a) Class CEO Profiles
Sue Jones - Start Up - Thoughts Become Things Care Consultancy
Website: www.thoughtsbthings.co.uk Contact: 07542 001278
Linked in Profile Susan Jones
Our mission is to help home care providers innovate and create change, transforming their services into valuable client propositions that put a "wow" into care.
What we do - We help your home care business articulate your value so that private clients understand how your service will enhance their lives.
How we do it - We transition your business from charging an hourly rate to a value proposition. This is a complete end to end solution that starts with understanding who your target clients are.
Why we do it – We passionately believe people should have choice and access to person-centred care. Putting clients hopes and wishes at the heart of every single service proposition is central to our “why”.
Inderveer Tatla (Indi) - Start up – Purist
Contact: 07782164369 Email: email@example.com
LinkedIn Profile: Inderveer Tatla
Born out of 30 years frustration of skin health issues, my product is a back to basics foam-based hand soap. Using naturally derived antimicrobial ingredients, and vitamins to nourish hand health. Its foam-based nature means it also uses less water than popular liquid hand soaps.
With the rise in hand washing, it’s important to reduce our toxin exposure & use natural products for barrier protection. The absence of which puts us at more risk of infections and skin conditions such as eczema.
My mission: help atopic skin sufferers like my daughter so they don’t make the same mistakes I did and help others without means to get access to higher quality skincare products
b) Learning goals
The business pitch workshop provides the SLP fellows with the opportunity to practice their pitch to experienced investors and/or serial entrepreneurs. This means making their pitch as succinct and exciting as possible, providing enough information to the panel members whilst also generating interest in their Start-Up.
The art of selling their story. This is a valuable skill that all new businesses should be comfortable with, especially if they are seeking investment for their product or service.
c) Preparation and delivery
Sue and Indi worked together to deliver the business workshop.
In preparation for the workshop we familiarised ourselves with the format by:
Arranging to speak with the 2019 Class CEO
Reading through the SLP handbook for guidance
Having a call to identify any gaps or assumptions in our understanding
Requesting additional resources used in previous years
A further call to agree the basics (day, time, format, panel members)
Due to the pandemic, we agreed the workshop would take place on a Saturday via Zoom call. We secured 8 panel members: 4 for the morning session and 4 for the afternoon session. The panelists were secured from previous and current alumni, and through connections on LinkedIn.
We split the group into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session had a number of commercially-based entrepreneurial propositions comprised mainly of tech businesses. The afternoon session was largely businesses that had an element of social good in their proposition. We did this because this suited the panel members areas of expertise and we wanted to provide the best possible experience for the entrepreneurs.
A power-point presentation was created, with an outline of the agenda and details of each of the panelists. An email was sent to both the panelists and the entrepreneurs providing them with the details and outline of the day prior to session taking place.
The agenda was as follows:
10.00 – 10.10 – Introductions and outline of the day
10.10 – 12.20 – Business Pitches
12.15 – 12.30 pm – Panelists Discussion
12.30 – 13.00 – Lunch Break
13.00 – 15.30 pm – Business Pitches
15.30 – 15.45 pm – Panelists Discussion
15.45 – 16.00 – Final thoughts– Indi and Sue
Both CEO’s took it in turns to chair the sessions. Indi did the morning, and Sue did the afternoon.
Each of the entrepreneurs gave a five-minute presentation of their business. Followed by a further 5 minutes of questions and feedback from the panel members and (in some cases) fellows. An online form was created and shared to everyone ahead of the business pitches - both the panelists and entrepreneurs were asked to complete after each session. The form received great feedback for its ease of use.
After the session a thank you card created via Canva was sent to our panelists. We also asked if they would mind sharing their contact details. They were all really helpful to us as entrepreneurs and said we could reach out to them if we had any specific queries.
d) Key learning outcomes
From a personal perspective this was quite a difficult session to organise in terms of time constraints. My advice for next year’s CEO would be if you have selected this project then start preparing for this right from the start of the program. It certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone as I do not particularly like being the chairperson. It felt like quite a big responsibility. What was really great is that Indi and I worked well together and shared the tasks. This made such a difference. I’m not sure I would have been able to do this on my own.
In terms of the day itself both myself and Indi felt that the day went well. The timings ran to plan, which helped for the smooth running of the day. The fact that this was online meant that people didn’t have to travel which I am sure helped with the recruitment of the panelists. Although this probably made it easier for us as CEO’s to deliver it perhaps, didn’t provide the richness of experience that a live presentation would have done.
Getting started early with the preparation is key. Sue and I were lucky that we both synchronised ourselves quite early on. I would say as soon as you start SLP it’s crucial to get yourselves up and running with what’s expected of you.
We were very fortunate that we were able to see a clear split in the panel members who volunteered and the fellow pitches – pure luck. But it meant that panel members were able to ask good questions. If you can be more intentional and mindful of that then you’ll ensure it’s a meaningful learning experience.
I am very grateful that Sue and I did this together – it was a breeze. The previous year’s class CEO held the workshop alone and though she made it a success it sounded much more stressful. If you’re reading this and you’re on your own – you may want to consider roping in an extra pair of hands!