Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Unplanning The Community

Ever since I discovered a couple of years ago, I've been a huge fan and have bunches of their business cards, stickers and postcards to prove it. Before Moo came along I’d spend up to £250 getting business cards designed and printed. Now you can get cards done for under £25 and even choose different backs for each of your cards. What a game-changer!

And that’s been their success, such a cost effective solution that customers can change business cards whenever they fancy refreshing their marketing. As well as traditional business cards, I’ve used cards to promote my books, created personalised postcards for clients and have had stickers made to promote my books, plug my session at South By South West and even had stickers featuring my kids to put on thank you cards.

Moo have assembled a great community of like minded folk: the ‘I have an idea’ generation, start-ups, freelancers, small businesses, those with hobby businesses - so it’s a great fit with the spirit of Unplan Your Business. I’ve just written a short column on business unplanning for Moo's 'Expert Tips' pages: CHECK IT OUT HERE

Thursday, 23 September 2010

If the risk is low, press ‘go’.

So a friend told me about this entrepreneur. He’s planning on setting up a retail business. The idea’s been over a year in gestation. He’s spent 12 months trying to secure his ideal premises, he’s been thinking about price promotions to offer, he’s even got staff t-shirts branded and ready to go. He’s played around with different financial models on spreadsheets.

Great. His idea has gone off the laptop and into the real world.

But the problem? He’s not actually done anything with the business yet - he hasn’t made it happen. Rather than get t-shirts done and spend months searching for premises wouldn’t it be more effective to launch and test his idea? Take a market stall somewhere to test his products. Talk to a landlord of an empty shop about having a ‘pop-up’ shop for a month trial, even trading online to crowd source and test demand. He could kick-off the business like that in a flash. Getting t-shirts made for his non-existent staff is the least of his worries! If the risk is low, he just needs to press ‘go’.

(Yep, he just needs to #unplan it)