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CLICK HERE for details of our EXECUTIVE BUSINESS PLAN PROGRAMME. Worth £500 - available FREE!!! .

Nov 2007: The first live BPS Connect event is held in London, attended by over 40 business angels and BPS' partner network who heard a total of 7 fascinating presentations. The event, being the first of 2 to be held each year, was heralded a great success by all those who attended who are looking forard to the next one in May '08.

June 2007: BPS launches BPS Connect to bring together sources of finance, trusted professional support services and BPS clients.

May 2007: Do you need cash for your business idea? The BBC's Dragons’ Den has asked BPS to help find applicants for its fifth series. 

Last series 10 entrepreneurs received investment from the Dragons’ Den.

Brixton based Levi Roots secured an investment of £50,000 when he serenaded the Dragons’ convincing them that his Reggae Reggae Sauce was hot stuff. Just 3 ½ weeks after his appearance on the programme he launched his sauce in 607 Sainsbury’s’ stores nationwide with his first batch selling out across the country in the first day.

Imran Hakim pitched his I-Teddy, a teddy bear with an integrated multi-media player, securing an investment of £140,000, he has just signed a multi-million pound deal and is preparing to launch later this year.

And, 19 year old Christian Lane received an investment of £80,000 from Theo Paphitis for his business Foldio, the first ever stationary folder that decreases the size of the paper by 50%, curving the paper without causing any creases.

Of course, not everyone gets investment in the Den but plenty go on to find success. Paige Allen has begun trialling her inflatable, protective carriers for fruit in nationwide stores. Kate and Jerry Daly’s Send a Kiss is about to be tested in a major high street chain, and, Anna Dickson is on the verge of signing an exciting deal with a large distributor for her Mummy Mitts after appearing in the Den.
The rules are simple: the entrepreneurs can ask for any amount of investment in return for equity in their business. However, they must get the amount they ask for or they will walk away with nothing. The Dragons are prepared to listen to a pitch for any kind of business but they must be convinced that it will make money.

As demonstrated by the investments in the last four series, ideas, businesses and products that meet some or all of the following criteria stand a good chance of securing the Dragons’ interest:

• The Unique Selling Point: a product that serves a need like nothing else.
• Scalability: something that can be up scaled to make real money.
• Route to Market: the clear way the product can be sold and marketed.
• Mutually Beneficial Arrangement: just what will the Dragons get out of it?
• Exit Strategy: a plan of how the entrepreneur/Dragon will exit and make money.

The BBC is currently searching for Britain’s best entrepreneurs and will be auditioning throughout the coming months. If you think you've got what it takes and would like an application form please send an e-mail quoting reference 'Business Plan Services' to dragonsden@bbc.co.uk, telephone 09011 110825 (Calls cost 25p from a BT Landline, other operators and mobiles may vary) or visit www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden

April 2007: Mike Southon, co-author of the best selling Beermat Entrepreneur series of books, meets BPS' Jane Khedair to talk about putting together an effective business plan. Download a FREE PODCAST to hear Mike and Jane chat about the right way to present your proposal on paper, why just having one business plan is not enough, and the all important do’s and don’ts when writing your own business plan.

March 2007: Many UK-based firms do not have a clear business plan, according to new research and news publisher, Adfero.

PKF Accountants and business advisers have found that the majority of small and medium-sized firms in the UK fail to have a written plan of action and could be at risk of limited growth, especially if economic circumstances change. A total of 45 per cent of the firms involved in the study had a working plan, while 46 per cent admitted they only had a working-based plan and a further nine per cent had no plan at all, with owners making decisions and relying on reactions to situations rather than forward planning.

PKF corporate finance partner, Mark Lister, commented: "The research findings suggest that businesses are riding the wave of relative economic prosperity in the UK but many appear to be forgetting some business basics."

He added that businesses could struggle if interest rates rise again and economic circumstances become tougher. Therefore, a solid business plan could help to target growth and identify potential areas of concern to ensure long-term success and prosperity.

February 2007: Business Plan Services (BPS) has signed a deal with Mike Southon (co-author of best-selling book ‘The Beermat Entrepreneur’) to offer BPS site visitors a one-month free Full Membership on Beermat.biz - worth £9.99. Available here. Beermat.biz members get access to business podcasts, articles and sales tools.

