It was practically a “House Full” session this month.
Our Trainer, Ruth Mwende from the Business Club did a presentation on Strategic Planning and Pitching.
This is an important aspect for new social ventures. It is very important to plan ahead and to narrow down the planning into what exactly the venture is about and going to offer.
We had an array of attendees from Life Coaches, to Jewellery Makers, Organic Honey Makers and Organic Beauty products, Financial Consultants and even chocolatiers, all of whom were in the early stages of their startups or at the development phases.
Ruth took us through a presentation which discussed the various sections of a Business Plan – what is should contain and what is the relevance of each section.
The Vision and Mission Statements sections are the most important, and in the Vision, one foresees what the business will be like in the future. The Mission statement should be a “solution” that the company is providing, to fill a certain “gap” in the economy, or address an already existing problem in that sector. All in all, these sections, the Vision and Mission statement of a company, are subject to change over time (Theory of Change). The the business matures, it may find itself shifting focus from where it had started to being more sensitive of what is needed. Hence, you need to be clear and articulate about what Value your business is going to add.
Next we looked at the Social Impact of the start up. What Social Impact will/does your business have? How does it impact the customer or end user. For example, by harvesting your own honey, how are you helping the bee farmers in the area who are already growing hives for commercial purposes. As a jewellery maker, what sets you apart from the others? What is your impact?
Your Team is another very important aspect in Strategic Planning. As a startup, you may be concerned about handling all aspects of the business, but in this way, you cannot give your 100% focus to the tasks that are more important. So, do you have a GOOD team to delegate? A “team” can basically be anyone that you work with – your suppliers, you bank manager, your logistics company – anyone who shares and is part of that vision of yours. Also, a very important person to have on your team is a Mentor. Someone who can show you how to pull the ropes and how to go about the whole thing.
Last, but not least, your Financial Summary. What are your financial needs, and what is your budget. This often gets overlooked in the planning process. It is also important ot come up with a realistic business and financial model to present projections if you are in the initial stages of your start up.
And finally, when starting any business, regardless of the concept, always anticipate problems. What if the organic beauty products that you are using cause an allergy to someone. Or the Chocolate that you made goes bad before it hits the shelf. So always be prepared for these kind of situations and know how you will address them.
After the presentation, there was a remarkable engagement and interactive session that actually went on longer than anticipated. It seems that the women (for the first time) enjoyed the training session.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: SANDRA CHEGE
Sandra is the founder of Hadithi: Real life stories written by real individuals.
It is a platform where people get to share their life experiences based on letters to their younger self. She has managed to reach out to over hundreds of individuals who have shared their stories online.
The site has several themes on which you can base your stories/letter on.
For more information, or to contribute a letter visit the Hadithi Website here.