Live Entrepreneurship Bootcamp
Welcome to The Ultimate Enterprise Planning Bootcamp
Starting a business is never easy — there are so many elements to consider and hurdles to overcome when launching a company, but that’s where The Ultimate Enterprise Planning Bootcamp comes in.
Embark on a 16 step, bespoke experience that takes you through every step of running a successful business!
Each stage is designed to help you overcome any hurdle you are facing by providing a tried, tested and proven framework that our own experts used when they were in your position.
Each section of the Bootcamp is packed with easy to digest information, tools and activities that will see your business bloom and thrive with regular nurturing and care from our on-hand team of professionals.
My name is Tonisha, an enterprise educator and co-author of this guide with my son, Tyrique, a young entrepreneur who saw a golden opportunity.
At only 17, Tyrique knew that he wanted to own a business, so I gave him the necessary questions and checklists to consider before embarking on his journey to running a successful company.
In a eureka moment, Tyrique realised that the worksheets he used to map out his ideas eventually took the form of his very own personal business planner, and opportunity soon dawned on us; this planner is something that every budding entrepreneur would need.
And so our mission was clear: To help guide new entrepreneurs on their path to starting and running a successful business. The journey can be confusing and overwhelming, but this guide aims to transform those barriers and hurdles into useful tools and resources that will support you and your business.
Broken into five interactive months, The Ultimate Enterprise Planning Bootcamp covers all the necessary bases that are critical to achieving success as an entrepreneur, and will evolve and expand with you on your road to becoming a CEO.
This is YOUR comprehensive and personalised program that will grow and develop alongside you on your journey to success.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s get started!
Now we really start getting into it! Step Four is all about identifying and exploring your unique selling point and how it will solve a customer’s problem.
This section of the Planner provides you with time to really think about the scope of your business and what industries you wish to operate it. Be it purely online, a mix of digital and analogue, or just a local store, now is the time to decide how and where your products will be delivered to by answering the important questions seen below.
A product is a solution to a problem; a pain remedy that can be something as simple as a magazine that cures someone’s problem of not knowing what to wear this winter. This page is designed to have you think about what problem your product is solving and ways in which you can understand your customer’s issues by interviewing them and reading reviews of similar products.
Now that you understand the problem your customers want resolved, it is time to consider the remedy you are going to be selling them. This page will require you to consider what makes your product different from the competition and its unique selling point (USP).
The growth of a business can often rely on solid partnerships and collaborations in order to break into new markets, and this page will have you consider your potential relationships with other businesses, entrepreneurs and shareholders. Partners can have considerable sway over a business if their investment is big enough, so use this space to strategize and deliberate on the opportunities and threats they bring.
Every day, your business will be involved in various activities no matter its size or scope. Using this page, consider what you will do on a day-to-day basis in order to keep the cogs of your company turning smoothly and to avoid a backlog or build-up of essential tasks.
A unique value proposition, or ‘USP’, is what makes your business different from the rest. Using this section of the Planner, you can determine the benefits your company offers to customers and why they should come to you over your rivals by coming up with a value proposition that will entice new buyers.
This page is designed to have you consider the professional relationships with your customers and employees; a vital bond that must be maintained with regular nurturing across multiple channels and modes of communication. You will have the opportunity to consider additional factors such as how to empower your employees and engage customers on a deeper level than just selling to them.
Maintaining a strong relationship with your stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, followers) requires you to think about the communication channels you will be utilising to send your message and build those bonds. This page allows you to consider the various digital modes of communication such as social media and email.
This page has been designed for you to consider the various markets and areas in which you can sell your product, be it local, national, international or purely through word of mouth. Additionally, you will be able to determine whether your product is designed for a mass audience or a more niche market.
Getting to MVP
A minimum viable product is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development. Building an MPV comes with a number of important technical requirements that may seem stressful and confusing at first, but with the right amount of research into what customers are looking for, you can build a decent prototype.
