As you will have seen in the fabulous ‘This Girl Means Business’ magazine that I was lucky enough to be featured in it, asking for advice on what a girl should do to get ahead starting her own business. I was totally overwhelmed at how much great advice everyone sent back and felt truly lucky to be part of such as special community of amazing people. So, thank you! I wanted to say thank you because I have started to follow some of the incredible advice. I feel like I’ve learnt a whole heap of amazing information and things are really starting to happen. So, let me tell you what I’ve been up to…
I attended a ‘how to write your business plan for finance’ at the Institute of Chartered Accountants sponsored by BAS (no, not the British Antarctic Society) the Business Advice Service. I popped along to the event which wasn’t the most inspiring affair in the world if I’m completely honest but all the same really quite useful. They emphasised the importance of getting some professional advice with your figures (admittedly yes, of course they would say this as it gives these kids more work, however, bear with me) and so the people there could ‘stress test’ the numbers you have attempted to conjure up in your head. I know a lot of it is hearsay with what you would like to earn and you need to try and be conservative with what you would like to make but also keep those rose tinted glasses on a little bit. The speakers talked about how to position your business plan depending on the type of funding you want which actually was really interesting. So, if you wanted to go to a bank for funding, then you needed to focus on your 3-5 year payback of the loan, and also (which is really quite scary) if you had any assets they could put against the business. Luckily for me, I only have my handbags and nothing else so luckily there will be no house or car against my future venture. Then they discussed if you wanted private equity investment or angel funding what you needed to focus on. They also mentioned about what things to really hone in on in your business plan and what key features you had to include. Now I know there is a wealth of knowledge on this subject but the speakers emphasised the content and positioning of the business plan which actually I had never really thought of. And being a sales and marketing girl myself, attending the event was actually super useful. I do however, understand why they have A LOT of wine at these places. If I had had some, I reckon I would have stayed for the Q&A session at the end to do a little heckling and make it a tad more exciting.
They also give you a free non obligation consultation (ok, I know I sound like I’m on commission for these dudes) which I think is actually useful for someone to give you some decent feedback on your figures who really doesn’t care about whether you make it or not. I think this is the best advice really as they don’t have a vested interest in your business so can sock it to you straight without any fear of feelings being hurt or relationships broken. I think the free consultation is actually worth its weight in gold a little as I contacted a beauty business owner recently who attempted to charge me £250 plus VAT for a four hour consultation on my plan! Er, I’ll give that one a miss thanks very much.
So, all in all an interesting evening where I learnt something. I figure, even if you learn a little bit, then it was a useful evening. Ciao.