WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. See full guidelines here.

Live webchat with former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard on all things business and entrepreneurial, Friday 18 May, 12noon

(63 Posts)
PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-May-12 17:20:37

We are delighted to welcome former BBC Dragons' Den panellist Doug Richard to MNHQ for a live webchat on Friday 18 May at midday. As a serial entrepreneur, Angel investor and all round business guru who has delivered instruction to more than 10,000 business owners with help from universities, public institutions like the British Library and philanthropic organizations like the Royal Institute of Great Britain, Doug is in a great position to answer questions about how to start or develop your own business.

Doug is also the founder of School for Start Ups who will be working with the Mumsnet Academy on a programme which addresses the 10 essential questions you must be able to answer about your business in order for it to succeed. There's not much Doug doesn't know about business so please join us this Friday at 12 midday, and if you are unable to make it, please post a question on this thread in advance.

GentleOtter Tue 15-May-12 19:01:02

Welcome Doug,

I would like to ask if you could offer any advice to school leavers with special educational needs how they go about starting their own business?

Thank you

Get0rfMoiLand Tue 15-May-12 21:53:21

I really like Doug - he was on Dragons Den when it was a bit more serious and less of a reality show like it is now. He was always more interested in the technical innovations if I remember correctly.

BoffinMum Wed 16-May-12 07:56:21

I lead a group of academic researchers. We think we have found a way for GP surgeries to track whether people are in the process of getting early stage dementia, that involves computers. It would cost each GP surgery peanuts, but has the potential for good profits here after NHS reform in 2014, and even bigger ones in the US, plus great benefit to society. Except nobody will give us any money for proof of concept funding, and without this we can't access university facilities and NHS patients to trial the product. Suggestions? We only need £50k at the moment ...

IrnBruAddict Wed 16-May-12 08:18:12

Hello, I'd really appreciate some advice on the following please. I've had a couple of product ideas which I'm fairly sure there would be a market for. However, I work full time, have 2 young children and a not unsubstantial amount of debt... There's no way I can ever develop these ideas, is there?!

ASillyPhaseIAmGoingThrough Wed 16-May-12 22:35:41

I was thinking about starting a small business, with would involve something I am trained in and something I have no qualifications in, that go together. I have a disability that means I can't practice anymore, so was thinking of doing the reception, and managing staff.

I have no idea how you would go about finding out if you would make money at a business, how much things cost, where you would find out about accounts, tax, marketing, employment law etc.

I am finding it hard to get back into work after bringing up my family.

I want to work and work hours that suit my medical needs and there is a low chance someone in my position can get a job, not worked for years, needing certain hours, and not being as mobile as I was when I worked before in the middle of a recession.

Is there somewhere you can suggest that helps people starting out with information, that does not cost too much?

hartleyhare Thu 17-May-12 13:30:05

I have thought for years about opening my own play area for children, however i dont know where to start! I have so many ideas and plans but need advice on how on earth to get the ball rolling?
Thanks in advance smile

LIF Thu 17-May-12 15:23:25

Hi Doug

I am a mum of 2 young children who lives in a small town where there isn't alot for families to do!! So I am thinking of opening a
Children's/ family cafe! I have enquired about some commercial units that are available for rent but to be honest I don't know what to next!

Please can you give me some guidelines on what to do next, in regards to business loans, employment laws, equipment purchasing/ hiring!!

Many thanks
Louise

GeeandTee Thu 17-May-12 17:28:03

DH is considering getting investment in his social enterprise that has been running for 7 years, but someone recently said that an equity investment into a small social enterprise could be a terrible idea for two reasons: first, it is unlikely to monetarily value the social impact (which wouldn’t show as financial revenue stream) and second, there’s unlikely to be an exit for the investor, which again could skew the valuation.
 
Could an investment work, or should he seek further loan-capital?  (and would someone do that interest free do you think?)
 
Thanks!
 

JOSC Thu 17-May-12 17:57:17

Hi Doug,

I wondered if you had any advice about how to obtain grants for funding the promotion of a small home business such as mine, see www.jccopy.co.uk.

Do you know anyway of obtaining these for marketing my business?