Data is the lifeblood of any successful business; it informs every single decision big or small, drawing from multiple sources of research. Thusly, this page enables you to really consider the important research you need to conduct before your product goes live, such as the demand, industry, potential market share and demographics.
As you advance in your research about your target audience and product, you will inevitably discover new problems and issues that your business can solve for your customers. Using this page, you will be able to consider 5 additional concerns to provide remedies for.
Your unique value proposition, also known as ‘USP’, is something you will determine using this section of the Planner. Here, you will be able to explore your business’ deliverable benefits, how it’s different to the competition and its overall relevance to the marketplace and potential customers.
Prior to making a finalised product, there is the drawing board, planning and the creation of a prototype. This section of the Planner is for considering the necessary components, elements, resources and production costs/requirements that go into manufacturing the first version of your product/service.
This page of the Planner gives you the opportunity to expand on the services your business provides and how they compare to your rivals and competitors. No matter how big or small the services are, this page is designed to get you thinking about their USP and the problem they are solving for your customers.
During Step 6, you will validate all of the ideas you have generated so far laying the foundations for data collection and harvesting by planning out surveys and focus groups as well as the necessary resources associated with quantitative and qualitative data gathering.
You will also have the opportunity to consider your business model and the places you can stress-test it, with a particular focus on using a compatibility matrix to ensure your ideas are in-touch with current trends and attitudes.
This section of the Planner is a space for you to consider what category your product falls into, as well as the components that go into the creation of your product and where you will source them from. Examples of what to consider include categories such as convenience products, speciality products, emergency products and shopping products.
Every product has a story and this is the space to begin tailoring it in order to entice and persuade customers to make a purchase. Consider the art of copywriting and how flavourful text can enhance the buyer experience while being clear and concise in what issues your product is solving for the customers. Get creative!
Stress-testing your business model requires you to consider the platforms in which to do so, such as industry events, surveys, forums and blog posts. Using this page, you are able to consider the various methods in which to test your business model with the general public who are ultimately the deciding factor in whether they will turn into a customer or another person of value to your business.
Surveys allow you to gather important data on opinions and societal trends, and this page will let you plan out where your surveys will be delivered to, who will be surveyed and what questions you will be asking in order to paint a picture on the perception of your product and business.
A focus group is a small collection of individuals from a diverse background, and most importantly, completely random members of the public. Using this page, you will be able to consider which stakeholder groups your focus groups will hone in on as well as its composition and the questions that will be asked during the session.
This page is designed to have you consider the resources that go into crafting an effective focus group, such as who will be involved, the location, venue, travel cost, incentives and time frame for the session. You may wish to consider how to incentivise people to attend the focus group and make it worth their time and how to encourage their participation.
No focus group is the same and they take on many forms depending on the context of your business, product and the questions you require the answers to. Extra things to consider for an effective focus group depends largely on your imagination and the scope of your research, but this page will give the opportunity to note down anything else you can think of that might be important for hosting your first session.
Validating your products and services is done through the collection and analysis of hard data gathered from the various research methods at your disposal in the digital world. This section of the Planner gives you time to think about the feedback you have received for prototypes/mock-ups and from focus groups, allowing you to make the necessary changes to your product or service.
The Compatibility Matrix is a tool to determine the compatibility of two or more entities to find the most logical and realistic outcome. In the context of running a business, the Compatibility Matrix allows you to analyse how well your product/service fits into the current market while considering the financial requirements of distribution and supply.
Following the research methods covered previously in the Planner, this page allows you to build a business case outlining all of the validated facts you have gathered so far in order to bring more clarity to your venture. This is also an excellent opportunity to review the reasons for starting your business and the solution is selling to your prospective customers.
A carefully-crafted product that is validated by data from your research now requires proper marketing! Step Seven will see you explore the many facets of promoting your product, starting with identifying its market, key audience, who is the most likely to buy, your competitors and ways in which you can join the conversation. All this will lead into creating a customer persona; a reflection of the ideal buyer of your product!