January 2007: Business Plan Services launches Passport to Success site

December 2006: Business Plan Services is delighted by having secured a sponsored deal with Venture Finance, part of the ABNO Group, for the forthcoming DVD production of its business plan workshop. The DVD, which will include a workbook, will be an armchair version of the interactive classroom experience that is held in London every month but is intended to be available to a wider audience who may not be able to travel to London and who want the benefit of being able to watch the DVD when AND where they want to. The DVD will be released in March and will shortly be followed by a downloadable streamed version for those who want immediate viewing access. For enquiries or forward orders CONTACT US

November 2006: Business Plan Services is delighted to announce that the company has secured a sponsorship deal with Barclays Bank to support a series of 6 business plan workshops, from Jan - June 2007 inclusive, which enable these sell out events to be run at the heavily subsidised price of £35 + VAT per person (discounted from £165 + VAT per person). The workshops, which have been running at the British Library every month for the past year, have been awarded an unpredented overall average rating of 5/5 across ALL categories of relevance to the participant, inspirational content, quality of presenter, overall format and immediacy of practical use. Reservations and payment may be made online at http://www.bizplans.co.uk/training.asp

October 2006: BPS in association with London Business School launches new programme for growing businesses.

Business Plan Services in association with London Business School will be holding an Awareness Event at London Business School on Wednesday 29th November for those interested in enrolling in its Fresh Perspective Programme.

FPP is designed specifically for a select group of small and medium-sized businesses which have the ambition to take a leap forward in 2007 and beyond. It will be a one-year programme tailored to each company and held at clients’ premises, requiring only a few days of management time.

The programme will enable participants to turn their ideas into reality by providing:

• a platform to bring a management team together to enable all members to focus with professional guidance;
• an opportunity to create a new roadmap for a business;
• a bespoke business plan;
• support and monitoring of the progress of the business plan over the whole of 2007.

This one-off event will run from 6.30pm on the 29th November. The session is free and is intended to provide further information on the benefits to be generated by the “Fresh Perspective” programme.

Find out more or register online at www.bizplans.co.uk/fpp.asp or by calling Jane Khedair on 0845 057 4065

September 2006: The response from BPS’ recent online business plan survey has been truly fantastic and has given us a tremendous insight into how the UK's entrepreneurial population is running their own business! Alarmingly, despite the ongoing media pressure for business managers and company directors to put pen to paper, nearly one quarter of respondents admit that they are yet to write a business plan for their current business. This begs the question of how many of these ventures will be around in years to come to tell the tale...

Thankfully, of those who do have a business plan, over one third have sought professional assistance in doing so to maximise their business' chance of success. It's no surprise that over two-thirds of respondents rated the value of the business plan process as 8 or more out of 10. But what about the 20% of people who didn't even know that such help exists? We obviously haven't done a very good job of keeping everyone informed!

Encouragingly most respondents said that they will be considering using a professional service to help with their next business plan, over half of who apparently intend to get writing in the next 6 months. We only hope that everyone keeps to their word to give their business the roadmap it will need in 2007 and beyond!

May 2006: An article in the Financial Times on 20th May has reported a "notable absence of business plans". According to research by Panasonic, most British business owners are "accidental entrepreneurs". Alarmingly the report found that 54 per cent of UK companies are still started without any kind of business plan.

The survey of 1,167 people found that 53 per cent of men had devised a business plan before setting up their company compared with only 40 per cent of the women.

April 2006: London Borough of Camden announced its renewal of funding to support business development in Camden and Islington for the 2006/7 year. Camden Council’s Innovation Central programme is committed to working with and complementing the activities of Camden's universities and business support providers in order to provide a 'simple to find and use' holistic service offer for the borough's existing and potential future entrepreneurs.

A total of 15 bursaries of up to £3,000 each are available to knowledge-based businesses in the area to subsidise the cost of preparing a business plan, legal services and other support functions. Applications are considered on a quarterly basis and may be made through Business Plan Services' London office, being a principal delivery partner in the initiative.

