"Dont wait to start your business... Start NOW!"
Most people quit. They quit because either they don't get the results they want fast enough. Or they have too many things going on and they flit between projects. Or the size of their expectation doesn't match the size of the effort that they are prepared to put in.
But you are not most people. You are different. That's why you're reading this post. You think you just might've found the project to get those results. And you're prepared to put in the effort, you have put in some already.
You need to keep going because you've lifted the lid on the cookie jar. You've thought about what life would be like if you could get your thing going. Pyschologically you've come too far to settle for a job doing something you don't want to do, going somewhere you don't want to go with people you don't want to see.
But how do you keep going? How do you get unstuck when you haven't made the progress you want to make? How do you keep going? The answer is in three parts:
This is part a: Patience, do one thing well (focus), massive action
This is part b: Chunk it, set goals, measure
This is part c: Persistence, fun and connection
This is part d: If you want to change the way you earn money, you have to change the way you think.
You know what you need to do.
Armed with nothing but knowledge, a video camera and YouTube, he started his business, promoted it through every online resource avaliable, "stormed the trenches" as he would put it and got it in front of his customers, building his audience.
Long story short, he set up his business in such a way that meant he had no risk, no cost and 100% passion. Just the way we like it! Take a look at the above video for more and why we take so much inspiration from not only his story, but his current work too.
Who inspires you?
We've told you who inspires us to carry on and keep going... We'd love to know yours!
Let us know in the comments below, or Tweet us @PopUpBusiness
Peter was a part-time athletics coach, living in the North of England. He was an engineer by trade and although he ran the factory, whenever there was an opportunity to put his skills to use he could be found on the shop floor tinkering with plant machinery.
When the phone call came through from Norway, the secretary knew exactly where to find him and sure enough he was bent over a machine, wrench in hand. The news that the runner he had coached for several years had broken the 800m World Record made him drop the wrench on his foot. From that day, the machine he'd been working on was known as the 'Jesus Christ machine.'
The Jesus Christ machine couldn't choose to accept the label or not. It's just a machine.
The labels we have, whether self-inflicted or given by others begin with a single event. They become our identity. Then we succumb to an incremental creep of available, convenient and supporting evidence and become a belief. Like the child who is called fat, or stupid will behave according to the label for life.
I've been systematically re-labelling to get better results. What labels do you really need to get the results you want?
The coach was Peter Coe and the phone call came from his son, Sebastian who, on 3rd July 1979, ran 800 metres in 1 minute 42.33 seconds at the Bislett Games, Norway.
So if cash is king and content is queen does that makes promotion the heir to the throne?
We're starting to create some really good content. We're not there by any means, but we're well on our way. So what? So is everyone. Your content might be amazing. Your products and service life changing but no one really cares. Actually that's the easy bit.
The difficult bit is to interrupt your customer's day and reach out with amazing content which grabs them by the nose hairs and leads them to your website and doesn't let go until they do whatever it is you want them to do. i.e. buy now, leave their email, subscribe etc.
Here's how you do it:
Yes THE Einstein. He knew one or two things about life, creativity, business and a whole lot more. But the question is, why does E=MC squared? Anyone reading this who has been to one of our workshops will have sat in excruciating pain whilst at this point I play hangman.
Well I got a D in Physics so rather than muse about the energy and light and unfathomable crap (important crap but gobbledeegook to me) I took the letters and substituted them to help start-ups. A kind of start-up business success formula.
E=ENTERPRISE - random aside - the word enterprise doesn't directly relate to business although it has been hijacked by successive governments to get people starting businesses. It means to undertake a difficult task with boldness and adventurous spirit. I'll say.
M=MOTIVATION - if you wake up tomorrow morning excited to work on your business, chances are you're gonna be ok. If you'd rather set fire to your eyeballs than make a sale, then Houston - we have problem, to coin a phrase.
