My StartUp Plan, the latest publication from Enterprise Nation, offers a practical journey through the nine key areas you need to consider when starting a new venture. Co-author Brad Crescenzo, enterprise officer at the University of Brighton, explains why start-ups need a plan and what makes this book different from other business planning guides.
In our roles, people approach my co-author Clare Griffiths and I with a variety of ideas from local, socially-aimed ventures to those with product prototypes and technological ideas with global application and potential. Behind these ideas are usually a bunch of normal people, many of whom have done little or no planning and some of whom aren’t even sure what they wanted to get out of developing their idea further.
In most circumstances asking these people to write a lengthy business plan is a waste of time, but there are a variety of issues that all new ventures should consider as they start-up. One of the most useful things we can do is give people a chance to reflect upon their ideas and think through wider issues that might affect their chances of survival, growth and success. This is how the germ of our own idea started about four years ago and since then we’ve been looking at a range of issues surrounding business planning and trying to come up with a solution!
What makes My StartUp Plan different?
During the process of planning and writing the book, we became more and more interested in the following key areas:
Style: most guides on the market were lengthy documents, filled with dense text and jargon similar to reading a contract. So we decided to create something different to existing business planning guides, tools and aids that not only business graduates could pick up and use quickly and efficiently.
Personalisation: writing a plan should be hard work! You should use this valuable time to visualise how your venture will operate and any hurdles that might get in the way. Spending time upfront to think about how to best achieve your goals and solutions to potential problems can prove to be a worthwhile investment in the long run. So we wanted to create an experience that would appeal to different people with different learning styles and personal preferences for recording information.
Flexibility: a business plan isn’t a static document which is written before you open your doors for business, but should be constantly revisited and updated to reflect new technologies, trends and opportunities. We wanted to provide something that was easy and simple to use that could be updated. We also hoped the plan would be used both by people with lifestyle businesses, who typically have fewer issues to think about (therefore creating a shorter, customised plan around issues important to them), and also by those with bigger ambitions, who can build a more traditional plan from our guide ready for banks or investment.
So, My StartUp Plan is a user-centred, accessible tool that will help you analyse the viability of your ideas and help you to create a project plan, so that you can turn your idea into a reality.
We’ve had some great feedback during the testing stages and are delighted to be able to offer this book to the next generation of entrepreneurs striving to bring positive change into all of our lives.
Get My StartUp Plan for £5
My StartUp Plan is a practical guide for new business-owners written by Brad Crescenzo and Clare Griffiths of the University of Brighton, two experienced business support practitioners who saw a need for a simple guide for their clients struggling with writing their first business plans. It’s available as a downloadable ebook from the Enterprise Nation shop and comes with a free business plan template.