Start with a “business model canvas”. You can change your age guard and win £ 10,000 or 2 finalist prizes of £ 5,000

The deadline for entering a 3000 word Business Plan by Silver liners contest for care solutions for older generations is January 1, 2022.

Win 1x Winning Prize of £ 10,000 and 2x Finalist Prize of £ 5,000.

In this article, Colum Lowe, Director of the Design Age Institute and one of the participants in the Silver Linings competition judges offers advice to potential entrants on how to turn an idea into a business plan.

Innovation is defined as “the successful exploitation of a new idea”. It is my experience, based on over 30 years in the design industry, that there is no shortage of new ideas; successful ones, on the other hand, are a little harder to find.

If you have a great idea and decide to embark on this long and winding road to commercialization well known to all entrepreneurs, before you go too far, you will be asked for your business plan: investors will want to see it, banks too; in fact, anyone you want to involve in your business will require a copy.

So what is it and why is it so important?

Simply put, it’s your entire business proposition in one document. It should include your idea, your vision, your mission statements, your brand position, your marketing strategy, your profit and loss forecasts, your sales objectives, your recruitment campaign, your suppliers, your stakeholders and your risks. , etc. I have a template that I use with clients (many are available online) that’s 27 pages long, and that’s before I start filling it out.

If someone reading this has completed a business plan, they will know that it is long, complex, and difficult to achieve with any degree of precision or certainty, a lot to invest in terms of time and effort for a business plan. business idea that you have little certainty will produce business returns, and many potential entrepreneurs fall for this hurdle.

BUT there is of course a short version, the Business model canvas, originally developed by Alexander Osterwalder, which is a one-page visual document with nine distinct elements describing your value proposition, infrastructure, customers and finances. Its beauty is that it visually represents your business activities and, more importantly, how they are connected and the potential trade-offs. This is the best single page reporting.

Obviously, this is not enough for a major investment decision, but it will tell you whether it is even worth asking the question, and where the roadblocks to success might be and as such where to focus most of the money. your efforts. I would always recommend filling out a Business Model Canvas before embarking on the in-depth task of a full business plan, this is an important part of the journey and if your business idea is going to fail you better fail here with little time and money invested.

The Silver liners contest searches for something between a full business plan and the Business Model Canvas: a 3000 word entry based on the criterion featured on the Silver Linings website. The Business Model Canvas would therefore be a good starting point!

One thing that successful entrepreneurs tend to have is endless optimism, which is important for success and overcoming the many obstacles to success. But “don’t sell beans” optimism some hard truths need to be addressed, or optimism simply delivers a pessimist with experience.

If, using a business model canvas, or any tool for that matter, you can spot all the reasons why your business idea might fail, and you can plan to overcome them, then your idea will surely be successful. This is one of the approaches we use at the Design Age Institute when working with our own contractors and is based on my time spent working in the area of ​​patient safety at the NHS. It adopts a “failure mode effect analysis” (FMEA) approach to entrepreneurship. We believe that if we can spot all the reasons why a proposal might fail, understand the effects and then mitigate them, then there is a good chance of success.

We are looking for ten things to assess the likelihood of an idea being successful:

Need – How precisely or confidently can you identify a real need and for which target customer group (s)?

Market niche – How sure are you that the need is large enough to be able to support a business enterprise? How scalable is the idea?

Solution – To what extent does your idea / solution meet this need in the market?

Desire – How likely is your solution to be desired by users / customers? Has research been undertaken?

Intellectual property / Competition – How well do you know the competition? Is this idea distinct from them? Can it be protected by intellectual property or by other means?

Coalition of the Will – Can you get enough support within your own organization, at all levels, to bring the idea to market? Can you yourself devote the time to deliver the idea?

Market access – What are the obstacles to presenting the product to a sufficient number of customers and how do you plan to overcome them?

Sales / Communications – How will you communicate with your customers and market your product / service? How affordable will it be to tell your customers that your product exists?

Funds – How likely is it that you will be able to raise sufficient funds to bring the product to market?

Profit – Are you able to manufacture and sell your product at a price the customer is willing to pay and from which you can generate sufficient profit to support your business?

Of course, whatever approach you take to business planning as part of the innovation process, one thing they obviously all have in common is that they are all made up; they are propositions, projections and predictions based on enthusiasm and optimism, and they should be so. Innovation at its heart has to be optimistic, you have to believe that you can change the world or else you sure won’t, which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Confucius “people who say one thing can’t be done shouldn’t interrupt those who actually do it ”.

Good luck with your Silver Linings Contest Business Plan Entry!

Colum Lowe is Director of the Design Age Institute and one of the judges of the Silver Linings competition

Silver Linings Contest: Submission of business plans

Before January 9, 2022

Announcement of shortlisted business plans

January 27, 2022

Business plan winners announced

February 10, 2022

Find out how a young entrepreneur developed and executed a business plan for senior care: Silver Linings Elderly Care Competition: Amidst the Difficulty Lies the Opportunity for Change

Ben Maruthappu created Cera, a successful care solution, after his mother fell and broke her back.

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