Traditional Business Support will tell you to begin with a Business Plan.
We at The PopUp Business School think that is a massive waste of time.
Business Plans are traditionally used to get funding. But what if you start your Business with no money? Go out, make sales and find what your customers want before you even consider a Business Plan.
We started 2017 at the PopUp Business School the same way we start every year, by taking ourselves away for a few days to reflect on the year that's been and to plan what we want for the business in the coming year. It's become a 3 day tradition which is invaluable to us and is something we'd suggest anyone in business should consider each year. It's an opportunity for the whole team to get involved and have a say in the future of the business, share things they've learned and shoot each other with Nerf guns, obviously.
It was an intense 3 days, but incredibly worthwhile and rewarding as we look to how we're going to shape the business in 2017, how we're going to grow as a group and what we want to do more of as individuals. We all answer a set of questions before setting off to a hotel for a few days, the same questions that Alan shared with you in our 'Reviewing Your Year In Business' video which you can find on the #DailyPopUp or on our YouTube channel. They're a great starting point for a business review.
So what was the outcome of our 3 day review? Well, we can't go into too much detail, but safe to say that PopUp is only going to keep getting bigger and better. We want to do more, help more people and start more businesses in our own unique way and continue to have a lot of fun doing it. We start 2017 with a few events in the pipeline.
The end of January sees us return to Kent for a full 2 week PopUp event in Swale, Sittingbourne. We've run smaller events in Kent, but we're really looking forward to spending a whole 2 weeks doing what we do. February sees us delivering a 2 week event in Bolton, where we want to get people started and trading whilst we're there.
We're also returning to both Thamesmead and Newport for 2 week events in February. We loved the energy and enthusiasm in both places last year and can't wait to see how those of you we met before have got on and looking forward to seeing plenty of new faces too.
In March we head to Dover, a third event in Reading and 2 weeks in Leeds! So we're busy and already loving every minute of 2017. But where could we PopUp next? We're always looking to help more people, so if you'd like us to come to your town or know someone we should be talking to, to make it happen then please get in touch
For the next two weeks we are working with our partners at Microsoft UK to combine our unique approach to business startup advice, together with their unique and award-winning tablet and laptop Surface range. The team at Microsoft have transformed two ordinary shopping units in Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Bristol’s Cabot Circus Shopping Centre into Surface Dream Emporiums, where every great business idea starts with a doodle, complete with demonstration stations and tech experts.
Together, we’re helping mobile professionals, aspiring artists, photographers, musicians and people wanting to make their business idea a reality, get the advice and help they need to get going for free. We’ve even been using Microsoft’s tech ourselves all week and will be incredibly reluctant to hand it back when the two weeks are over! We’re also making sure that the attendees at our event can make the most of the equipment on offer. For example, in Brent Cross we have a fine artist from the former Yugoslavia called Sonya Radan, who is famous in her homeland for her bold and striking portraiture. However, in the UK she is much less well-known and looking for advice and help on how to increase exposure. Like many of the people we meet on our courses, Sonya is not particularly fond of computers and has very little experience of the online world.
Yesterday we taught Sonya and our other attendees how to build a website for free. Today, we showed her how to use social media to drive traffic to her website, how to find customers online and how to find conversations with other artists that she could get involved in and add value to. This afternoon, Sonya has completely taken the plunge as we challenged her to create a unique artwork digitally on the Microsoft Surface Book. Overcoming her initial fear, she was using the device in no-time, asking about other features and how to use it to create specific effects. With help from the in-store tech demonstrators, she created several artworks in a matter of minutes. You can see a livestream of her busy creating on our Facebook page. She took the plunge, she faced her fears and has proved to herself that technology is good for her business.
In Bristol one of our attendees is Fenella, a health coach turned power lifter who wants to help mobile business professionals stay healthy during their busy lives. She’s spent some time trying to decide what her business should be and what feels right to her, having tried beauty, medicine and being a makeup artist before realising that her passion was for health and wellbeing. We have seen this week how Microsoft’s tablets and adaptable Surface laptops can be used by budding entrepreneurs and it occurred to us that for Fenella’s business, visiting other professionals where they work, at their homes or at local parks, these devices would be ideal for managing her client database, keeping track of appointments, building her website and even recording and sharing video content of workouts for prospective clients. It’s increasingly clear that if you have a vision for your business there are mobile solutions to help you manage it and put what you learn on our courses into practice.
