As you now know I am a professional of the HR transformation and more especially of the learning digitalization. But I am also an eager learner myself, and I always want to try and find new opportunities to learn.
So back in October 2017, after validating a CIPD Diploma in Learning and Development (which was an incredible experience during 17 months) I decided to look for a course on entrepeneurship in order to experience something new to potentially support some business development and why not…maybe create my own company one day in the HR field.
So even though I did not created my own company yet, I completed the awesome course from the MITx called: LaunchX Becoming and Entrepreneur that you can access here.
In this course I discovered how to run a business analysis, how to identify opportunities, understand customers, design an offer including the minimum viable product (a concept I also use for writing), testing an offer and planning for business logistic.
And I was eager to try these new knowledges, which I could not necessarily test by myself at this moment but…it happens that I knew a very talented designer who launched his own streetwear design shop.
That is how started our collaboration to develop his shop in a business that is known to be very competitive. For me it was a complete dive in a new world even if I am a fan of original streetwear products. What I liked in his initiative is that the design are all home made, and homage to the geek culture and the world of basketball which makes it very specific and fun at the same time.
So very concretely, me playing the role of a benevolent advisor for this startup, what did we took out from this partnership so far ?
For me it is a way to practice what I learned from the launchX program, because I contribute to the design of the business model, the development of a first brand, the partnership of the shop to sell on different marketplaces, the promotion of the brand and design and the offer management (products categories, organization etc).
And for the owner of the shop it is a way of getting a support in the co-development of his shop, to manage some of the tasks that he can’t manage because…he is also the main designer of the company which takes a lot of time already. Then let’s face it this is pretty exceptional because you need to have trust in the ability of your advisor and in my case I knew the founder of this shop from a long time and he already was specialized in e-business so he knew his business field.
In this adventure what I learn is that working for a company and launching a shop are two very different things. In one you benefit from a solid environment, with support from all types of skillset and talented people. You want an advice on marketing, you go to the marketing specialist, you have a question on a contract, you go to the legal services. But on the other, you do not necessarily have all these services and people available and every support, even from freelancer is mostly payable (which by the way impacts your P&L … sometimes before you have sold the first product).
So you need to develop new abilities, resilience, creativity, adaptability, and learn faster (that one was easier for me).
But more importantly, you also learn your own limitations and you start to connect with a community of other entrepreneurs and freelancers that can give you advices for your next steps and that is probably one of my biggest learning.
I am proud to say that we have now our first partnerships with a legit brand and that we continue to develop the shop to offer new original designs…so I will keep you posted on the evolution of this startup and if you want to know more, you can visit our website.