March 2006: Business Plan Services is delighted to announce its collaboration with the British Library which, on Thursday 9 March, opened the doors of its enhanced Business & IP Centre to cut costs for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and support entrepreneurs from the initial spark of inspiration through to successfully launching and developing a business. The Centre will work with Business Plan Services and other partners to help the launch of 25,000 new UK businesses in its first five years.

Users of the Business & IP Centre have free access to 40 high value databases – a saving of over half-a-million pounds in subscriptions. These databases give up-to-the minute company, business and industry information and financial news, and include Fame, Amadeus, Economist Intelligence Unit Viewswire, Financial Times, OneSource, Lexis-Nexis, Dialog and the Complete Business Reference Adviser (COBRA). Dr Daniel Brown, Entrepreneur in Residence at University College London – said that if he'd had access to the Centre [and its information] at the time he was setting up his business, he could have saved himself £20k on consultants' fees.

The Centre also offers free access to the UK 's most comprehensive collection of business and intellectual property (IP) information, including around 50 million patent specifications, unique databases on trade marks and registered designs, thousands of market research reports, company reports, trade journals, business directories and guides to legal information and government publications. Various ‘how to' guides are also available, including advice on writing a business plan. Many of these resources are unavailable online and the Centre is one of the few places where so many are available in hard copy in a single location.

Information experts are on hand to guide people to the information they need and ensure that they make the most of their time at the Centre. In addition, the Centre acts as a gateway to the Library's other resources, such as its vast image bank, the sound archive and scientific and technical research.

The Centre is just a few minutes' walk from King's Cross, Euston and St Pancras mainline stations, and – from 2007 – the Eurostar terminal. This makes it easily accessible not just for businesses in and around London, but to users from other cities such as Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham.

In May 2005, the Centre was awarded a £1 million capital injection by the London Development Agency to help fund its transformation from a successful pilot project to a permanent national resource. The upgraded Centre opened its doors on 9 March 2006, and will include a networking area for entrepreneurs to collaborate and exchange ideas and a suite of workshops rooms where users can attend workshops and clinics – held by the British Library which is sponsoring BPS’ Business Plan Toolbox workshops helping people to develop a business plan.

February 2006: Congratulations done to another one of our clients Get Well UK (www.getwelluk.com) which offer joined up health services which enable GPs to refer their patients to our complementary therapists.

Get Well UK has been awarded a special prize, Integrated Health Futures Award: recognising innovation to improve health of the Awards for Good Practice in Integrated Healthcare 2005. Pictured here is MD Boo Armstrong receiving the award from HRH.

The judges thought that Get Well UK represents an exciting indication of where integrated healthcare might go in the future. The visit confirmed the robustness of the model and the high level of satisfaction with the service given, from the point of view of a therapist, GPs and the practice manager. The judges were also extremely impressed with the company’s social entrepreneurship and political astuteness.

The Employment Café

January 2006: Well done to our clients, The Employment Cafe (www.employment-cafe.co.uk), who has won runner-up in the DTI/InterForum E-Commerce London awards www.ecommerce-awards.co.uk, for the best use of mobile & wireless technology category with a highly commended citation from the judges which included BT.

The Employment Café (a coffee bar for employment) is a market leader in the public sector with mobile technology. It is a ground breaking Brixton-based Employment initiative using mobile technology to assist applicants from diverse communities with high levels of unemployment throughout London to connect with employment and training opportunities.

Since 2001, Employment Cafe have built a reputation for delivering a good quality service to 25,000 jobseekers London wide and from the Ethnic minorities, seeking worthwhile employment and for pioneer the use of integrating different digital devices encouraging innovation in job-finding services, such as jobs to mobile phones.

Badenoch & Clark, a national professional services recruitment consultancy joined forces with Employment Café (2003) to provide a high quality CV & Job coaching service making it one of London’s most highly regarded service.

Employment Café has previously gained other awards for innovation, including Carlton TV Award, highly commended by Government Ministers as model of good practice and for promoting diversity in the work place.

Ros Griffiths, Employment Cafe Director, said: "We are delighted that Employment Café as a has won such recognition for its work using mobile & wireless technology to assist the diverse communities to connect with employment and training opportunities.”

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