C=CONFIDENCE - at PopUp, one of our principles is to "spend as much time building your confidence as you do building your business. Imagine this: two planet Earth's. Planet no.1 is where the confident people live. That's where the fun is, where the parties are and where the opportunities are in abundance. Unlike planet Earth number two, where the not so confident people live. There's not as much fun, nowhere near as much cash and definitely not as many opportunities.
As far as we know (unless you're a Star Trek fan) there is only one planet Earth. Which means if we can go about our day full of confidence, then opportunities will be flying out of the walls to meet us.
For all of these reasons, we show people how to make money doing what they love to do. They're more motivated, they grow in confidence but they spend more time in their business because it's what they love.
These are the foundations. We don't add the skills and the strategy until we've got the foundations right otherwise, in business terms, we're buggered.
For more help, subscribe to our YouTube channel. We're putting up videos faster than you can shake a stick at.
Quite a lot. A lot more than I thought possible. So my boy's scooter goes missing, probably liberated after being left outside our house in the evening. For the benefit of those without young kids, in 2016 when you're 7, your scooter is everything. It ranks right up there with oxygen, YouTube and cookies. But rather than get angry with the world and mope about the house (that was my my role) he asked himself these questions:
1. How much will a new scooter cost?
2. What can I do to get money to buy one?
3. How quickly can I get mum to help me make cookies for me to sell?
Bless him; he'd already figured out that a scooter wasn't going to reappear funded by the bank of Dad. I know what you're thinking: 'Is this going to be one of those smug parent blog posts, dripping on about how great his kids are?' I mean he impressed the hell out of me, but it's not a vomit article, I promise.
Lesson 1: The principle of changing focus
As adults we waste time on 'how did this happen,' 'whose fault is it' and my favourite which was drive around the streets looking for teenagers to threaten. The last one was moderately enjoyable, but not that helpful.
H's approach, by asking himself 'how do I make this better?' meant his creative brain spent time solving problems rather than getting 'aggy.'
Long story short, we buy the ingredients, he bakes cookies and then with a plastic box and a handmade sign he immediately embarks on the most brutal sales approach of them all - door to door cold-calling.
Lesson 2: The principle of no fear
This isn't about confidence, he's quite the introvert. It's just that he hasn't been uploaded with the adult apps: fear of being judged 1.0, or the fear of rejection 1.1. The fact that someone might say 'no' had zero impact on his willingness to act. If they say 'no,' I'll just knock another door was his attitude. He was happy to ask for sales until he got the results he wanted. The third batch, was perfect and he made £6.05. Only £122.95 to go. Good dollar when you're seven.
Lesson 3: The principle of immediate action
Most start-ups we meet don't take this kind of action. He didn't delay for a second. He went from concept to cookie sales in less than four hours. He had 10x'd his sales within 24 hours. We meet people who spend months writing business plans.
Lesson 4: The principle of persistence
He was hit with several examples of PDSS Syndrome (Parent Delaying Tactic for Sanity). 'Not yet,' 'maybe later,' etc but he was undeterred. He did not stop asking until the cookies were baking. The relentless persistence in the face of setbacks and reluctant stakeholders was a thing of beauty (and parental irritation).
Lesson 5: The principle of simplicity
So I helped him make a website which took about an hour and he pressed publish without hesitation. No doubts of 'it's not ready,' or 'I haven't got a logo' or the 'paypal buttons don't line up.' Then this happens:
H: "But how will people find it?"
Me: "We have to tell people it's there."
H: "How do we do that?"
Me: "We have to tell all the people you've sold cookies to and get mum to post it on Facebook."
H: "Can we do it now?"
Lesson 6: The principle of the narrative
No-one wants to read another dull Facebook post about their perfect children baking perfect cookies in their perfect family life except for Granny and the favourite Aunty.
But the story as to WHY he sold cookies was where the power of the business really sat. It made the wife share it with her Facebook friends (which led to more than £50 of sales and donations, which had a 10x effect on his first sales trip).
