Are you designing a product of your own? Have you been racking your brains for an original idea? Are you longing for a professional community that can offer you suggestions and guidance? The business plan we are about to discuss might be an idea that meets these requirements.
Today we have Kai Duan with us. He graduated from International Media Business of University of Westminster and is a co-author of this business plan. Now let Perfect Pitch ask questions on your behalf. All you wanna know is right here.
P=Perfect Pitch K=Kai Duan
P: Would you tell me something about your business plan?
K: Our project is called “D-sider”. It’s an online community for burgeoning designers who want to share their ideas and exchange views with others. Traditional social sites are obviously not an ideal place for such a purpose. According to our survey among designers, 93% of respondents deemed it necessary to get inspiration from works and ideas of others while 90% of them hoped for comments and advice on their works from experienced professionals. Many unknown designers may be very capable. But there hasn’t been a good platform where they can display their talent. What we are doing is to provide such a platform.
P: How did you come up with this idea?
K: We did a lot of brainstorm together. Every member of the team agreed that we should design a product to really help students. Actually, there were many design majors in our school. We often saw them busy with their works in the forum or lab. It’s very difficult for young designers to establish a name for themselves in a big city like London. So, we decided to create a platform to help them. And then we developed the simple notion into a full business plan.
P: Was there any trouble during the preparation? How did you solve it?
K: Yes. Market analysis was the hardest part of our business plan. I guess other teams might face the same problem at that time. Building a website isn’t as easy as it may sound. It requires a lot of fund for daily maintenance and operation. Moreover, we had to convince investors of our project before we could get any investment. We figured that the business plan must be as thorough as possible. We had to consider related services, subsequent upgrading and improvement of the website. We brainstormed on the details of the product over and over again to make it impeccable. We often asked ourselves this question: what did we care most if we were investors. Then, we improved our project accordingly.
P: How did you feel when giving your presentation?
K: We completed the design of the project and submitted all materials a month prior to the presentation. We spent much time together going over every little detail of our project. We were fully prepared when that day came. We were excited and a little bit nervous because in front of us were real investors. It’s really an exciting and also rewarding experience. Given that time was limited, some team members didn’t have a chance to present their part of the project so fully. Although we were well prepared, some factors did affect our performance more or less.
P: What benefits did you get for participating in this project and activity?
K: The best thing I learned is how to think thoroughly and methodically about the details. It makes me more rigorous. By creating a business plan of my own, I have formed a basic understanding of the market. I feel that I become more mature and experienced after this project. It’s something I could never learn from any book.
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Look how University of Westminster students pitch their business plans: