. logo, website, marketing materials etc]. Don’t make the mistake of considering a brand is just marketing. It’s much, much more.22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  51. 51. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business Brand YOU – How You and Your Brand Develop Your Business So – how do I influence my brand? #1 Know what your business stands for [part of your Business Plan] and ensure this is clearly communicated in every aspect of your communications; #2 Develop your brand through customer experience, clever marketing and PR; #3 Deliver excellence and never stop reviewing how you operate – ‘can I do this better’?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  52. 52. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business Finally… the importance of Networking… • A subject which escapes or frustrates some is the importance of a network, and networking activities. • On top of standard marketing practice, networking is key in developing your business’s reputation – building contacts and awareness of your business within relevant communities is extremely important. • What do I need to know about networking? 1. It’s about building relationships and in so-doing, trust; 2. Never underestimate the strength of ‘weak ties’ – you don’t know who a connection may know – never discount this!22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  53. 53. Start-Up Item #3: Marketing & Promoting Your Business Finally… the importance of Networking… 3. Have your ‘pitch’ correct and succinct – e.g. have an approx 60 second ‘elevator pitch’ in mind when someone asks you what your business does… “My business is xx, and we provide solutions for xx in the area of xx”. 4. Don’t be a shark – but do know your ideal networking contacts. Make sure you’re attending networking opportunities with a sense of the ideal type of contact you wish to meet… whilst balancing this with a sense of appropriateness [e.g. not being perceived as aggressive!]. 5. Take opportunities to showcase your business / service – don’t be scared!22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  54. 54. How do we feel about marketing our business?!22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  55. 55. Thought it might be nice to hear from someone who knows quite a bit about entrepreneurship…22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  56. 56. Time for the break-out session!22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©
  57. 57. … any questions?22nd September Boot-camp for Start-Ups2011 ©