Being held accountable focused us on what we really needed to do instead of thinking about this massive idea …
… the bits you’re naturally good at you do, and the bits you’re not good at, you ignore. You’ve helped us, guided us and explained things to us that mean that now we know what we’re talking about.
TARA & CHARLOTTE
Tara and Charlotte had the idea to start an online educational hub for children aged 4-11 where they could explore extracurricular activities in a safe space.
They first got involved in the programme as Finsbury Business Centre, a shared workspace run by Islington Council, sent it to them and encouraged them to apply. They were looking for help and some seed funding for the business, but in previous meetings they hadn’t been successful due to the early stage the business was at and not knowing how best to navigate promoting themselves and their idea.
They found that the programme and process has been invaluable for them, and they learnt some key lessons while on it, including that they were jumping way too ahead of themselves in a rush to get their idea off the ground but are now far more focussed on the individual steps they need to take. Without the support of the programme and expertise of the consultants, they think they may have even stopped by now as they couldn’t see a way to enact their ideas.
However, the consultants helped to hold them accountable and break down their business plan into manageable actions, making them better aware of how they can go about doing things. It has also given them confidence to go back and pitch to other potential funders again and feel they would be more successful with the knowledge they have now.
They each took part in an ALS, one how to engage customers through social media, and the other on turning social media posts into real sales, which they found really thought-provoking. The sessions helped them to develop their questioning skills which they can now use when thinking through the business challenges they face.
“We would definitely have given up by now if it hadn’t been for this programme.”
They also balanced attending most of the masterclasses between them, including on financial planning and social media marketing, which they found highly insightful.
Charlotte and Tara used the funding to create an initial set of webpages to show to parents, their children, and potential clients including schools, how their platform would look to get their feedback. They used that feedback to develop a website to showcase more explicitly what their product will be and are getting ready to finalise the website and launch the business properly.
The grant from the programme has allowed them to create their platform, developing a range of content, editing and website development, which they wouldn’t have been able to do without the seed funding. The website is at the proof-of-concept stage and will go through user testing before it is launched.
Business Skills Guides
Download the ARE Business Skills Guide to Business Planning. Written by business consultant Tutu Adebiyi, this short guide tells you what to you need to think about when you’re planning your new business.