It was the story that helped him leverage angel investment without a business plan or sales targets (me, £30 worse off for the ingredients) and secure a volunteer cookie chef who wants the experience (the wife) and together they bake. The story also helped him secure two volunteer sales assistants who worked for free, whom he later rewarded with a cookie and a cheeky grin.
How to get to the story of your business? It's all about what people will want to tell their friends once they've bought. It's not the bag they're buying, it's the story of how it was made, or the designer who made it. It's not the cafe or the lattes they're buying, it's the story of how it began. It's not the cookies they're buying, it's how they came to exist.
So the seven lessons; change your focus. Ignore your fear. Take immediate action. Be persistent. Be utterly simple in your approach. Tell the story. Oh, and lesson 7 - look after your scooter.
So you start a new business. You make a decision to get going.
You work on the website, you work on the branding, you work on the product, you have funky new business cards printed, you beaver away tirelessly.
But there is one thing that all new businesses forget to do enough of...........
And it tends to be the bit that most of us are scared of............
And yet it is the single most important activity as a start up business.......
Have you guessed what it is yet?
What are you doing everyday to sell your product or service?
I speak to small businesses every day and when I ask them what they are doing each day to sell their service or product the answer is almost universally a blank look.
Ask yourself the question what I am doing every single day to sell my product or services?
Here are some ideas to get you started, that you can do every day:
The important thing is that you do something every single day that moves you in the direction of new business and customers. If you do this every single day then you will build up momentum and amazing things will start to happen!
Just don't get impatient, it won't always happen overnight. it might take time but persevere, keep going, keep taking action every single day and I promise you that the next sale will come.
I would love to know what is working for you at the moment. What sales methods are working for you to get customers at the moment? Leave a comment below.
Or for help with your sales and building your business come along to one of our up coming events.
Leave a comment below and tell us what sales methods are working for you
What is stopping you from getting started?
On what ever project that may be, starting a business, making more money, planning that first mini-retirement?
I consider myself pretty good at getting things done but just like anyone else i suffer from anxiety, doubt and not wanting to face the world! Sometimes all it takes is getting started and then things flow; but getting started can be the most difficult part of any project!
Recently I asked 40 want to be entrepreneurs what was stopping them from getting started and I want to share the results of the survey with you and give you some top tips on overcoming these barriers to getting going
Encase you can't read the small writing on the right of the chart the three main things that stop people from starting are:
Two of these are directly related to our mindset and the other could be said to be indirectly related to our mindset!
The number 1 thing that was stopping our want to be entrepreneurs from getting going was Confidence.
Confidence: the magic ingredient
Confidence is this weird thing that can stop us from doing anything or gives us the energy, drive and motivation to go out there and take on the world! My friend Simon who I co-founded the Pop-Up Business School with always used to say "spend as much time building your business as you do your confidence" and i think that is great advice for anyone. So here are three ways you can work on your confidence:
Money: the life blood of any venture
The belief "it takes money to make money" is one that keeps coming up every time we talk to people who want to start businesses. At the Pop-Up Business School we have started 100s of businesses without any money and we will show you how on the course. For now here is the secret in brief:
"Go and sell something to somebody" before you have created it and ask for the money up front before delivery. Sounds simple but that is it!
Focus: which of my 42 ideas should I start and what should I do first?
This can be a tough one. We had one lovely lady on the first ever Pop-Up Business School in Weston Super Mare that had 11 ideas for business and didn't know where to begin. Having too many options is paralysing.
The toughest thing to do is to pick one idea and get going. But what if you are wrong and pick the wrong idea??
That is the paralysing element of all of this. So our mantra is "fail fast and fail cheap" and you do this by going to sell your idea to a potential customer before you have even created the product. you will get a very quick answer and you will either fail fast and fail cheap or know that your idea has legs and you should pursue it!
We would love to hear what is stopping you from getting started, leave it in the comments below and we will give you some ideas of how to overcome it.