This section of the Planner provides you with a great opportunity to really hone in on your target market by determining the ideal demographic of who would be interested in your product or service. Additionally, you can use this space to determine what type of person your typical customer is, such as their background, location, buying habits, hobbies and careers to provide more accuracy to your future marketing.
Identifying the deeper psychology behind the mind of a consumer is the purpose of this page, allowing you to delve into the societal attitudes that drive trends and dictate what products are successful. In this section of the Planner, you will also have the opportunity to further refine the solutions your business is solving for prospective customers.
Timing the release of your product is a key strategy that is easy to learn but hard to master. This page of the Planner is dedicated to planning and scheduling the release of your product and service, and deciding whether you want something seasonal, constant or a one-time release. In addition, you can use this section to consider how to track website traffic.
Using this page, you can explore your competition and discover their strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities as well their conduct in the industry. In addition, you will have the opportunity to analyse your rivals’ customers to determine why they shop with your competition, enabling you to better strategise and adapt your tactics when marketing the final version of your product.
Communication is a vital element in keeping a business alive, and the conversation surrounding your product ultimately leads to creating a perception, thereby forming a reputation and adding validity to your brand. Using this section of the Planner, you can plan how to join and lead the conversation across multiple channels and platforms of media.
This section of the Planner is designed for you to consider the various methods in which potential customers, clients and other stakeholders can contact you, be it via the phone, social media, email or instant chat feature found on your website. Additionally, you can use this to consider how to call your potential clients/customers to action on your website or social media.
Considering the right channels to communicate with is a vital element in connecting with key prospects, be they clients, customers, press or potential partners. Using this page, you can strategize on the core principles of marketing, otherwise known as the ‘4 Ps’, which are: price, place, product and promotion.
A stakeholder is someone who has a stake in your business, such as a customer, client, shareholder, social media follower, journalists and employees. This section of the Planner gives you some time to think about who your stakeholders are and then build a persona based on how you think they will interact with your business as well as their thoughts and feelings regarding your products and conduct.
Now it’s time to determine who you are going up against in the marketplace! Within Step Eight of the Bootcamp, we will cover how to identify your rivals and figure what they do best and why customers are buying from them, enabling you to benchmark your product to meet industry standards, and then eventually exceed them! We will be considering your competitor’s social media, advertising campaign, content, value proposition, events, their community and their customer profiles.
This section of the Planner is all about coming up with a battle plan to combat the competition by considering how they operate online, their communication techniques, marketing strategies, promotional content, product performance, reviews and relevancy as a merchant. On this page, you will have space to consider your top 20 competitors and analyse why they’re so popular.
A solid brand requires nurturing, care and regular maintenance to remain relevant and in the minds of your customers, so this page is designed for you to consider the platforms you can use to house your brand. In addition, you will have the chance to consider promotional material for your brand such as business cards, logos, online content and any merchandise you might want to start selling further down the road.
Every business needs to boast its unique value in order to bring in customers and beat the competition, so this page is designed for you to start building on your elevator pitch and being able to sell your business in under two minutes. You will also have the chance to explore your brand narrative and the markets it will be most successful in, be that local, national or global.
Promoting your business’ products and services requires fresh, original content that is both engaging and interactive in order to enhance the buyer experience. Using this page, you will be able to consider what type of material you think would best reflect your brand as well as the tone you will employ to engage with your target audience.
A strong social media presence requires you to strategize on various important elements such as the best platform, when to post, influencers/conversation leaders, metric tracking software and other analytical tools. This page is also for noting the ways in which your rivals operate on social media and the types of followers they attract with their content.
Keywords feed into something called search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO. SEO governs what results a customer receives when searching for particular things online, so this page is designed for you to consider the keywords associated with your product and what your potential customers are searching for when trying to find a solution to their problem.
Like marketing, advertising is a form of product/service promotion that is designed to generate sales and revenue, rather than engagement and brand credibility that a public relations campaign would bring. Using this page, you are able to consider the platforms, message, format and budget for your advertising, as well the goals you wish to accomplish with your promotional content.
