As a follow up to the previous assessment, the Dragon’s Den business presentation, we were asked to write up a formal business plan. I opted to use the business my group had come up with during the Dragon’s pitch of a vertical landscape gardening company.
I found my lack of knowledge of the business world a slight challenge due to the overwhelming complexity of planning a new business from the ground up. To give us the information we required, we were given several lectures by professional business advisor Chris Walker who introduced us to the “Business Canvas Model”. I found this model very a great help as it broke down the process of planning a whole business into easily digestible elements.
Taking part in the Dragons Den activity before writing this assignment was massively helpful as it allowed us to use divergent thinking, providing more ideas and more suggestions which were then shaped to give us a clear idea of what our business was going to be. The ability to discuss and plan as a group provided me with all the necessary parts I needed to complete my formal plan, which in the end was just a more structured written version of the large spreadsheet plan used in the Dragon’s Den.
Whereas, we only had the one day to fully design our business for the presentation, for the written plan we had several weeks which allowed for more research into the specific field our business would be entering into. I was able to look more into currently running gardening or landscape companies and also into the very new world of urban landscaping. This opened my eyes to how much potential there is for our (not necessarily so unique) idea of “vertical gardening”. However, despite this not being a totally new concept, it is still a very young industry with plenty of room for new blood.
As a general reflection on this part of the module, I believe it has been little help to me personally as I have no current interest in starting a business or going into a business management position. Although, I found the challenges unique and the process of organisation and planning that went in to writing my formal plan was entirely useful and I would certainly aim to use these skills in future roles in a way to progress my career and professional life. Being able to collect all the ideas from a group and accumulate them into a single document while still putting in my own personal ideas and views to create a highly plausible business was highly rewarding.