Of come to one of our upcoming events and we will help you start your business for free.
In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you ask for
Things to remember:
Your challenge this week is to ask exactly for what you want and to report back below how it goes!! Get out there and start asking the world for what you want,................
We ended up staying at the hotel Orquidea Del Sur even though it was over budget just so we could spend more time with Robert. We didn't buy dinner but we did pay to be in a location where we spent time with him.
Over dinner and breakfast he recommended books we should read, told us about his philosophy of life and entertained us with incredible stories. Not only was it an incredible hotel and inspirational space but we learnt so much in our few hours there.
2 things that have inspired me recently that I think will help you too:
You can make anything happen with the right people, books or seminar's to learn from and a lot of implementation!
What have you learnt from successful people in the past that has helped you in your life?
Check out this infographic which highlights it doesn't matter where you came from; if you have a dream and determination to start your own business, then you CAN make it happen. If these guys can do it, so can you!
At Pop-Up Business School we believe that with the right help and encouragement anyone can build their own business and start making money for themselves and their families. This has a positive impact on the way individuals feel about themselves, their families and the community as a whole.
Pop-Up Business School currently work in partnership with Housing Associations all over the UK to deliver a first class service to residents and members of the community in the area. We love to work with individuals to increase confidence, knowledge and skills. By the end of the two weeks we aim to help people achieve their first sale.
We believe in teaching people how to fish by providing them with the tools which will show them how to create and develop their businesses long after they have completed the course.
Upon completion of the course, attendees are invited to join Pop-Up Net, this is a virtual networking tool for Pop-Up Start Ups only and is a safe and secure environment where attendees can talk to others who attended the same course as them sharing hints, tips and ideas as well as being able to ask questions and raise concerns with each other or the Pop-Up Business School Team. The attendees also have the ability to link up with attendees from different courses around the country.
The Pop-Up team are a group of individuals who each have their own businesses but collaborate to form Pop-Up Business School, we bring different strengths and this results in 5 star treatment for those who attend the workshops.
If you are looking to start your own business but don't know where to start, don't despair, we pop-up all over the UK, keep an eye out on our upcoming pop-up events page for a Pop-Up Business School coming to a destination near you.
Our next Pop-Up TV Show will be Tuesday 28th January, 2014. This is an interactive show where you can contact us via Twitter or Facebook. You may have a new business idea and you are not sure how to start or you may have an existing business but would like some advice about how to increase your performance, please do get in touch. We love to hear from you.
It's the morning after the week before - what do you do now?
We had great fun working with you guys and helping you start your new businesses; here are our top 4 tips to help you keep inspired and motivated:
1. Focus on your big goal.
Keep in mind what your long term goal is. This will keep you motivated to keep going.
2. Be accountable to someone.
Find other people that are likely to keep you motivated, let them ask you questions about how your business is developing and what your goals are. This will help you keep focused and will encourage you to keep progressing every day.
3. Sell. Sell.Sell
There is nothing like your first sale! Get out there and sell something to someone. Make money, make it happen.
4. Do something every day
Take baby steps every day. Each small step is a step closer to your big goal
Remember you are not on your own! We are here to support you so get in touch with us and ask us questions, we had great fun working with you and we are looking forward to seeing you develop and progress.
Have fun and make it happen!
Check out this awesome video of 'Pancake Pete' as he is famously known in the resort of Alcudia, Majorca.
Prior to our holiday, we had found Pancake Pete on You Tube and decided that we must find him and taste these lovely looking
pancakes: I wonder how many other people have given him their business due to the power of social media?
As we neared his stall, we knew we were close due to the large crowd of people who were gathered on the pavement watching him create beautiful pancakes with such speed.
What struck me as we were watching him is that this man runs his business in a tiny market stall with his wife and daughter
and he makes a living out of it, enough to support his family.
He starts his work around 7pm each day and carries on making pancakes throughout the night on demand.
