On Saturday we welcomed 20 bright young entrepreneurs from across South Wales to Tramshed Tech for Big Ideas Wales’ Bootcamp to Business. In a nutshell it is a free, intensive course facilitated by Big Ideas Wales open to any 16-25 year olds who wish to develop their entrepreneurial skills or develop a business idea to the point of becoming ‘business ready’ regardless of prior knowledge.
Bringing together great advice with some poignant industry insights, The Bootcamp saw participants dream big and become empowered develop some great business ideas.
We’ve put together this blog post to highlight some of our favourite takeaways — and hopefully inspire you (or someone you know) to take part in the future! (See below for details of upcoming events!)
Entrepreneurship is a mindset!
A key thing we took from the event was that business development is an on-going process — and it is always a good idea to revisit and adjust the core concepts of your business’ strategy as your enterprise grows. What worked for your sole trader business in the first year, will likely be out-dated if it evolves into a partnership or limited company with several employees by its second or third year.
Beyond that, we get caught up in the concept that entrepreneurship is just about hustling and running a business* but it can be applied to all parts of our lives. For us, it’s about transforming the world by solving problems not matter how big or small.
Always Be Pitching
To paraphrase the immortal words of Alec Balwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) — always be pitching! Everything you say and do, says something about you and your business, whether you call it marketing or not. Right down from the way you walk into a room, to the way you present your ideas and this was no better explained by Stifyn Parry who hosted the “Lifes A Pitch” workshop during the Bootcamp.
While this may sound daunting, used to your advantage it can have massive consequences for not only your business but your entire life. The essence of it is: You cannot not communicate; so be mindful of what your words, actions and body language say about you and think of strategies to reframe if you’re presenting the wrong message. This isn’t about being fake but about avoiding your auto-pilot; empowering yourself through awareness and accessing opportunities through clarity of intent.
“I’m sorry, but I’m out.”
We’re well accustomed to shows like Dragon’s Den and The Appentice telling us that you need investment or a big break to become a successful entrepreneur. When in reality, if your idea is executed well enough you can make absolutely anything happen on your own terms. Growing too quick too soon and having to answer to investors is can become tricky to manage if you’re not prepared for it.
Reaching for investment is all well and good in certain circumstances, but make the most of the learning opportunites while your business is small enough for you not to pay a heavy price for mistakes. After all, being the ‘underdog’ with complete autonomy of decision allows you to be disruptive and iterate your ideas faster than anyone else.
Digital Cities — Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th April
Run in partnership with BBC, Digital Cities Cardiff provides exciting and innovative free training, networking and events aimed at developing the skills of current and future content makers throughout the creative industries.
Free registtraion and full programme to be announced shortly.
First Time Freelance — Wednesday 3rd April 5:00-8:00pm
This completely free event is part of a series of events designed to provide individuals, from all industries, with top tips and advice on how to successfully launch a career as a freelancer.
Run in partnership with Big Ideas Wales and IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed)
*The words ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘enterprise’ come Old French word for “an undertaking”: entreprendre — until the mid-nineteenth century, the term was synonymous with ‘adventurer’ in the English language.