Thank you
Joss Crispin

Solo Thu 17-May-12 18:14:13

Hi Doug, welcome to the vipers nest! grin

I have a good idea for a child safety 'thing' wink, but don't know how to go about getting it started. I have no money, so how can I get it off the ground please?

whoseideawasthepuppy Thu 17-May-12 19:43:56

Hi Doug,

We are starting an online subscription business and have £25K to put towards start up costs. We are interested to know how much of our budget should go on Branding and Website, given that we will have no other shop front?
Should we use the bulk of the money to test the product/ market research
or
Should we use the bulk of the money to have an agency create a brand and a website?
or
Should we save the money, do our own naming and design and branding and use the money elsewhere?

Any other top tips most welcome.
Many thanks

camdenflick Thu 17-May-12 19:52:49

Hello Doug

I'm sure my question will be of interest to others too: how does one go about pitching a home made/designed product to the buyers at a high street supermarket or big-name store such as Habitat or Debenhams?

Many thanks in advance.

onemother Thu 17-May-12 20:56:23

hi i have wanted to start my own bussiness for a few years and had a stall in petticoat years ago but i am in a steady secure job, and a little wary as you see small bussinesses closing all the time, i have lots of finacial committments. what would you suggest, by way of staying in my full time job but starting somthing small, from home or at the weekend.
thanks
lorna

somanymiles Thu 17-May-12 21:02:20

I second the questions about where to get information about the myriad of things you need to think about when starting your own business. Also, how much of your own money do you need to be putting in? If you are going to ask your bank for a start-up loan what percentage of the money you need should you ask for?

jenn4 Thu 17-May-12 21:08:34

Hi,
I have an idea for a range of products and an interactive website that will benefit children and the environment. I have researched the idea and cannot find anything similar. I am a stay at home mum, and have little capital. Are there people/ places/ organisations whom I could pitch too to get investors or grants to get it going?
Thanks

alicimo Thu 17-May-12 22:15:41

Hello Doug,
My name is Tara. I have worked as a children's nurse for the past 5 years, organising overnight stays and play provision for disabled children with a group of very talented playworkers. We all now face redundancy as our employer Camden Council is outsourcing all provision. We want to continue and develop what we do, hopefully offering provision to children who do not meet the increasingly high criteria of local authorities but would really benefit from the outdoor experience, making new friends, building fires, night time walks etc. We also hope to offer city children some luxury..more glamping than camping! We have already registered as a social enterprise, and are awaiting charity status and really want to start the ball rolling. We would be very grateful for any advice or help you can offer. Thank you, Tara

Twojacks Fri 18-May-12 09:02:57

Hi Doug,

I have an idea for a niche software product aimed at micro businesses for which there is a potentially huge national (up to 100,000 customers in this sector) and international market (unknown number of customers) and very few competitors which all appear to the targetting national UK market. I want to do some in depth market research prior to trying to finding a finiancial business partner with suitable contacts. What route would you best advise for market research?

Regards,
Stuart

Hi Doug, thanks for giving this chance to mumsnet!

I'm returning to work as a physio after 8 years at home. Can't get a school-hours-school-term job in the NHS (fancy that!) so am setting up my own private domicilary service, will be visiting mainly elderly folk in their own homes. That's what I did in the NHS, and the waiting lists are getting longer - and we live in an area with lots of affluent seniors.

I have bought a "clinic-in-a-bag" and a "gym-in-a-bag" and am ready to go.

The only problem is that I am obliged to maintain my training, which as a sole practitioner is not easy to do...so, I approached an established physio clinic who currently do not offer my service and suggested a "friendly working business arrangement" whereby I'd join in their training programme and pick off the domiciliary referrals they don't want.

They would actually like me to join their team and set up under their banner - which is great, means I'll have professional support, admin support and holiday/sickness cover.

In return, I'd pay them a split of what I make - they are suggesting 70:30. Would you say that is fair?

