Tearing Up the Rule Book

Taken from our Newbury PopUp Event, Alan introduces the Rebel Business School and tips to get people’s businesses off the ground including if a Business Plan is really worth it.

Note: This transcription has been generated with AI and there may be errors present. 


Actually, I want to start a business and I’ve got an idea. But what do I do? First? There’s all these things I could do. I could build a website, I could set up a Facebook page, I could open a shop, there’s so much I could do, what do I actually do? And we find it fascinating. Quite often people turn up at the Popup Business School with a business plan. And they come over and go, Alan, I’ve written my business plan, can you tell me what I should actually do? And they don’t actually know what the next step is. And I find that fascinating helping people to get going. And there’s some other smaller stuff that comes up, you know, some specific knowledge about how do I manufacture something? Or how do I do this a bit about how do I sell it my personal situation? Or do I need people to do with it, but the main three are cash, confidence, and knowing what to do. So that’s my mission for today is to help you get the cash bit sorted. Help you feel confident that your idea is going to fly, and help you know how to get started. If I can do those three things today, I’ve tackled 75% of all of your problems, and I’ve helped you get going quickly. So that’s my plan. That’s my plan for that. I have a small thing here, if you could take one and pass it on so that everyone has one that would be great. It’s called the rulebook. If you go to a traditional enterprise support person, if you go to a traditional enterprise support person, a man in a suit and a tie, you go to a banker, you go to an accountant, you go to one of the traditional people, what’s the first thing they tell you to do? When you say I want to start a business? They tell you to write a business plan, that’s the first thing they tell you to do is sit down and write a business plan. What’s the purpose of a business plan? To clear your ideas, what was the reason to show your plan, who you showing your plan to? To yourself, or the banks if you want to loan them as a legal structure, so you need to be a limited company or a sole trader or Community Interest Company and all that stuff. He’s feeling excited about this process so far. Doesn’t sound great, does it? His business plans and his legal structures, and then you apply for some funding, and you maybe borrow some money, then you invest in a premises and you spend the money on advertising or marketing or stuff like that? And then the killer one for me, is maybe you make money in year two? Have you heard that before? This is what people tell you. Maybe you make money in year two, can you wait two years to make any money? Can you wait two years, I’m not very good at waiting, like 30 minutes for a pizza to turn up. I’m not looking to wait that long. And this this, this way that everyone teaches you to start a business. It’s the way the universities teach us. It’s the way the colleges teach us. It’s reinforced by television with Dragon’s Den, have you done your numbers in your business plan and all your stuff? It’s the way everyone teaches you to do business. But there’s a different way. There is definitely a different way. So what I would like you to do, please, is take your rulebook in front of you and hold it up, and then tear it up. Because we’re not very good at following rules around here. So rip up the rulebook. We’re not going to be following the rules and maybe turn to someone you roughly like the look of and throw that then it’s turned into a fight at the front already. But we’re not going to be following the rules. We’re going to do things completely differently, because you don’t have to wait that long to get your business going. And actually business has completely changed.