We’re looking forward to helping more of our participants get going, acclimatising them to digital technology and making their businesses a success. Together with Microsoft we have a massive opportunity in both Brent Cross and Bristol to make a difference. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to see how we get on.
Here are our upcoming events:
Next year, we are excited to be running a UK Tour around the cournty, PoppingUp in numerous amazing places!
More details to follow...
We are so excited to be partnering up with some amazing companies this year so that we can bring some huge changes to the world of Start-ups and entrepreneurs.
More info will follow shortly...
Here at PopUp, we have been growing rapidly in the recent months, meaning we need some extra people to help u inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs!
Our latest addition is Jack Aling, a young videographer who is helping us with all of our YouTube content! Welcome him to the team when you get a chance!
However, it doesn't end there; we are looking for some more presenters and trainers as well as some admin/ back of house/ organisers!
If you would like to be a trainer/ presenter
Please upload and send us a 3 minute video, doing your thing and show us your energy! Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to be an admin/ back of house/ organiser
Please email us and tell us why you would like to work for the PopUp Business School and some previous work examples! Send all submissions to email@example.com.
If you are interested or know anyone that is, please get in touch!
This is going to be a game changer for us. We are going to have a permenant venue here we can run our own courses and you can come for support and help anytime! Can't wait to tell you more but stay in touch!
Come and See us!
The best way to be part of the PopUp Business School is to come to one of our events. Whether you want to use the space to trade or want startup and entrepreneurial adive sign up and come along.
See you soon. Alan
This short film is about the future of the PopUp Business School and has one secret to our growth and success.
As the Happy Monday's lyrics go, we've 'got golden plans' for our visit to Manchester on 20th June.
The lovely people at One Manchester have arranged for us to visit the world's first industrial city and bring our unique brand of business advice to the people of South Manchester. Famously, Manchester already has it's University and Business School, so what makes us different? Well, there's a few things that set us apart from traditional business education institutions.
Firstly, there are no fees. Yes, you heard that right. The PopUp Business School is completely FREE for you to attend. It doesn't cost you anything, other than investing your time and energy with us.
Secondly, we don't believe you need to write a 50 page business plan to justify to anyone why you should be allowed to start your own business or to be able to apply to a bank to get money to start your business. Simon always says that we've never met anyone who's ever said to us "a business plan changed my life". We believe you can start a business in the week you spend with us, with little planning and without pandering to anyone else.
Thirdly, we don't believe you need a loan or finance to start your business. Business should be all about making money, not starting your new venture in debt to a bank. Why give your hard-earned profit back to a bank to pay off finance and interest? Why not start today, earning money without owing money? We'll show you how.
So if you want to get the knowledge, skills and confidence to test your business ideas and get started in a completely supportive environment then we 100% guarantee that our workshops will be fun, inspiring and full of useful information for you. If you want to build a completely free website, learn how to use social media to find customers and start selling in the week you spend with us, then this course is for you.
We'll be in the Z-arts centre in Hume, Manchester for the whole week from 20th June. To find out more about how we can help you, what other people say about us and how to book your FREE tickets, just click here.
For those people looking for actual fire you're going to be disappointed! Yes it's a metaphor folks (shock) - these are the incredible people working hard on their business ideas in Thamesmead, London.
With Peabody Housing Association and Trust Thamesmead we are running a two week workshop helping people to start businesses and make money doing what they love! See the highlights of day 1 below:
During the two weeks we will be covering:
We are in Thamesmead from the Monday 9th of May until Friday 20th of May 2016. if you want to come along then book a ticket now and drop in.
"I'm going to use this award to help inspire others to become entrepreneurs." So look out people we're coming to a town near you VERY soon. Well done Alan - we're proud of you.
We are delighted to announce the Makers’ Exchange - a market selling a range of new products in Chrisp Street Market at the heart of London's bustling East End, with footfall of over 2000 people per day. Anything from food produce to fashion, arts and crafts to upcycled furniture, metalwork to makers.
We're currently offering the opportunity for traders to have a stall at this exciting new venture which will launch in December 2015 and continue next spring. 6 dates are planned:
- 5th December 2015;
- 12th December;
- 5th March 2016;
- 12th March;
- 19th March;
- 26th March
A 3x3m gazebo, tables and chairs will be provided for each stall. A £15 pitch hire fee will apply per stall, all stallholders must have their own Public Liability Insurance in place.
