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Welcome to your first installment of our 8-week online programme: Getting your Business Online!

It's arrived, welcome <<Full Name>>!

This is the first of our emails as part of this exciting 8-week, online programme on all things: ‘Getting Your Business Online’.

We’re so glad that you’ve chosen to sign-up and we hope you find something here to help you on your individual business journey.

Some of you may already have an idea and be wanting to get that off the ground by learning about 'Branding' and 'How to Market Your Biz', for example.

However, some of you might not yet have an idea in mind – and that is completely ok too!

If you’re more interested in developing your knowledge in relation to these topics more generally right now then it’s great that you've signed-up for our weekly email exercises, hints, and tips.

Business ideas often come from an individual's own frustrations with the wider world, society and it's offering(s). In many cases, they are also considered to be an extension of an individual’s own personal values and brand too, and this is where this week's session will really get you thinking... about you and your desires, and how your business (or ideas) might help you to achieve them.

How it works: 

You can apply the learning from this programme now, in 6 months, in a year or even in 5 years – there’s no rule on when and how you do it.

However, the hints, tips, recommended reading and resources are here so that you can consider how you might go about it as you embark on whichever stage of the journey you are at. All stages of your journey are equally important and it’s about learning and developing your idea(s), knowledge and skills at YOUR own pace.

So, remember to check your inbox every Friday (after 5pm) for the next email in the programme.

After each week we ask you to submit an activity for review, this helps you keep on track but also gives us a chance to review your content and provide you with expert feedback to drive your business forward. 

But you don't have to do all this alone, every week we host an online Q&A meetup where we talk about the week's topic and provide answers to any business related questions.
This will be hosted at 3-4pm every Monday on Microsoft Teams (no sign up required).

Click the link here to join. (27th April 3-4pm GMT)
Join the Q&A Session
Now the formalities are over, let’s get started with today’s weekly instalment on 'Business and You'.
How many of you have ever heard the phrase or seen people talking about the word ‘Authenticity’ in relation to business idea(s) and / or developing businesses?
 
We most definitely have and we regularly talk to all of you about the significance of you, your values and your authentic self in relation to your businesses too.
 
That’s because, often, your idea(s), and those frustrations and key business solutions that you come up with, are most authentic when they come from YOU!

For example, they might stem from who you are as person (e.g. someone passionate about and talented at producing art), they might come from your values (e.g. success, and wanting to achieve it). You might be driven by something important that you stand for or your desire in life (e.g. a cleaner environment, lots of money or flexible working hours), or even something that you find irritating in the wider world already (e.g. how paper straws go soggy and we need stronger ones).
 
So, starting with YOU is where we’re going to begin this weekend...
Tip 1: As part of your business journey and getting to that all-important idea that you want to launch and get online, it's key (as we mentioned above) to know about yourself and what drives you, e.g. what you want from your business journey.

Bearing that in mind, take 5-10 minutes this weekend to examine our Business Bingo! Card online and see which of the statements most resonate with you.

Make a list of those that you feel are important to you or represent what you stand for... plus any that you know you want as a direct result of working for yourself.

Of course, you can also add your own statements, too. Bank the list as you may need to come back to it again shortly or later in the programme.
Tip 2: As well as getting to understand your motivations and what drives you forward in your business journey, it's important to understand your core values as some of these may also underpin or be the same for your business. 

Your core values and your motivations can also help you to understand and make key decisions on your actions and smaller, practical business goals.

What's more, identifying such things about yourself and your identity will help you to begin to understand your strengths and qualities, as well as where key support might be needed, as you embark upon your own business journey.

So, with that in mind, if you haven't done so before, spend 30 minutes or so this weekend really drilling down on your core values and why they are important to you (using our Get to Know Your Business Self helpsheet). We've provided some value words here for you, but not all may be relevant... so, don't forget to add your own. 

Remember to flip the sheet over or visit p.2 to answer some key questions about your strengths and how LEN might be able to help you, and feel free to share those with us (if you want to) using the button at the end of the newsletter.
 
Recommended for those without an idea or business right now:

Want to try and generate some of your own ideas?
Now you know more about you, you can use your own frustrations with things out there in the wider world to help you come up with unique ideas and solutions. You can use our Idea Generation resources to help get you started... and, who knows, maybe you'll soon come up with the next big thing!

Reminder: Keep in mind your list, value words and answers to questions relating to your own strengths from earlier exercises as you do this - they'll help with the wider plan for your idea or business longer term.
The Business Model Canvas explained...
Recommended for those with a business ready to launch online:

Revisit the Business Model Canvas with your business and ideas for launching online in mind. Complete a version that thinks more closely about how you might communicate, market and sell your product or service using content that promotes and highlights:
  • YOU!
  • Your personal brand,
  • Your own motivations and drivers (e.g. you might want to highlight your own values and those of the business to demonstrate how they connect);
  • How you're solving your own and others' frustrations with your business? 
Think about what you've learnt about yourself from earlier exercises and how you could develop content connected to this for business marketing purposes.

We'll come back to this again in a few weeks' time when we talk about online marketing strategies...

If you have a completed Business Model Canvas and would like to share it with us for review, please do so at the button below.
 
Share your Business Model Canvas with us
Remember that YOU are a vital piece in your business's puzzle because...

THIS WEEK'S ACTIVITY

Every week we will suggest an activity that will help you build your business throughout the online course. You can download and submit the activity at the link below, which will help us answer any questions you might have during our weekly online Q&A meetup. (anything you ask at the Q&A or submit to us is confidential and won't be shared with anyone else)
Download Activity
Submit your work here
RECOMMENDED READS: Once you have your idea and / or business based on your motivations and / or your frustrations, you need to start thinking about its viability (e.g. that there is a possible audience for the product / service that you are wanting to launch). 

We'd recommend reading The MOM Test (available online) to get to grips with this as a vital part of the business process (and one we'll talk about again soon!)

NEXT WEEK: We'll cover registration and naming your business, as well as other key things you might need to have a handle on (website domains, social media handles) as you move towards launching your business online...
What time would you like the Q&A sessions on a Monday (UK time)? 
Morning 8am-11am 
Lunch 11am-1pm 
Afternoon 1pm-5pm
Evening 5pm-8pm


Has this helped you create a business idea?
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While Loughborough Enterprise Network is here to support you and your business, this doesn’t always mean we’ll automatically endorse your business. If you require endorsement (e.g. permission to use LEN logos in relation to your business), please get in touch to discuss further via LEN@lboro.ac.uk.



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