Entrepreneurial Spark and bootcamp

21st February 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

As one of the projects under www.aarandee.com Martin and I pitched ‘MyRentals’ to the business mentors at Entrepreneurial Spark in Glasgow, we had hoped to gain a place in the hatchery for 6 months to help us consolidate ‘MyRentals’. As chicklets we would be given guidance and support to build the business.

Imagine our surprise and shock, when after the 3 and a half day bootcamp, which was quite intense, we were accepted in to the program, as nestlings, that is stage two, where we are supported to grow the business over the next 12 months. This was a phenomenal boost to us and the focus to succeed has gone up exponentially as a result.

After the intense bootcamp, I have relocated to the ‘FREE’ office space provided by the ‘entrepreneurial spark’ program and getting back into a daytime work routine has been a rapid upward curve to take in, especially as there were two days that required me to stay later from 5pm to 7pm. Both of these events were so worthwhile, as the information shared was invaluable.

During the first week in the new office I was able to rationalise our ‘MyRentals’ outlook to ‘the business canvas’ being promoted by the ‘entrepreneurial spark’ program. I will focus on doing the same rationalisation with the ‘MyRentals’ financial plans and forecasts.

The bonus which has come through being in the ‘nest’ program has been the interaction with so many other entrepreneurs, all willing to provide support and share hints and tips, to help take our work forward. We have also been encouraged by offers from the others in the program, to help build our site content.

It must be stated that ‘MyRentals’ has also shared information and ideas in return, creating two way traffic of support and encouragement. I look forward to the next few months, which appear to forecast a lot of work and opportunities.

Business L.I.F.E.

10th February 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

As a single person participating in setting up and running a business, it became obvious in the past few days that some sort of fail-safe system has to be in place to support you should circumstances affect your business LIFE.

Locate, a strong link with either a family member or close friend, who will be able to support you, should ill health impact on your ability to run your business. They have to have an understanding of the structure of the business and have access to key documents and diaries, to ensure that those who require to be notified, can be – with ease.

Involve, these individuals as much as they can possibly commit, to ensure that they are comfortable to take the reins and steer the business, while managing to continue with their own plans and activities. The task should be made as simple and straightforward as possible, thereby allowing them to take charge with minimal disruption to all concerned.

Fever, struck me last week and it was impossible to complete any task I had, it is important that I record sincere thanks to all who called and also apologise to those that I have still to contact – for their patience and understanding, as well as recognising the tremendous work done on my behalf by my very close friends.

Emergency, plans are essential, a simple ‘to do’ list and ‘check sheet’ can be designed and displayed, so that anyone can step in and understand what is needed within a few minutes. Keep it sufficiently simple, clear and concise.

The worst appears to have passed and I don’t think anyone is aware that I was unable to function, that is a testament to my friends and their skill.

Understand; Unexplored; Underestimate; Unique

6th February 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

Gosh, what a few days it has been, the Rotary Scottish School Athletics event ‘over-ran’, to top it all I caught some sort of bug and had a real bad fever, I hope I am on top of it.

To continue the vowel alliteration in www.aarandee.com we are on the final one, as indicated above:

Understand, the project or service that is being undertaken, ensure that all the initial elements are recorded and that all the related influencing factors are also considered. Some of these will lead you to ‘think out of the box’.

Unexplored, avenues are generally more fruitful as others seem to dismiss these as not being relevant, indeed it is these very elements that tend to bring out a special viewpoint of the product or service, indicating a new market worth considering.

Underestimate, the potential share of the market and the initial sales, this will help provide a more reasonable cost and recommended retail price for the product or service, if it grows faster than estimated, then special deals can be considered more readily for strong customers.

Unique, selling points are key, to bring in your market share – think carefully on these as you may be overstepping the mark if you have not examined or understood the market. The unique aspect could be the country of design or manufacture; of materials or processes used; of enhancements available; or range of product or service. These are only a few thoughts to get you started.

Let us know how you get on and provide feedback, so that you can share your journey too.

Observe; Obtain; Opportunity; Outstanding

5th February 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

What another tremendous day, very busy with Rotary duties as we sponsor the Scottish Schools Indoor Athletics Championships and promote all the great work that Rotary does around the world for young folk.

The blog post in www.aarandee.com will continue to promote support materials for taking ideas to market. To do this we will strive to explore the various avenues open to small businesses and suggest methods to help them achieve their goal.

Observe, all the elements around the business including all the possible factors that can influence design and manufacture. As these are examined the pathways to production will become clear.

Obtain, skilled individuals who can enhance work being done on the products or services, by bringing in these individuals as part of the team to collaborate together, then the services or products will be greatly enhanced.

Opportunity, will appear to provide a route to consider sharing any potential profits, this will add to the contributions made and ensure a first class outcome.

Outstanding, results could be the final aspect that turns the project or service into a stunning business, which will create jobs and generate the economy, locally; nationally and internationally.

By striving to include suitable training and support, the business will be seen as a model to copy. As such, a pioneer leading others to success.

