A group of RSA Fellows in Woking, led by Niraj Saraf, have created the Pop Up Board (PUB), a place where start-ups and small businesses can come to talk through challenges they are facing.
Start-ups are a risky business: 20% of them fail in their first year and around 60% will go bust within their first three years. But even beyond that, it’s not plain sailing. The reasons are varied: a great idea, poorly executed; the market not being ready; failing to take account of changes in the environment, and more. And sometimes when a critical decision needs to be made, there isn’t anyone available to talk with to sound it out. Entrepreneurship is lonely and that can lead to erroneous decisions.
An approach to this taken by some is to set up an advisory board but finding the right people can be time-consuming, sometimes expensive, and if you set one up too early you could end up with the wrong people or the wrong mix of people.
Being able to discuss your business’ challenges in confidence, with a highly experienced group of senior business people, can give you a priceless opportunity to get a check on your thinking, as well as valuable insight, knowledge, and advice.
The PUB offers businesses up to three one-hour advisory sessions without requiring any commitment, so they can get a feel for an advisory board without the effort and cost of setting one up and running it. Woking Borough Council was so impressed with idea, they included it in the formal support programme for start-ups and have been referring businesses to the PUB.
There’s no reason why this approach should be unique to Woking though and Niraj is now looking for Fellows who’d be interested in setting up PUBs in other places. You can find out more pitchatthepub.com or email [email protected].
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