Taking the most out of Startup Boot Camps

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Taking the most out of Startup Boot Camps

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For any startup entrepreneur, things can get quite complicated and confusing at times. You might have created the perfect scenario in your head: the idea of your new business and how it benefits you and everyone around you. But what now? 

Your ideas might be great, but unless you put them into action, they are only a thread of thoughts hovering on your mind. You might have played out everything on your mind about how you want to execute your business and how your business idea will take shape; but like many other startup entrepreneurs, you might be unaware of other contingency factors which come into account, such as balance sheets, legal procedures, cash flow, marketing budgets, ad sales, and other essentials for running a company.

But worry not; startup boot camps can be your saviour!

Startup boot camps are short training programs conducted with the sole purpose of training budding entrepreneurs and newbie business owners, like you, about how you can unscrew the giant business modules part by part. The main aim of startup boot camps is to train you to weave your business plans and also take a close examination of your financial needs and prospects.

Kevin and Trussell Otway, the twin brothers who started Veterans Energy Solution LLC (a company that provides energy consumption audits and green energy designs to residential and business customers), mentioned that they learnt the basics of business and startup in boot camps in the article ‘Surviving a Business Bootcamp’ by Nichole L. Torres. In 2007, they attended several boot camps run by Florida International University and launched their idea into reality the same year. "I had ideas on how to piece things together, but going to the boot camp helped give me the direction to build something that's logical and flows," Kevin is quoted in the article, "It's not just saying, ‘I'm going to make $25,000.’ Instead, it's, ‘This is what I need to do to make $25,000 to break even or make a profit.’" This direction helped the brothers to grow their company to $500,000 in sales that year.

This is only one of many examples of how boot camps have been fruitful to many startup businesses that have been able to stand distinctly successful today.

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Getting drilled by the interactive sessions

Startup boot camps contain intensive sessions that can enhance your understandings on your own business and present a business model canvas – a framework of your idea and how you should head with your idea/business. You also have the chance to learn from the experts who can offer you suggestions that will help you omit the mistakes they made at the early stage of their businesses. "Boot camps aren't designed to delve into every nuance of mid to later-stage growth," says Jack Derby, founder of management consulting firm Derby Management, in the same article by Torres. "The focus of a successful boot camp is in those [first five] years. [It] should provide the architecture for the entrepreneur to create a solid foundation that will stand up for the long term." Some boot camp programs might require you to sit down on a real-time company and see how the market/company actually runs; giving you a clear perception of what your business would be heading towards in reality. That is how you can test your ideas and prepare a mindset of how you want things operated.

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Networking and knowledge: 1-1 = 1

Building networks is a vital aspect for any startup business;- and a startup boot camp is the perfect platform for it. People from different industries, including fellow entrepreneurs, session leaders and experts participate in boot camps and you get to share your ideas and connect with them. They can help you view your problems from different angles and encourage you to focus and dig around your research better. Being around these aspiring entrepreneurs with similar perspective and challenges as you, you will gradually understand that there aren’t many deal breakers for startups. In startup boot camps, you understand the right questions, resources and determination, and you can find the answers and move onto next challenges. Not only do you get to hear from the professionals and the gurus of business and entrepreneurship who have gone through the complete business struggle saga, but you also get to be around a lot of like-minded people to broaden your networks and knowledge.

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Securing investments

Boot camps can help you perfect your pitch to the investors and secure investments. On demo day, you get to pitch your ideas to a pool of investors and other expert panellists. Sharing your ideas and concepts to individuals with a similar vision as you with a persuasive pitch deck can help you fetch attention and interest of investors for your company. You can say it’s an opportunity to address what is to become of your idea and how you can make your investors agree upon it by preparing the answers to the questions any investor would ask before they hand you the money. Startup Pitch Deck Programs can be very beneficial as they can help you improve your pitching skills and understand the components of a great pitch deck. The intensive workshops in a startup boot camp can provide you with plenty of practices in pitching, which include clearly communicating about your business with the employees, customers and investors, avoiding common pitching mistakes and the best ways of pitching your business to the investors. Even if you don’t secure investment during the days of the boot camp, you will acquire skills to pitch it to venture capitalists and other angel investors.

 

All in all, boot camps are a great way to enhance your business skills and to learn about different aspects of doing any business. Not only do you increase your skills and knowledge as a startup entrepreneur, but you also broaden your networks, perfect your investment pitch and most importantly, LEARN, a lot.

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Guest Wednesday, 08 April 2020