I've got until October when this arrangement will hopefully be contracted between us - suppose by then I proved that there is work, that I have a good plan of how to progress things and it is profitable, would 70:30 still seem fair?

thanks in advance
kisses to Evan,

KINGBABA Fri 18-May-12 10:35:18

Hi Doug,

My new start-up mummy business www.doodleboobaby.co.uk is actively trying to increase visitors to the site. What are your top tips about coverage in old school media and getting your foot in the door?

Many thanks
Alison

Ingles2 Fri 18-May-12 11:35:31

Hi Doug
I am getting ready to open a craft shop in my local chocolate box town...
I've spent a long time on my business plan, have talked to lots of people and I think I'm just about ready to go for it..
however ... I'm absolutely petrified of going for it... everyday the world economic news gets worse, small shops are closing daily,
IYHO, would it be better to sit tight and wait to see what will happen in the next couple of months? or do you think if your business plan is good, you should go for it, regardless of the economy?
The thought of losing my family savings / safety net is giving me sleepless nights so any advice gratefully received.

Raspberrypip Fri 18-May-12 11:58:30

Hello, my husband is about to start a business in general maintenance and possibly chimney sweeping. We have been told by one insurer that they will give him the necessary third party cover only for three trades, but he is likely to be doing kitchen fitting, plumbing, decorating, chimney sweeping, door hanging, garden maintenance and several other trades too. We are not sure where we should go to sort out insurance to cover the wide range of trades he is able to offer. Can you advise? Many thanks!

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-May-12 12:00:06

Hi everyone,

Please extend a warm welcome to Doug Richard and keep your business questions coming.

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:02:00

GentleOtter

Welcome Doug,

I would like to ask if you could offer any advice to school leavers with special educational needs how they go about starting their own business?

Thank you

Hi Gentle Otter
I think that someone with special needs faces the same challenges as everyone else these days. Before you start a business, any business, you must do the thinking and research that lets you start on the right foot. You need to know that there is demand for your product, a market segment, a pricing model, a business model, a distribution strategy etc.... Research first
oug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:03:25

BoffinMum

I lead a group of academic researchers. We think we have found a way for GP surgeries to track whether people are in the process of getting early stage dementia, that involves computers. It would cost each GP surgery peanuts, but has the potential for good profits here after NHS reform in 2014, and even bigger ones in the US, plus great benefit to society. Except nobody will give us any money for proof of concept funding, and without this we can't access university facilities and NHS patients to trial the product. Suggestions? We only need £50k at the moment ...

Hey Boffin, (I love that word we dont have it in the States) The best place for that kind of money is the Technology Strategy Board who focus on that kind of funding, the alternative are the regional proof of concept funds like they have up in Newcastle
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:04:58

IrnBruAddict

Hello, I'd really appreciate some advice on the following please. I've had a couple of product ideas which I'm fairly sure there would be a market for. However, I work full time, have 2 young children and a not unsubstantial amount of debt... There's no way I can ever develop these ideas, is there?!

IrnBruAddict
I wont disagree that it can be challenging but its not impossible at all. Many of the worlds most famous businesses have started at the kitchen table. And you can do alot of the initial research for free. I particularly like the British Library's Business Centre which offers all market research for free..
Doug

Ingles2 Fri 18-May-12 12:06:23

Hello Doug grin
Hope MNHQ have laid in a nice selection of biscuit for you

IrnBruAddict Fri 18-May-12 12:06:24

Thank you very much, Doug, that's encouraging! I'll go and have a look at the BL's business centre. Best wishes.

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:09:17

ASillyPhaseIAmGoingThrough

I was thinking about starting a small business, with would involve something I am trained in and something I have no qualifications in, that go together. I have a disability that means I can't practice anymore, so was thinking of doing the reception, and managing staff.

I have no idea how you would go about finding out if you would make money at a business, how much things cost, where you would find out about accounts, tax, marketing, employment law etc.

I am finding it hard to get back into work after bringing up my family.

I want to work and work hours that suit my medical needs and there is a low chance someone in my position can get a job, not worked for years, needing certain hours, and not being as mobile as I was when I worked before in the middle of a recession.

Is there somewhere you can suggest that helps people starting out with information, that does not cost too much?