Investigate; Insight; Invest; Inspire

3rd February 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

A couple of people have mentioned some of my blog posts in www.aarandee.com in particular the ‘vowel’ alliteration. I informed them that I planned to go through the alphabet and they suggested that I use the vowels first. So to them, thank you…

I regularly look at the ideas in the projects that are being developed, as they stimulate creative thoughts and alternative options. Therefore the following will be the core today:

Investigate, each idea to ensure that it is worth dwelling on, determine if the project has a viable business life in some shape or form. By doing this, you will be able to assess if the time spent will provide sufficient reward to cover the initial development cost.

Insight, gained by doing the above, will help in identifying those projects with the most potential and allow you to rank them in order of priority. The factors indicating the priority will come from a broad sector, social impact; commercial viability; solving an identified problem; etc.

Invest, additional time and resources to the projects, as determined by the investigation and insight. The investment will add value to the product or service and assist in the possible recommended retail price to recoup cost of development. If it is identified as having a potential high market take up, then the price can be modified to suit.

Inspire, confidence in the product or service, thereby encouraging potential investors to share the journey. If the planning has been done well and the strategy is structured and provides access for additional investment, then the business will grow in value and become a viable commodity in its own.

If you can, provide feedback and share your journey too – inspire others as you move forward.

Assess; Adapt; Advance; Achieve

2nd February 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

Yet another superb day, very busy preparing for events coming up in the next few weeks. I also had an opportunity to look at the various projects being developed in www.aarandee.com all at different stages of development.

Assess, each task that presents itself before you, taking care to consider all the possible options you can identify during the assessment. Even as these are being noted, this will trigger lateral thoughts as well as historical knowledge and future speculation.

Adapt, your thinking and the task, to attempt to find a number of potential solutions which will meet a broad market range. Endure that all elements are included; age; gender; beliefs; regulations or prescribed rituals. As each will shape and define the thinking.

Advance, each idea or solution, through the various elements and stages of development that have been identified. Ensure that every avenue is explored to the depth you are able, even beyond – if possible.

Achieve, an end goal or result, if it produces a wide selection that is desired, as a wider range of potential solutions will bring a broader market consideration. Thereafter, assess these for your best business opportunity

Collaboration mindset

1st February 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

My last post indicated how my mindset was transforming, from and education mindset to a business mindset. I then realised that I had taken an engineering mindset into education and merged both, to some great success.

Having looked at the various projects in www.aarandee.com the ability to merge education; engineering and business mindsets has quite a strong appeal.

Each have a similar thread through them, design and structure is at the core of each, my development tool has been used in each sector and all that was needed was a slight alteration in my attitude and perception, to see the possibilities which were growing before me.

If I had skilled individuals in various elements, then these ideas would take on a completely different persona…limited only by the combined collaborative mindset of those involved…bring it on

Business mindset

31st January 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

Although I retired early to look after my parents, I had so much time to think while being busy at home. That thinking time was full of so much creativity, the type that I had encouraged my young engineers to follow.

I realised that I had an education mindset, not a business mindset – my thoughts were still striving to help folk understand, by changing the methods of sharing my thoughts and ideas.

This was fine, until both mum and dad passed away, and I began to look at all my ideas and attempted to turn some of them into businesses. Big hurdle, I did not have a business mindset, indeed – I was very open and shared everything, almost giving away my Intellectual Property.

Along came my friends and took me under their wing, slowly over the past year or two, I have began to change my mindset. It has been a long slow road, with some light showing at the end of a very long tunnel.

I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life, as I reach 65 – ‘neverretire.me’ is one of these episodes, where I want to tap into the skills and abilities of so many talented individuals who have so much to give, if they do not use it, they may well lose it. If you want to see this grow, let me know.

Accountability

30th January 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

To whom it may concern…

Actually, to whom I may be accountable – in business; in personal life; in voluntary duties.
There are different levels of accountability, in business there are staff; creditors; customers; clients; official bodies; professional associations; etc…

As I thought about this area, I realised that we are all accountable in so many aspects, people demand rights and forget about responsibility, as they demand their rights they may be infringing on the rights of others, therefore compromise should be included.

A fascinating opportunity to help produce a guide to anyone trying to write a TV series; or design a range of clothes; or construct a survey for data gathering – all without offending someone.

It becomes mission impossible, should you wish to take on this task, try not to self destruct with all the negativity – strive to be positive at all times.

Enthuse; Engage; Educate; Empower

29th January 2015 by JimmyMBE No Comments

After yesterdays ‘appreciation day’, I started to think about those that I need to work with in the future to take projects forward. Therefore the title above in the www.aarandee.com blog post is part of my strategy to do just that.

Enthuse, I have to get folk talking about the projects and wanting to hear more about each one. What exactly the product or service is and what it will do.

Engage, by providing this greater insight, that will lead to them wanting to know more, then they will become engaged in the process of development.

Educate, as people participate they will learn more about each product or service, they will also have some ownership as the contribute to the development, the action of participating is a major step for all concerned.

Empower, the more they know, the more they will understand and as a result will be in a stronger position to share and teach others about the products and services.

I will then be in a position to appreciate them too, for all the work done, by being enthused; engaged; educated and empowered.