What did we do when lockdown meant we couldn’t get 35 entrepreneurs together in a room for our BSEEN startup bootcamp? We did what the rest of the country has been doing and moved it online!
One challenge we faced was that with the best will in the world and no matter how brilliant our trainers are, we couldn’t expect you to sit for five days solid in front of your laptops. So taking on board advice from experts, we set up a 3 week programme of interactive webinars, with each session lasting 90 minutes. The other main challenge we faced was how to replicate the networking and support element of the physical boot camps which is such an important part of the support BSEEN offers. In our classroom based sessions nearly everyone comes away with a customer, supplier, collaborator and even co-founder for their new business.
So here is what we came up with, the format for our online bootcamp that have run very successfully in May and June:
A one hour session, delivered by our good friend Adrian Stevens from Edwards Accountants, covering the pros and cons of the two main business structures. This will help you to decide whether to set up as a limited company or as a sole trader, depending on the type of business you are starting.
The BSEEN team take you through the step-by-step process of registering a limited company with Companies House or as a sole trader with HMRC. By the end of this session you are officially a business founder!
In a two hour session in the morning you will meet the BSEEN team and your fellow participants on the bootcamp, as well as learning about the tech used to deliver the webinars. You will go off into smaller groups and share your motivations for starting your own business and for joining the BSEEN programme.
In the afternoon session Victoria Masso of Behaviour Hackers will encourage you to get into the Founder’s Mindset. She will help you craft your vision and share with you her passion for collaboration.
In the morning session, you will have the first of two business planning workshops delivered by Bernard Clarke of Know and Do. This session will introduce the business plan concept and structure; get you to assess your motivations; articulate your value proposition and set your goals for growing the business.
The second part of the business planning workshop will build on the topics from the previous session and enable you to identify your business model and profitability and assess your market and customers.
In the afternoon we host a BSEEN alumni Q&A session, giving you the opportunity to ask those burning questions of two BSEEN start-ups.
Two sessions on Digital Marketing, led by Stuart Harrison of Burning Need, who will cover how to find the right audience for your product or service and how to build an awesome brand for them incorporating a customer brand story.
In the second session Stuart reveals a playbook for launching your business on a budget.
Today is the day that Stephen Harris, an experienced international trainer, takes you through Startup Finance101. No one will get left behind as you work through a worksheet that demystifies a range of financial terms such as balance sheet, profit & loss, and cash flow.
Last but no means least is a session on sales. Warrick Harniess of Scandinavia Stories runs an interactive session, involving lots of group work, to help you appreciate the importance of storytelling in the sales process; understanding your ‘why’ and knowing your customers.
In the afternoon he turns his attention to helping you hone your pitching skills.
In the third week of the bootcamp, after a little space to allow you to reflect on what you have learnt, there are trainer-led follow up sessions for each topic, designed to enable you to take action and to participate in freestyle Q&A.
A WhatsApp group is set up for all the bootcamp participants to join so that you can ask questions of the BSEEN team, trainers and each other, to share useful articles, blogs, and free stuff and continue your conversations.
You will all have the option of pairing up with an accountability partner from the group who will be your number one cheer leader but who will also hold you to account on the goals and actions you set yourself!
Applications for our September 2020 cohort are now open! (until 1st August). Apply here now.