Good afternoon, ASillyPhaseIAmGoingThrough;

This question comes up across a variety of posts. Where do I start when starting a business. The answer is with answering the key questions to determine whether you have a good idea at all, and what it will take to make the business successful. Ive been using the same 10 questions for most of my life to analyse my own business ideas and the ideas of others. I shall find them in a few minutes and post them here.
Having said that, its easy to ask the questions, answering them properly can be more challenging. I am running some bootcamps in the near future through my social enterprise, School for Startups, which will focus on this: how to analyse your business idea and answer the ten questions
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:11:45

LIF

Hi Doug

I am a mum of 2 young children who lives in a small town where there isn't alot for families to do!! So I am thinking of opening a
Children's/ family cafe! I have enquired about some commercial units that are available for rent but to be honest I don't know what to next!

Please can you give me some guidelines on what to do next, in regards to business loans, employment laws, equipment purchasing/ hiring!!

Many thanks
Louise

Louise
The next step is to develop a plan for your business, not rent the facility thats only one step amongst many. As a rule you are not likely to get a business loan for a new business. Banks rarely lend money these days to new businesses. You may have to raise the initial capital through family and friends or through one of the group funding sites like CrowdCube CrowdCube
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:14:52

GeeandTee

DH is considering getting investment in his social enterprise that has been running for 7 years, but someone recently said that an equity investment into a small social enterprise could be a terrible idea for two reasons: first, it is unlikely to monetarily value the social impact (which wouldn?t show as financial revenue stream) and second, there?s unlikely to be an exit for the investor, which again could skew the valuation.
 
Could an investment work, or should he seek further loan-capital?  (and would someone do that interest free do you think?)
 
Thanks!
 

GeeandTee,
Good question. There are some specialty investment funds that focus on investing in social enterprises. The leading one is Bridges Ventures here in London. Also your husband should talk to Unlimited a social enterprise that helps other social enterprises get funding.

As for the loan, a loan without interest is essentially a type of donation not a business activity. Whether you can get one will depend on the goodwill of the person lending. Your husband should also look at Kickstarter KickStarter for raising money for good causes from a crowd contribution approach.
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:16:26

JOSC

Hi Doug,

I wondered if you had any advice about how to obtain grants for funding the promotion of a small home business such as mine, see www.jccopy.co.uk.

Do you know anyway of obtaining these for marketing my business?

Thank you
Joss Crispin

Ingles2

Hello Doug grin
Hope MNHQ have laid in a nice selection of biscuit for you

Not a cookie in sight Im afraid, Guess they run a lean operation around here....

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:18:08

JOSC

Hi Doug,

I wondered if you had any advice about how to obtain grants for funding the promotion of a small home business such as mine, see www.jccopy.co.uk.

Do you know anyway of obtaining these for marketing my business?

Thank you
Joss Crispin

Im not aware of anybody who provides grands for promoting your business. You should be focussing on SEO and SEM strategies... (search engine optimisation & search engine marketing) The first is free and the second can be done in micro amounts
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:21:52

On a general note, I mentioned in an earlier reply that there are ten questions I focus on, for everyone's general benefit let me post them here:

1. What do we do that people need or want? - The Proposition
2. Who are they? - The Customer and the Market Segment
3. What is it worth to them? - The Pricing Model
4. How do we reach them? - The Channel
5. What relationship do they want to have? - The Relationship
6. Who is our key partner? - The Partner
7. Who are we up against? - The Competition
8. What do we have in common? - The Industry
9. What’s our key asset Key? - The Asset
10. What must we be good at? - The Competency

And if anyone is interested we will be running a 2 day bootcamp for people starting craft and home based businesses called Creative Country Business in June. You can find more info here CreativeCountry

And we are working with Mumsnet to do a broader How to Start a Business Course in Sept MumsnetCourse

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:24:36

whoseideawasthepuppy

Hi Doug,

We are starting an online subscription business and have £25K to put towards start up costs. We are interested to know how much of our budget should go on Branding and Website, given that we will have no other shop front?
Should we use the bulk of the money to test the product/ market research
or
Should we use the bulk of the money to have an agency create a brand and a website?
or
Should we save the money, do our own naming and design and branding and use the money elsewhere?

