Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Boost your business by Pivoting

As the Ash Cloud over Europe causes chaos forcing us to change our plans, it’s a reminder that we’re not in control of our businesses, and flexibility and adaptability are key to survival. A key tenet of #unplanyourbusiness is the ability to adapt our business idea on the fly, changing our model to meet demand or reflect user feedback.

Jonathan Moules wrote an article ‘A pivotal moment in the life of a start-up’ in the Weekend FT. ‘Pivoting’ is a term derived from basketball, where players move around the court. Moules quotes Mark Suster, partner at LA venture capital firm GRP Partners that the ability to pivot is one of the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur: 
“Every entrepreneur starts with an idea that they believe makes sense. But then your customers start using your products, your competitors come out with new offerings and your partners decide to launch a similar product rather than working with you. You’re forced to pivot on a regular basis”.*
 There are some great examples of pivoting in the article including Moo.com, Facebook and Twitter.

*Copyright Financial Times 2010

Friday, 16 April 2010

Why NOT having an MBA is an advantage for starting your first business

Yesterday I met Marianne Cantwell of FreeRangeHumans who did a video interview with me on #Unplanning. You can check out her blog post here and watch the video below:

Bored of books on 'business planning'?

If you're bored of books on Business Planning, download the free e-book 'Unplan Your Business' here. Already 3,000 people have checked it out...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Ben Kaufman: 7 Tips For Rapid Iteration

A principle at the heart of unplanning is iteration: the value of constantly testing and adapting business ideas to see what sticks. So I liked Ben Kaufman's post at the 99% website '7 Tips For Rapid Iteration'; Ben explains his career has been all about rapid iteration – generating lots of ideas and then quickly testing them to find the ones worth pursuing. Ben is the founder of Quirky, a social product development company that launches a brand new consumer product each week. He argues that success is about having lots and lots of good ideas:

"The trick is killing good ideas quickly and swiftly in an effort to focus on great ones. This requires being a ruthless prioritizer and relentless critic. You need to be able to sift quickly through a long list of ideas both good and bad, slicing and dicing until you end up with a great, effective, and elegant solution".

Friday, 9 April 2010

Rajeeb Dey: Learn By Doing

Rajeeb Dey is passionate about start-ups and taking new ideas to market. He launched his first business when he was just 17 and although he only graduated from Oxford University in 2008 he’s already carved out an impressive portfolio of business interests. He’s Founder and CEO of Enternships -a service connecting talented students and graduates to start-ups/SMEs, and now lectures students on enterprise and business. He advocates that if people want to launch a business – especially if it is web based where the barriers to entry are so low – that they should just do it. “Learn by doing, iterate and get feedback from the market, learn as you go along” is his advice.

Here’s his take on planning and his story of how he launched Enternships

If the video above does not display properly, watch it on YouTube here.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Guest Post On The Cube

I've just written a guest post for Red Cube Marketing's blog 'The Cube' aimed at small businesses operating in the digital space; about the need to have a fresh approach to planning to reflect the increasing need to be agile. Read it here.

Guest Post On Smarta.com

I've just written a guest post for Smarta.com about rethinking business planning with advice for anyone seeking to launch their business idea. Read it here.