Some thoughts on start-up for CSA Projects


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A short presentation to a group of people interested in setting up a Community Supported Agriculture Scheme.
It covers very briefly:
Some things to think about in a social business plan
A step-by-step marketing plan
Sources of further support

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Some thoughts on start-up for CSA Projects

  1. 1. Step-by-step starting out <ul><li>Soil Association, 8 October 2008 </li></ul>
  2. 2. What I’ll cover this morning <ul><li>Some thoughts on business plans </li></ul><ul><li>What support is out there? </li></ul><ul><li>A few thoughts on relationship building </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who am I and what do I do? <ul><li>Training - market research, marketing, social business planning </li></ul><ul><li>Consultancy - social enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul>Photo from Ant Smallwood via
  4. 4. Business plans should… <ul><li>Inspire </li></ul><ul><li>Tell a story </li></ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul><ul><li>Help people to suspend disbelief </li></ul>
  5. 5. Before you begin - reflect <ul><li>What social impact do you want to have? </li></ul><ul><li>What issues are there that you want to address? </li></ul><ul><li>Aim - to put your idea into context </li></ul><ul><li>Try to suspend judgement - maybe CSA isn’t the solution to the social issues you identify </li></ul>
  6. 6. DIY market research plan <ul><li>Aim: to become a Zulu in your chosen market </li></ul><ul><li>Find out about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitors and partners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free technology - & research blogs. </li></ul>Photo from shtt! via
  7. 7. So there’s need - but is there demand? <ul><li>Is a CSA the answer to the issues identified? </li></ul><ul><li>You may believe your community needs a CSA - but will they really pay? </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s be honest - you never can tell 100% </li></ul><ul><li>You have to make your best judgement - based on the information you’ve found out. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Now you need a plan <ul><li>A business plan is a work of fiction </li></ul><ul><li>To get people to believe it - you need to tell a good story </li></ul><ul><li>That story needs to be convincing and engaging </li></ul><ul><li>And it needs to be written in your tone of voice </li></ul>
  9. 9. Things you might include in your plan <ul><li>Your business from your customer’s point of view/summary </li></ul><ul><li>Your context - research </li></ul><ul><li>Your vision, your mission, and your key objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Your main activities - which will achieve the above </li></ul><ul><li>Information about who’ll be involved </li></ul>
  10. 10. Things you might include in your plan <ul><li>What money you’ll need to start out, what you will earn, what you will spend, and how you’ll manage your money </li></ul><ul><li>Nuts and bolts - operational issues </li></ul><ul><li>Legal issues: structure, liabilities, land ownership, planning… </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship building - your marketing plan </li></ul>
  11. 11. A monkey nutshell marketing plan <ul><li>Work out what market you’re in </li></ul><ul><li>Put your business in context - research </li></ul><ul><li>Work out who your customers are </li></ul><ul><li>Work out what you’re going to offer them (features) </li></ul><ul><li>Work out what’s in it for them (benefits) </li></ul><ul><li>Agree some key messages (tell them about your benefits) </li></ul><ul><li>Start building relationships - do some marketing </li></ul>
  12. 12. Things that might work for you Local events Pay per click ads Ongoing research Website Signage/A Frame Mailshot Networking Business cards Local leafleting Partnerships Stunt Be friendly Flyers/Posters Talk to people Sponsorship Launch PR - good news Blog E-newsletter Word of mouth
  13. 13. Things you might include in your plan <ul><li>What might go wrong - and what you’ll do about it (risk) </li></ul><ul><li>How you’ll know - and show - you’ve been successful </li></ul><ul><li>Where you’ll get help and support </li></ul><ul><li>What you will do next (action plan) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Some sources of support <ul><li>Business Link - , </li></ul><ul><li>Other local support initiatives - eg </li></ul><ul><li>Social Enterprise Coalition - </li></ul><ul><li>School for Social Entrepreneurs - </li></ul><ul><li>Other CSA’s and growing projects - not just in UK </li></ul><ul><li>For individuals - UnLtd - </li></ul><ul><li>Local Food, Soil Association and Plunkett Foundation </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other resources <ul><li>Forth Sector business planning guide for social enterprises </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  16. 16. Other resources <ul><li>Lots more info on all aspects of social business planning </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  17. 17. Other resources <ul><li>Your chance to change the world </li></ul><ul><li>Craig Dearden Phillips </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Blog about social enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>E-newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>0113 257 3942 </li></ul>