Any other top tips most welcome.
Many thanks

Hi whoseideawasthepuppy,
For branding and logos go to elance.com or guru.com and post your requirements or creativecupboard or 99Designs. These are all very low cost.

For your website you should consider Basekit or Moonfruit or Shopify and see if they will fit your needs. The web is full of very low cost solutions that provide great results

The bulk of your money shoud be spent on the getting the product to market

Cheers
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:26:47

camdenflick

Hello Doug

I'm sure my question will be of interest to others too: how does one go about pitching a home made/designed product to the buyers at a high street supermarket or big-name store such as Habitat or Debenhams?

Many thanks in advance.

Hi CamdenFlick
It is a good question. We recently had one of the buyers from TopShop do a pitching day at our School for Creative Startups programme here in London, she was quite adamant that being persistent, using email and the phone, sending over, in a concise manner everything they will need was the best way to get their attention....
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:29:45

onemother

hi i have wanted to start my own bussiness for a few years and had a stall in petticoat years ago but i am in a steady secure job, and a little wary as you see small bussinesses closing all the time, i have lots of finacial committments. what would you suggest, by way of staying in my full time job but starting somthing small, from home or at the weekend.
thanks
lorna

Lorna
Your concern is quite reasonable. It is a difficult time. But doing something on evenings or weekends can be a good way to start. For evenings the best businesses are ones where you get a group together and sell them something. There are quite of few of these type of businesses out there but you dont need to necessarily work with a franchising model. You could set out on your own. For weekends market stalls or pop-ups depending on what you are doing could be the way to go...
Doug

TantieTowie Fri 18-May-12 12:31:23

I'm a freelancer at the stage where you have too much work to do alone - and currently I'm outsourcing a fair amount to other freelancers. What's the next step in turning it into a business?

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:31:54

somanymiles

I second the questions about where to get information about the myriad of things you need to think about when starting your own business. Also, how much of your own money do you need to be putting in? If you are going to ask your bank for a start-up loan what percentage of the money you need should you ask for?

Hi Somanymiles
As a rule banks dont lend to new businesses. All banks look for two things when they lend: seviceability of the loan and asset backing. Serviceability means can you show that the business can pay the loan back. Of course a new business which doesnt yet have revenue clearly cant show that. Asset backing means that they secure the loan with the rights to an asset (like your house) if the loan goes bad.

Thus as a rule startups dont get loans

Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:32:50

jenn4

Hi,
I have an idea for a range of products and an interactive website that will benefit children and the environment. I have researched the idea and cannot find anything similar. I am a stay at home mum, and have little capital. Are there people/ places/ organisations whom I could pitch too to get investors or grants to get it going?
Thanks

You could try one of the many Business Angel groups in the UK. There is a group called the British Business Angels Association (BBAA) that lists the angel groups
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:34:08

alicimo

Hello Doug,
My name is Tara. I have worked as a children's nurse for the past 5 years, organising overnight stays and play provision for disabled children with a group of very talented playworkers. We all now face redundancy as our employer Camden Council is outsourcing all provision. We want to continue and develop what we do, hopefully offering provision to children who do not meet the increasingly high criteria of local authorities but would really benefit from the outdoor experience, making new friends, building fires, night time walks etc. We also hope to offer city children some luxury..more glamping than camping! We have already registered as a social enterprise, and are awaiting charity status and really want to start the ball rolling. We would be very grateful for any advice or help you can offer. Thank you, Tara

Tara
Sounds worthwhile. There is an emerging movement of social enterprises in this country that is worth plugging into...I would certainly say hello to Unlimited as they are all about helping social entrepreneurs
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:35:23

Twojacks

Hi Doug,

I have an idea for a niche software product aimed at micro businesses for which there is a potentially huge national (up to 100,000 customers in this sector) and international market (unknown number of customers) and very few competitors which all appear to the targetting national UK market. I want to do some in depth market research prior to trying to finding a finiancial business partner with suitable contacts. What route would you best advise for market research?

Regards,
Stuart

Stuart I mentioned it earlier but its worth repeating. The best place to do market research in the UK is the British Library's Business and IP Centre here in London. Its entirely free and they have collected up both the best offline and online materials in the world...
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:38:22

mybabyweightiseightyearsold

Hi Doug, thanks for giving this chance to mumsnet!

