You have an idea. It’s exciting. It gives you a little glimpse into a different future – one where you do something you love, you do it really well, and customers are prepared to pay you for it. That little idea whispers, “You could run your own business, you know.”
Making your own hours. Saying yes to the right customers, and no to the wrong ones. Getting up to do a job that makes you happy. All on your terms. It’s an awesome little idea.
The more you think about it, the better it seems, so you go for it! And it really is brilliant. Except for – the bits you didn’t know about. The work you need to do just to set it up, and then keep it running: the marketing, the accounting, the web technology, the networking, the insurance, the legal issues – then there’s business development, long term planning, and how to deal with the unexpected bumps in the road. Having your own business still gives you so much pleasure, but some of it can be quite a headache. And there are so few places to turn for help that you can trust – or even afford.
Unless you’re in the Milton Keynes area…because we have Incubation Nation, and you can find the solution to all your business headaches right here. There’s a mix of funded places, pay as you go, or absolutely free weekly accountability sessions and a Facebook group.
Your Own Business Foundations
Created by Sam Poole – who inspired me to start RLC Words back in 2017 – Incubation Nation began as a business development programme for female business founders, fully funded by MK Council over 12 Business Bootcamp sessions. Each one was a masterclass in running your own business, covering the essentials you need to succeed. It’s now evolved into eight sessions, and while it still provides fully funded places for qualifying women, it’s open to everyone else too on a pay-as-you-go basis. It establishes four cornerstones for your business, upon which you can build everything else: Business Review, Business Planning, Marketing & Social Media, and Confidence Building & Mindset. There’s group work, idea blasting, visiting experts, and above all, getting to know your business inside out.
The programme is a brilliant foundation for those starting out, and the MK Council-funded places are part of their mission to assist women to get established as business owners. To qualify for a funded place, you must be female and have a business that is less than two years old.
The Free Weekly Drop-Ins
Then again, you may not want such intense and thorough grounding in business development. Perhaps you need some help with shaping your thoughts, organising your goals, and knowing where to go for the targeted, specialist help you need – if that’s the case, the FREE weekly drop-ins will be right up your street.
Led by Carol Wright, Sam’s right-hand-woman, these sessions are an inspiring mix of networking, and making business commitments to yourself and to Carol, and knowing that you’ll be accountable to deliver on them. Sometimes, knowing that someone else is willing you to succeed is all it takes to push you on to do it.
This was the session that fired up my plans for Write It Yourself. I’d had the idea, but needed focus and specifics to help me shape it all, and create a framework to build around. And now I’ve got a plan – not just for the next few weeks, but for the next year. It’s up to me to plot how the map to achieve it looks, but I’m on my way – and I know that help and support are right there if I need it.
If you’re just starting out – or just need a little help to get the next stage straight in your head – then you can do no better than Incubation Nation. I know from personal experience how brilliant Sam and Carol are: how inspiring, how motivating, and how supportive – and I’m so excited that they’re sharing this with every business in Milton Keynes who needs it.