What a business plan expert does for the GoodGoing! network
When someone wants to pursue an important professional objective, such as starting their own business - as either a consultant or entrepreneur – they need to deal with a number of issues to make the idea feasible from a technical and financial perspective: the first objective involves establishing how much time they’ll need for the project to generate sufficient income to maintain their current living standards or generate the desired improvements.
Let’s start from the simplest case: you have an extensive high-level professional experience and want to make positive use of your talents by working as a professional for one or more clients, thereby independently managing your time; in this case you’ll need to become a marketing expert of “yourself”, starting with well written self-promotion documents (a working CV, a presentation, a letter of introduction, references), and carefully manage a select portfolio of contacts – that is always kept up-to-date - and dedicate part of your time to relationship-building meetings and events to create a pipeline of opportunities to generate work contracts of varying duration or importance.
We’re obviously assuming you won’t just be able to plod along with the same daily routine you had when you were an employee.
People in this position normally experience uncertainty over their finances which is why this option should be assessed carefully, but if you do feel up to the task your prospects could be rosier than you think. There are plenty of cases of people who fulfil their dreams by combining freedom, independence and a variety of tasks with financial satisfaction. The support of our panel of experts involves helping candidates achieve their own project from all perspectives, including coaching or self-marketing, as well as operational and contractual matters.
Now let’s imagine that you have an entrepreneurial idea and that you want to set up a company that will also employ other people. In another post we looked at the importance of producing a Business Plan examining financial aspects (initial costs, required investments, forecasted revenue based on assumptions, etc.). In this post we want to focus on the need to carefully consider the context which the entrepreneurial idea will fit in to: while it is not easy to put together realistic numbers in terms of costs, it is even more complex to make simulations regarding potential revenues. Indeed, over-enthusiasm for an entrepreneurial idea can lead to numbers being too optimistic, and incorrect assumptions will too often be the basis for an idea or project failing. But if you carefully analyse the “context” (size of the market for your idea, the performance of the market compared to the economy as a whole, development prospects, competition, barriers to entry, legal challenges, other potential variables, etc.) then your Business Plan will be more valuable and sustainable when you start presenting it to Banks, Business Angels and investors who might come on board right from the outset of your adventure.
The involvement of our Business Plan expert will help you consider all options and develop simulations that are as truthful and reliable as possible.
GoodGoing! has professionals in its network that can provide this type of support. They are not coaches, but rather business experts with a proven track record.
One example is Stefano Longo
Who is he?
Stefano Longo is one of the founders of GoodGoing! and is a Political Sciences graduate from the University of Turin. He also has various master courses under his belt and did a 6-month secondment in New York in EY’s Marketing head office. He has worked for three decades in global software companies and has held managerial roles in System Integration and consultancy. He has a solid know-how in sales, marketing and the management of people and in 2013 he decided to put himself to the test by becoming an entrepreneur.
His primary role has always been that of understanding the requirements of people to help them reach their objectives. This is the main purpose of consultancy as well as sales. His key skills include:
- excellent problem-solving skills supported by a strong capacity for analysis and synthesis
- management experience in large management consultancy and services companies like Ernst & Young (currently EY), international System Integrators like Atos, global software firms like Adobe
- experience in local and international start-ups in e-commerce (Top Italian Wine), software technologies (MobileBridge), services for businesses (Gate, the first online company to sell tax services in 1997) and individuals (GoodGoing!)
- professional engagement as an advisor, tutor, public speaker and networker for “his” start-ups.
What he does for GoodGoing!
After the financial crisis in recent years, which shook the lives of many managers who suddenly found themselves without a job and without support, he helps aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals wanting to open their own businesses by the tangible contribution of his experience in creating business plans and fine-tuning strategies and go-to-market models.
- By analysing the context a business idea is to fit into, he assesses positioning, competition, sales channels and know-how and supports the search for financing options for the opportunity.
- He conducts meetings with entrepreneurs and decision-makers to promote the importance of innovation and the cost of “not deciding” in terms of missed opportunities and delays.
- He writes and occasionally publishes articles on the impact of Mobile, AI or Blockchain technologies.
Naturally, he has in-depth knowledge of the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) market and digital world, as well as start-ups and non-profit organisations.