I'm returning to work as a physio after 8 years at home. Can't get a school-hours-school-term job in the NHS (fancy that!) so am setting up my own private domicilary service, will be visiting mainly elderly folk in their own homes. That's what I did in the NHS, and the waiting lists are getting longer - and we live in an area with lots of affluent seniors.

I have bought a "clinic-in-a-bag" and a "gym-in-a-bag" and am ready to go.

The only problem is that I am obliged to maintain my training, which as a sole practitioner is not easy to do...so, I approached an established physio clinic who currently do not offer my service and suggested a "friendly working business arrangement" whereby I'd join in their training programme and pick off the domiciliary referrals they don't want.

They would actually like me to join their team and set up under their banner - which is great, means I'll have professional support, admin support and holiday/sickness cover.

In return, I'd pay them a split of what I make - they are suggesting 70:30. Would you say that is fair?

I've got until October when this arrangement will hopefully be contracted between us - suppose by then I proved that there is work, that I have a good plan of how to progress things and it is profitable, would 70:30 still seem fair?

thanks in advance
kisses to Evan,

Evan
Sounds like you are off to a good start. I would analyse their offer by trying to put a value on what they are providing...and further what income that would leave you with. There is a case to be made for doing a hurdle each month and splitting 50/50 after that. The hurdle would mean that a certain amount of money goes to them up front first and then you split it equally after that. The size of the hurdle should reflect their hard costs each month...Its tough to know whether 70/30 is a fair split without knowing more numbers....
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:40:32

KINGBABA

Hi Doug,

My new start-up mummy business www.doodleboobaby.co.uk is actively trying to increase visitors to the site. What are your top tips about coverage in old school media and getting your foot in the door?

Many thanks
Alison

Nice website Alison. You should be focusing on three marketing tactics: PR (getting press to write about), SEO, search engine optimisation on the keywords your customers are likely to look on, and SEM, using googleads to target the same keywords.....That is how most site traffic originates
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:42:43

Ingles2

Hi Doug
I am getting ready to open a craft shop in my local chocolate box town...
I've spent a long time on my business plan, have talked to lots of people and I think I'm just about ready to go for it..
however ... I'm absolutely petrified of going for it... everyday the world economic news gets worse, small shops are closing daily,
IYHO, would it be better to sit tight and wait to see what will happen in the next couple of months? or do you think if your business plan is good, you should go for it, regardless of the economy?
The thought of losing my family savings / safety net is giving me sleepless nights so any advice gratefully received.

Ingles
You have every right to be concerned. It is tough out there right now. Many people would just say go for it. Im not sure I would say that. You have to be clear in your own mind that you have properly assessed the opportunity and that you have enough cash to carry you to cash flow profitability even if things dont go as well as planned....the most common reason for businesses to go out of business is running out of cash, not running out of customers
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:44:30

Raspberrypip

Hello, my husband is about to start a business in general maintenance and possibly chimney sweeping. We have been told by one insurer that they will give him the necessary third party cover only for three trades, but he is likely to be doing kitchen fitting, plumbing, decorating, chimney sweeping, door hanging, garden maintenance and several other trades too. We are not sure where we should go to sort out insurance to cover the wide range of trades he is able to offer. Can you advise? Many thanks!

Rasberry Pip,
Well that one insurer sounds like an idiot to be honest. I dont know off the top of my head who to go to instead but I would start calling LOTS of insurers and dont stop till youve got lots of competitive quotes and better understand the situation
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:45:47

TantieTowie

I'm a freelancer at the stage where you have too much work to do alone - and currently I'm outsourcing a fair amount to other freelancers. What's the next step in turning it into a business?

Sounds like you are a business. At some point you will wnt to hire someone rather than outsourcing. Youll make more profit that way. You cross the line when you know there is enough coming in to cover both of you...
Doug

Shakey1500 Fri 18-May-12 12:47:53

Hi Doug

What would you advise someone who has a brilliant idea but neither the capital or business experience? Who believes that this dea should be out there but that it requires a leap of faith.