A marketing, advertising or PR campaign is a necessary component to increasing the popularity and profits of your business, and using this page, you will be given the chance to plan your own campaign. This section of the Planner is also a great space to consider the buyer experience and how to close the sale by putting yourself in the shoes of an average customer.
To build credibility and popularity, businesses host online and offline events that carry various themes and purposes, such as fundraising, drawing attention to an issue, celebrating an achievement and so on. Using this page, you can come up with some event ideas and the necessary elements that go into making a successful session, such as cost, resources and attendants.
A powerful public relations tool is community engagement; a strategy in which a business seeks to reach out and connect with their stakeholders in a meaningful way to make them feel involved or to simply give something back. This page is designed for you to consider different tactics to engage your community, and the actions you will take to make the experience a positive one.
The Branding Book
Building and marketing a product requires your business to have a consistent image, otherwise known as a ‘brand’. During Step Nine, you will learn all about how to create a brand that reflects your values and mission statement, while also exploring the best channels to communicate your brand across.
If you haven’t already, it is now time to really finalise the name of your company. This section of the Planner will let you think about themes and connotations surrounding different names, such as whether or not you wish to opt for something more humorous in nature or strictly corporate and no-nonsense. Be creative!
A business needs a face, one that must be simple yet memorable to your customers, clients and other stakeholders. Using this section of the Planner, you will be able to plan out the surrounding elements of what makes a great logo, such as its design, composition, balance, colours and format.
The first and major milestone of any new business is the acquisition of your first three customers, and this section of the Planner allows you to visualise who they are, their personas, reasons for buying from you and the value they provide to your brand and business overall. You will also be able to analyse their current suppliers and benchmark your product based on what makes them so popular.
Profiling your competitor is an important aspect of gaining a better understanding of how they think, feel, operate and persuade customers to buy their products over those of their rivals. Using this section of the Planner, you will be able to analyse the position of your competitor and discover ways in which you can be as popular as they are.
Using this section of the Planner, you will be able to segment your market in order to provide better accuracy in the marketing and sales of your product by considering elements such as market size, location, value and the needs, wants and desires of your potential customers.
PESTLE is the abbreviation for political, economic, societal, technological, legal and environmental impacts that surrounds your business. Using this page, you will be able to consider those very factors and how they will impact your dayto-day operations and relationships with your stakeholders.
Every business needs a home; a store front to welcome shoppers and display everything you have on offer. Step Ten takes you on a comprehensive exploration of what is required to craft an effective website by planning the layout, design, text and other elements that go into a domain.
Using this section of the Planner you will be given a chance to plan the creation of an effective web page by planning the necessary elements such as the name of the site, the overall theme, design of the pages and the type of content you want to publish on the page. Additionally, you can use this space to review different website builders such as WordPress and Wix.
Every business has to hone in on a target market to sell to, and this page allows you to further explore the people and locations you are trying to reach with your product/service. Additionally, you will have the chance to bring greater detail to miscellaneous entities such as how to find leads, your promoters, review sites, influencers and bloggers.
Adhering to the highest quality standards is what benchmarking is all about, and this page will allow you to begin planning the ways in which to optimise your product, services, promotional content and communication techniques. In doing so, you will have the ability to reach the standards of your most popular rivals.
Blogging is an essential tool used by businesses to show the world that they have expertise and authority on a particular subject matter, one often surrounding their industry or sector of operations. Using this page, you will have the chance to determine the goals you wish to accomplish by blogging, but also the resources and personnel who will go into making it engaging and popular.
This section of the Planner has been designed to provide you with a space to begin planning the launch of your product and the actions you will be taking during the first three to twelve months. Also, this page is a good place for jotting down any additional notes on where your business will be and look like depending on the actions you take during the early stages of production.
This section of the Planner is designed for you to explore the methods in which you will accumulate your first 100 subscribers/followers on a single social media channel, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. In addition, you will have the chance to categorise your followers and provide more detail to your client profiles with elements such as digital trends, who they follow and what they like to do online.