You only have to watch him to see how happy he is, he loves putting on an act and entertaining his audience and clearly it is
serving him well.
What is your passion? Research shows that you are more likely to succeed if you do something that you enjoy.
Are you doing something you enjoy?
We can help you: Come along to one of our workshops due to be held later this year at Poplar (London) or Weston-super-Mare
1. Create a tour of your city - Boston Pizza Tour Company
In March 2013 I travelled to Boston, Massachusetts to visit Harvard Business school and to have a few days break in Boston and travelling up the coastline to Maine, Portland and around. We had a fabulous time. Whilst we were there we heard about theBoston Pizza Tour.
Now Katie and I love Pizza, we love touring, exploring and learning about the local area so it seemed like the perfect thing for us to do!
Our tour guide was we toured around the north end of the city or little Italy as it is know and tasted Pizza
He launched the tour in the second half of 2011 and it took off. 2012 he said was a very good year and he was flat out and in 2013 he is taking on four tour guides to work with him delivering the tours around Boston's north end.
He has used social media and local advertising with tourist agencies to grow his business and this year is experimenting with Groupon to sell more ticket to increase his online presence.
Idea #1 is start a tour of your local city and sell it to the locals and the tourists. I have been thinking of doing one for Basingstoke for some time now!
2. Create a social media training company
I have a fabulous friend Nicky Kriel. If you have read our blog you will have seen her and heard her tips on social media. Back in December 2010 she decided to master Twitter and went on a journey learning everything she could over the next few months, reading blogs, books and putting everything into action. She soon had over a thousand followers and was starting to teach other small businesses how to use Twitter for their business.
Over the years since she has worked for major multinational companies on their twitter strategy, she has sold her courses online via twitter and most recently she has launched her book. I have been so impressed with how Nicky has built a business from nothing.
Idea #2 is to build a social media training business in your local area, become a LinkedIn or Facebook expert
3. Sell your skills online
Recently I have been buying a lot of services through www.peopleperhour.com
It is amazing what you can find on there. I have bought logo design services, press release writing and even cartoon designing. Yes I commissioned my own cartoon.
We all have our own skills, we all have something that we find easy that everyone else find difficult. Thing about what you could sell and then have a go selling it on www.peopleperhour.com
Idea #3 is to work out what skills you have and what you love doing and sell it online!
4. Sell food out of a trailer
Alan one of the co-founders of the Pop-Up Business School is getting married this summer and he has been organising caterers! He found Chris Matthews and his company http://www.rollingstonepizza.co.uk/
Chris build a pizza oven out of clay and mounted it in a trailer. He now drives around the country service wood smoked pizza for his customers and they are so delicious!
Do you like to cook? What is your favourite type of food?
Chris was inspired to start after hearing a radio show talking about starting a food business and not hearing anything about Pizza which is a food he loves. He did some research and didn't find many mobile vendors and set up his business which is really taking off this year!
Think about what type of food you would sell and how you would do it!
Idea #4 if you love food, create a mobile kitchen and start selling it to people
5. Training other people
We had someone come on our first ever Pop-Up Business School who had a wealth of experience in retail. He had worked in retail for years. He decided to set up a retail consultancy and train other people and had an incredible first 6 months working for some of the biggest names in UK retail
Our very own co-founder Alan Donegan set up his business called Enjoy Presenting and runs courses for Microsoft, Pepsi and Allianz now.
Five simple ways to make money and start a business doing something you love!
What's the first thing you should do when you want to learn something new?
The picture on the right is my old Skoda, she drove me around in style for 194,265 miles before she was hit by a 40 tonne, 16 wheel truck and destroyed. She was a fabulous ride and performed without fail for nearly ten years. I have just written a thank you letter to Skoda.