I even wrote to Richard Branson and it's "on file" hmm

And what's your favourite cookie grin

Raspberrypip Fri 18-May-12 12:48:26

Thank you, Doug, will do as you suggest!

ASillyPhaseIAmGoingThrough Fri 18-May-12 12:48:54

* Thank you for the response *

On a general note, I mentioned in an earlier reply that there are ten questions I focus on, for everyone's general benefit let me post them here:

1. What do we do that people need or want? - The Proposition
2. Who are they? - The Customer and the Market Segment
3. What is it worth to them? - The Pricing Model
4. How do we reach them? - The Channel
5. What relationship do they want to have? - The Relationship
6. Who is our key partner? - The Partner
7. Who are we up against? - The Competition
8. What do we have in common? - The Industry
9. What’s our key asset Key? - The Asset
10. What must we be good at? - The Competency

And if anyone is interested we will be running a 2 day bootcamp for people starting craft and home based businesses called Creative Country Business in June. You can find more info here CreativeCountry

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:53:18

Shakey1500

Hi Doug

What would you advise someone who has a brilliant idea but neither the capital or business experience? Who believes that this dea should be out there but that it requires a leap of faith.

I even wrote to Richard Branson and it's "on file" hmm

And what's your favourite cookie grin

I thin you should come to one of School for Startup's courses actually. They are meant for you.... The two day course is CreativeBusiness and the one day course in Sept is in partnership with Mumsnet SchoolforStartups
Doug

DougRichard Fri 18-May-12 12:54:06

Shakey1500

Hi Doug

What would you advise someone who has a brilliant idea but neither the capital or business experience? Who believes that this dea should be out there but that it requires a leap of faith.

I even wrote to Richard Branson and it's "on file" hmm

And what's your favourite cookie grin

And I like any cookie involving slabs of dark chocolate

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-May-12 12:58:04

One last question for Doug anyone?

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-May-12 13:01:20

A HUGE THANK YOU Doug for all the fantastic advice! For anyone who has enjoyed today, please remember to sign up for a course!

Shakey1500 Fri 18-May-12 13:08:51

Great web chat. Direct answers, no wishy washey, clear and helpful links.

grin

BIWItheBold Fri 18-May-12 13:09:30

Fancy not giving him any biscuits!
grin

DorisIsWaiting Fri 18-May-12 13:22:52

really good to read this webchat, very helpful with good links. The 2 day course looks fantastic but at £495 is sadly out of my league (yet it covers exactly the area I am interested in).

TantieTowie Fri 18-May-12 13:35:57

Thanks Doug - hadn't thought of it like that...

Brill, thanks Doug - a hurdle is a really great idea. I don't want to haggle unreasonably, but nor do I want to be giving away more cash than is necessary. Tell you what, when I'm making a profit I'll buy you biscuits, 'kay?

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-May-12 13:43:18

DorisIsWaiting

really good to read this webchat, very helpful with good links. The 2 day course looks fantastic but at £495 is sadly out of my league (yet it covers exactly the area I am interested in).

Hi DorisIsWaiting, come on the course Doug is running alongside the MN Academy instead? It is much cheaper

Ingles2 Fri 18-May-12 13:57:56

Thanks so much Doug... really appreciated...
And shame on you PatrickMumsnet grin Where were the biscuit ?

poppyhattie Sat 19-May-12 07:55:39

I have arranged a load of music for saxophone quartet (there's not a huge amount out there for beginners or more modern stuff) - I would love to get them published and sold in shops/on the internet - I can handle preparing the scores as I have the technology to arrange the music and print it (although not with shiny covers etc - I can only laser print in colour on normal paper/card) but I don't have any idea on how to market and how copyright works so that I don't get into trouble with the original composers, e.g. Lennon and McCartney and classical composers. This has been a dream of mine for ages and I really want it to become a reality so I can carry on being creative and not have to teach teenagers in a comprehensive school until I am 107 or die, which ever comes first...
Please, please help me!! Poppyhattie

Solo Mon 21-May-12 13:39:16

Didn't answer my question! pffft!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now