In business and marketing, the UVP (unique value proposition) is a statement that clearly tells your potential customers how they will benefit from your offer, how your products or services will address their needs and solve their problems, and what makes your offer different from the competition. Using this page, further explore and define what makes your product/service unique while trying to imagine you are standing in front of a board of investors who need to be wowed by your pitch.
Step Eleven takes you on an introspective journey where we will be conducting research into the day-to-day operational impacts on your business, such as the key drivers of your business, sustainability, risks and cost management and competencies and cultural significance.
The-day-to-day operations of your business need meticulous planning, and this page will allow you to consider the various resource requirements and drivers that will keep the cogs of the company turning. Also, you will have the chance to explore your business’ competencies (what you excel at) and how to support cultural change by promoting diversity and inclusion.
A strategy cascade is the process in which you disseminate your organization’s overarching strategy, and using this page you can develop supporting tactics such as: planning your growth and expansion, conquering the market, configuring your business to adapt to big changes and how you will invest in the business and how to manage priorities and risks.
The Boston Consulting Group’s product portfolio matrix (BCG matrix) is designed to help with long-term strategic planning by considering growth opportunities and reviewing your portfolio of products to decide where to invest, to discontinue or develop additional products.
Using this page, you can analyse, predict and prepare for any eventual wins and losses by deciding on how you will monitor where you went right/wrong, in addition to using collected data to prevent losses by developing collection and storage methods.
Costing It All Up
Money! Profits! Revenue! Resources! They are the lifeblood of your business and likely the reason why you started a company in the first place. Finance and resource management is the focus of Step Twelve, a session that provides an essential framework for the planning of resource acquisition and allocation, be they digital or physical.
Using this section of the Planner, you can explore your primary sources of income by determining which products/services make the money and their respective costs. This is also a space to differentiate income, profits and revenue in order to better manage your finances and resources, especially if you plan to hire employees.
Your suppliers are one of your key stakeholders and must be paid on time and your relationship with them nurtured in order to get the best deals and perks from the arrangement. Using this page, you can explore the best options out there when it comes to who can supply materials for your product so you can minimise the outgoing monthly costs and maximise profits.
Any product, big or small, has a production cost, and this section of the Planner has been designed for you to consider every facet and element that goes into the daily costs associated with getting your product onto the market and into the hands of your customers.
Using this section of the Planner, you can determine how much it costs to keep the business running on a daily basis and what entities are the biggest contributors to the outgoing flow of cash. This is also a good space to consider the scope of your business and to plan for eventual growth and the corresponding operational costs that come with expanding into new markets.
Resource allocation is the vital component to running a successful business, and this page will allow you to think about all the elements that will go into running your company, even if you are likely starting small and working your way up. Factors to consider include the financial, physical, digital and human resources along with their associated costs.
You either love it or probably hate it: it’s the legal stuff! From patenting, copyright law and trademarking to employee contracts, every company must follow the laws of business to the letter, but luckily Step Thirteen will cover everything you need to know, such as: how to officially form your company, registration, tax, insurance, hiring staff and business banking.
Officially forming your company will require you to think about the less flavourful and engaging elements of running a business such as tax, registration, insurance, hiring and firing, banking for your business and anything else you think might be uniquely associated with your business. This page is also a good space to start thinking about whether or not you need help from an accountant or solicitor.
Copyright laws govern your intellectual property and who can use your brand/idea to trade with and generate income. Using this section of the Planner, you will have the chance to explore whether or not you need to copyright one of your products and the ways in which you will monitor compliance to ensure you remain within the boundaries of the law.
A patent is a government authority or licence conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. Using this page, you will be able to consider what elements in your business should be patented and licensed.
Getting your first client and then hiring employees is the first milestone in the growth of a business, and this section of the Planner will enable you to plan out the elements required for building client and staff contracts. Things we will cover include how to create an official contract and the surrounding laws.
Suppliers and their terms change frequently as new laws and regulations are relaxed. Using this section of the Planner, you will be able to research and consider the terms of agreement with your suppliers and how to remain up to date with any important changes that could affect your business dealings.