Don't just dream it, plan it: How the Make a Plan tool can guide your business

Don't just dream it, plan it: How the Make a Plan tool can guide your business

Posted: Mon 29th Apr 2024

We've partnered with Mastercard and Strive to give 650,000 British micro and small enterprises the support they need to thrive in the digital economy over the next three years and beyond.

One way we're doing this is through our online Make a Plan tool. Simply create an account, answer some quick questions about your business, then receive personalised feedback. You then use those recommendations to build an action plan designed to speed up your growth.

We're catching up with business owners who have benefited from using the tool and creating their own action plans. Here, we hear from Keisha Shah, founder of educational brand Teddo Play.

About Keisha and her business

  • Teddo Play is a much-loved children's educational brand. Based in Milton Keynes, it produces a variety of fun, engaging learning resources that aim to encourage conversations, spark intellectual curiosity and inspire a love of learning in children of all ages.

  • Keisha is an Enterprise Nation member and also an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 3 trained Business Mentor with the Association of Business Mentors, offering her time to mentor small businesses that are part of the government's Help to Grow: Management Course.

  • Keisha is also a business mentor with a number of local and national programmes and initiatives. She helps university students and start-ups to become entrepreneurs by taking part in real-time projects on topics around entrepreneurship, education, international trade and female entrepreneurship.

When you first started Teddo Play, did you know where to go for support? How easy was it to find?

I come from an educational and corporate background, so starting a business and learning the ins and outs of it was a steep learning curve for me.

I'd worked directly with business founders in my previous roles and their entrepreneurial spirit definitely rubbed off on me. But when it came to actually running my own business, it was a very lonely journey.

In the initial months, I didn't know where to look for support. There's also a lot of conflicting advice on social media and forums, which ends up causing stress and, at times, leads to expensive mistakes.

In business, you don't know what you don't know. Since my paths crossed with Enterprise Nation, I've felt really supported across so many aspects of running and growing my business.

What made you decide to use Enterprise Nation's support to tackle those challenges?

The resources, webinars, events, opportunities and advice that Enterprise Nation works tirelessly to provide for business founders is truly invaluable. The team go to great lengths to get the right support to their members.

They genuinely care for the over 5.5 million small businesses in the UK. The high quality of resources, the thoughtful selection of topics for webinars, the Lunch and Learn sessions and the team's accessibility and friendliness have all played a huge role in allowing my business to thrive.

They also helped me fight those thoughts of throwing in the towel in the first couple of years when your mettle gets mercilessly tested, not once but over and over again.


Get the right support to start and grow your business: Become an Enterprise Nation member for free!


How has using the Make a Plan discovery tool benefited you and your business so far?

Imagine you're going on a road trip. Without a map or plan, you might meander, get lost or miss key destinations.

The Make a Plan tool is clever in that it provides a well-defined plan that acts as your roadmap in business, making sure you're headed towards your goals and not wasting time and resources on irrelevant detours.

By laying out the steps to achieve your goals, Make a Plan lets you identify what's most important and allocate your resources accordingly. You become more adaptable and better placed to make informed decisions. You also get a confidence boost and a strong sense of direction and purpose.

How have Enterprise Nation and the Make a Plan tool helped with your development?

My business has been a project that's very close to my heart. The passion to take my learning resources to children far and wide and make a positive difference in the lives of our future generations have been the driving factors for me.

Despite the overwhelm that comes with running a business, I've always enjoyed learning new skills and honing the existing ones.

I was educated in economics and finance and spent my corporate career in languages and thought leadership project management, so sales and marketing were very new to me. Enterprise Nation has always been a go-to place for listening to experts, upskilling and adding to my knowledge.

Finally, what's the best advice you've received through Enterprise Nation?

The best piece of advice I heard when I was starting out was from Emma Jones, who told me to keep my day job as I build my business. I still continue to work on many different projects and assignments outside of my business.

Start-ups are inherently risky ventures. There's no guarantee of success. Keeping your day job lets you build your business gradually and lower the financial risk.

You can invest your disposable income into your venture, allowing for measured growth without jeopardising your livelihood.


Make a Plan: Start and grow your business with a free personalised plan

Start and grow your business with a free personalised plan

How? Create an account, answer a few questions, get feedback, then build an action plan to speed up your business's growth. Simple! Take the Make a Plan tool now

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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