Why bother to say thank you? I believe say thank you and the feeling of gratitude it brings is great for several reasons:
Why don't you take a moment right now to say thank you to a supplier that has done a great job to you? Write a linked-in testimonial for someone who has helped you; put a nice comment on their facebook page, tweet them a #followFriday for a good job done.
Say thank you more regularly for great products and services and see how it makes you feel.
Thank you for reading our blog. We loved writing it and sharing our business philosophy with you. If you have any questions then please put them in the comments below.
If you enjoyed the Pop-Up event in Watford or if you missed it and want to find out more then come along to the reunion event where we are all getting together again to:
So you have booked yourself onto a training course, maybe you have even booked yourself on to one of our workshops. How do you prepare to get the most out of your time spent on the course?
Well with our 2 day Pop-up business School in Watford this weekend we thought we would write a blog post to help you get the most out of any training course you go along to.
Here are our 6 top tips for getting the most out of any training course or workshop you go along to:
I hope this helps you prepare for the workshop or training course you are going on. And we hope to see you at one of our up coming events soon!
To find out where we are popping up next check out our projects page
Today I noticed Model Zone in Basingstoke was having a sale, being the geek I am I called in and found out that they had gone into Administration and were selling everything off!
Is this another nail in the high street's coffin? The high street is already littered with empty shops, however it always seems busy. There are always people their. So why are businesses failing and shops being left open if the people are still walking past the doors?
There are so many questions surrounding the future of the high street and whether or not it will survive. I thought I would ask you want you think about the future of the high street and give you some thoughts about setting up a shop
We would love to know your thoughts on the future of the high street
Is now the time to set up shop?
With so much change on the high street and so many shops laying empty, now might just be the time for you to take the retail world by storm! Come up with your idea and there are opportunities abound to get retail space for free.
What type of shop or service would you open up?
What did we do? Alan's notes
Alan: The biggest challenge for Do Yoga was to get their customers to commit to coming regularly. How did we make sure they came week in and week out even if it was raining?
We did several things:
1. Gave a reduced price for signing up to a direct debit. We all need encouragement to exercise regularly even though we know it is good for us. What we did was to offer an incentive (cheaper classes and the ability to come to any classes) for people to sign up to a direct debit, this gives extra motivation to turn up every week and get healthy. It also allows Do Yoga to know how many people are signed up each week and what income they are going to get
2. Secondly we looked at starter packages - when someone first comes along to a class; instead of just letting them come and go when they like they are offered a six or twelve week package for a reduced price. This package gives them an incentive to come every week and also turns Yoga into a habit for health. it also means that they commit to long enough to see the benefits of Yoga really start to shine through. For Do Yoga it means that new clients sign up to an introductory course and keep coming back
What incentives could you offer your customers to get them to come back more regularly?
Do you bundle your products or services? What Bundles and discounts could you offer?
Can you get your customers to sign up for a course up front? (this has to be in your customers best interests!)
Test and try new things, bundle your products or services and remember to have fun in business every day
My first business failed because I thought I had to come up with all the ideas myself and see then through! Starting businesses can be a lonely road so what can you do to change that?
We know that the real energy comes when you bring people together - the Pop Up Business School was born when Alan and I, over large Starbucks drinks (there wasn't a good indie cafe where we were!!) had great conversations.
So these are our 6 nuggets to bring energy of others to your ideas:
1. Find people you trust - the success of anything is built on t-word
2. Get them up to speed - a great briefing so they understand the problem and be crystal clear about what you're trying to achieve with their help
3. Share your opinions - find out how they feel (and you - saying how you feel out loud can help!) - there will be good and bad stuff in relation to your challenge. Be open to tough messages!
4. Use your combined imagination to come up with solutions
5. Build your best ideas up together
6. Make it happen - plans don't fail for lack of planning they fail for lack of doing...so do!!!!
This mornings workshop has been about eating Frogs in the morning. The key thing for us going forward is to eat our frogs first thing in the morning!
If you eat a frog first thing in the morning your day can only get better!
Alan and Simon