If you would be interested in holding a stall on the day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 16th November with the following information:
- brief description of your products (please include images as appropriate);
- date(s) you would be interested in hosting a stall;
- confirmation of public liability insurance (please get in touch if this is something you require assistance with)
If you have any queries please contact Blossom on 020 7538 6422 or Francesca on 0207 510 0568
Simon and Alan have just designed a new workshop that we believe is going to revolutionise the way enterprise and start-up support is delivered to people in the communities we work. This workshop has a working title of: “How to create a business in 120 minutes.”
Our aim is to show people the quickest way possible to innovate an idea, plan out the business, get it online and create sales. The idea is that together we will have created sales and profit before the workshop even ends.
This is going to form the foundation of the PopUp Business School going forward and this is your chance to try it out first and tell us what you think! We are offering two free spaces for people to come along on Friday the 24th July at our head office in Basingstoke.
If you are interested and are free from 10am on Friday the 24th then all you have to do to win a space is tweet us @popupbusiness with the hashtag #changingenterprise and we will randomly select winner out of a hat on Friday 17th.
We think this workshop is going to change the way people think about starting up and are excited to be able to share it with you.
Hope to see you on Friday the 24th in Basingstoke!
We will confirm the address to the winners by email.
Have an awesome day!
Alan, Simon and The PopUp Team
Tomorrow we are off to London to talk to The Give us a Chance Foundation at the Guinness Trust's new headquarters.
If you want a Pop-Up Business School in your area then email us now
We have been totally inspired by the entrepreneurs in Watford and their energy!
At the bottom of this is a challenge for all Entrepreneurs and start-ups that will help your business get to the next level! Read on for the challenge!
The Entrepreneurs Challenge
When every entrepreneur starts out in business they are scared that they won't get enough customers so when we given them the advice that they have to chose a market and niche down they are instinctively reluctant and want to say "I can sell anything to anyone!"
The Entrepreneurs Curse: "I can sell anything to Anyone"!
If you start this mantra then you will fall into the same trap that Alan (co-founder of the Pop-Up Business School) fell into when he started his business and you WON'T SELL ANYTHING to ANYONE!
The challenge is to get specific
Your challenge is to get as specific as possible and to tweet us (this is on purpose to restrict you to 140 characters!) the answer to this question: "what do you sell and who are you selling it to!
Be as specific as you can and Mark, Alan, Simon and the Pop-Up Business School team will support you in refining your statement!
See you there for a short session from Alan & Mark and lots of networking!
Click on the picture for a google map of the venue!
See you there on Saturday at 14:30
The Harebreaks Community Hub
We are really looking forward to our forthcoming visit in October at Poplar HARCA and it is has been wonderful to have so much support and enthusiasm: Thank you.
We are really excited to announce Tony Pass: Retail Expert. Tony will be running new workshops in Poplar for us!
We are delighted to have Tony Pass who was a student of our first ever Pop-up Business School which was held in
Weston-super-Mare last October. Tony was unable to attend the 2nd week of the course. Why? Because he spent the whole weekend at the end of the first week putting into practice what he had learned and he was awarded with a contract straight away!
Can you imagine the energy that was felt in the room? Everyone (including us!) was so excited and thrilled that:
Tony has over 20 years experience of working in the retail sector – however, as we all know, a lot has changed over the last 20
years. Tony admitted that he was on the verge of giving up his business and getting a “proper job” as he was struggling to pay the bills.
Tony said “Coming on the Pop-up Course was my one last ditch attempt...the course gave me confidence and showed me how to build my own website and direct traffic to it. People have found me through my website and I am now having to turn work down!”
Tony is delighted to be sharing his knowledge with you on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th October. Be sure to book your FREE tickets to this event, we promise it will be fun and engaging...you will not be disappointed.
For more information about our forthcoming Poplar event click here
Why not say Hi to Tony on Twitter!
6 months after our first event in Weston-Super-Mare we went back to the participants and asked them what has happened since! This infographic shows you the impact of that 2 week workshop we did with 46 people back in October 2012
We are so happy that so many people started businesses, made money and increased their confidence and happiness. Alliance Homes and Knightstone Housing are thrilled too! So much so we are coming back to Weston-Super-Mare this November to run another event. For more information about the Weston Super Mare event November 2013 click here
If you want to start a business, build your confidence, make money or even grow your existing business even further come along and let's do it together.