Business planning nuggets

Alan Levine: Golden Leaf
Golden Leaf: Alan Levine Flickr (CC0)

Can’t believe I’ve a year of my MBA under my belt (online learning with Edinburgh Napier). That’s:

-5 modules

-50+ units of work

-over 30 assignments and tests

I’ve learnt global economics, financing, supply chains, marketing, leadership and managing change and business planning. Although wallowing in the theories around leadership and change are my happy place, my unexpected favourites have also been economics, finance and supply chains.

The latest module was business planning and with an excellent remote tutor and small group of students from around the world, the learning has been a transformational journey. From breweries to a jewellery store, their ideas were inspirational and their feedback supportive.

Here are some nuggets:

  • Have a clear idea – can you tell it to someone in one sentence?
  • Know who your clients/customers are – and precisely how to contact them.
  • Not having enough cash is the main reason why start-ups fail – make sure you have enough money to survive the first year.
  • You can find out an amazing amount of stuff on the web – who your competitors are, gaps in their offering, market trends.
  • Break everything down – even your work flow – and then you’ve thought of everything.
  • Know your limitations, weaknesses, and try and acknowledge what you don’t know.
  • Have fun! There’s nothing better than sitting in your room and saying to yourself “I’m going to earn a million £ from this desk”. The dog looking quizzical from the sofa on the other side of the room.

Whilst I study I’m also aware of my privilege in being able to do so. With the time I’m saving not commuting every day, and money I’m saving on petrol, I am able to invest in this. I have also a very supportive husband who has had a very boring wife for many evenings and weekends. Although to my joy he has built a guitar and bass during this time so I feel less guilty.

I always used to tell students to have a Plan B, so this is mine. Watch this space? Well who knows!