How a grand plan can help smooth the passage to Catalyst success

Our focus this week has been on the importance of a great business plan, and for both current and future Catalyst Centre incumbents, it is a key element of both the competitive process, and of the subsequent six months. The winners of the last round were judged partly on their initial application, which called for them to submit a business plan which successfully ‘sold’ their idea to the judging panel. Many applicants fell at the first hurdle, because they didn’t put the time and thought into producing a plan that clearly explained their idea, and demonstrated why it had the potential to become a successful business.

The development and submission of your business plan to the Catalyst Centre judges is an important stage of the process, and closely mirrors the steps that any business has to take when looking to get finance, or submitting a tender. Whilst no-one expects it to be perfect at this stage, it is clear when an entrant has really done his or her homework, investigated the market, and developed the idea from concept to marketable product/service. If your idea is sound, it deserves to be communicated properly to the judges, and with this in mind, the Catalyst Centre devised guidance notes which were designed to help entrants produce the best plan they could, at a very early stage. 

Once the winners took up residence, their business plans became the focus of their activity over the next six months, and every one of them nears the end of their stay with a plan that has been thoroughly reviewed, tweaked and polished to a dazzling shine, equipping the winners with the tools they need to venture out into the marketplace and continue to build on the success that they are already seeing.

Applications for the next round of the Catalyst Centre are open, and those who are considering getting involved can find these notes online at http://usspcatalystcentre.org.uk/GuidanceNotes.pdf

Time is running out, and you have to be in it to win it.