This section contains useful tools, techniques, articles, videos and other learning resources from around the internet. We've broken them down into different sections, each representing an aspect of launching an enterprise. We'll update them regularly. Feel free to explore, share and offer suggestions of new resources you've found useful to firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some general collections of learning resources. They're worth exploring as they underpin lots of what we do and offer a broad overview of the many skills that can help with launching businesses and other projects.
Before proceding to develop an idea into a business, it is valuable to understand the nature of your idea. Why is it important? Why do you want to pursue it? What is causing the problem you want to solve? What do the initial steps look like? The resources below all help contextualise your initial idea in this way.
Generating new ideas is just not a matter of random, lightning-bolt epiphanies. There are different processes and tools you can use to either develop totally new ideas or improve existing ones.
Project management means being organised as you work. This means setting a clear project plan, knowing how your team will communicate, keeping track of tasks and progress, recording documents and information and meeting goals. It might sound a bit boring, but it is difficult to overstate the value of effective project management - of being organised and efficient in how you work. It’s easy to overthink approaches to project management, given there are so many different options. The goal isn’t to find perfection, but to find solutions that work well for your team. The resources below offer some ideas.
Once you've validated your business, developed a business model and experienced some success, you probably want to start to grow (or scale) the business.
Your business model is, essentially, a description of how your business works and fits together. It might seem daunting at first, but the powerful resources below, revolving around the Lean Business Model Canvas, should help you break business modelling down into manageable parts. It's really not rocket science!
Market research involves learning about your customers, competitors and the broader market in which both are operating. There are lots of useful resources online.
Beyond speaking with customers, testing your idea is usually achieved using prototypes (simple, easy-to-build versions of your product or part of your product) and experiments (using your prototype to learn things).
Branding means developing an identity for your organisation or project. This means more than just a name, logo or general visual identity. Developing a brand means thinking about what you want to represent and mean to people.
If branding means creating your organisation’s identity, marketing is about how you reach people. How are you going to communicate your brand identity and product or service to your customers and other people? Answering this question means developing a marketing strategy that considers how you are going to use different marketing channels.
Legalities may seem boring and/or complicated, but they are essential to consider, and there is lots of help at hand.
It's all well and good developing a business, but it's also vital to measure your success (or failure) in order to improve. This is especially true for social enterprises, but really is valuable for projects of all descriptions.