Reflecting on what you have learned from both theory and practice about the skills covered in this unit, develop your own toolkit of skills and techniques that you will be able to apply in your own entrepreneurial ventures. You should consider new skills that the changing entrepreneurial environment may demand. Your toolkit should include items you have gained from this unit, from previous personal experience, from other entrepreneurs or professionals or any other source. You should also identify the gaps in your toolkit and outline a plan for filling those gaps, whether through developing your own skills, through outsourcing or through bringing into your business people who fill the gaps.
Why create a personal toolkit?
Throughout this unit and through your studies in general, you will learn lessons and gain insights, which will change your thinking and develop your repertoire of tools and techniques that you apply as an entrepreneur and innovator.
These lessons and insights may have a deep, significant, and long lasting impact on your performance. They may arise from the formal learning materials and classroom activities, or from the assignments. They may occur from discussion
with your mentors, teachers, family, co-workers
and support network. They may arise from your
attempts to implement your learning in a
professional or personal setting. All of these
activities are opportunities for valuable learning.
Often these Ah Ha moments quickly disappear and we lose the lessons for which we have paid in money, time, and effort. Because of this, it makes sense to
document our learning in a way that we can readily access,
and in a form that reminds us of the value of the lesson. This
becomes your personal toolkit that you reach for when faced with one of the many challenges that are a way of life for entrepreneurs.
You are encouraged to document your toolkit in a way that makes it easy to share with others. Learning is accelerated when we seek help and share our insights freely.
Recording your experiences and insights is one thing. Organising them so that you can refer to them easily when you need to is another. This is where the concept of the Toolkit comes in. Throughout your entrepreneurial learning, you will identify particular approaches, techniques, tools, ways of thinking that you know you want to use again. The idea of the toolkit report is to develop a way to make sure you keep them and keep adding to them.
For the purposes of this assignment, you are only required to include the tools relating to the topics covered: Negotiation, Sales and Law. However you may wish to develop your toolkit to include tools that relate to other entrepreneurial domains and recognition may be given for this.
Potential contents of toolkit include (but are not limited to):
Frameworks and/or models that you have found particularly useful. Be specific about which aspects and how you would use them.
Key readings you have found useful. Summarise in a sentence or two why you found them useful and provide the reference.
Web resources that you have found useful. Summarise in a sentence or two why you found them useful and provide the link.
Blogs on relevant topics that you continue to follow. Briefly explain why and what you learn from them.
Apps or programs that you have identified as great productivity tools for entrepreneurs.
Your own IP processes or routines that you have developed for yourself and use regularly.
One potential organising framework for your toolkit is the Business Model Canvas. See http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc (only if you find this suits you)
Do not attempt to cover too many tools and techniques. Aim to cover those you include in sufficient depth that it is clear how and why you use them and how they have helped you to improve your entrepreneurial performance.
In general, a good report means concise and this applies to this assignment. A toolkit is not a novel: its a box of gadgets whose lid you are frequently motivated to open; to explore and remind yourself what you have at your disposal for current and upcoming challenges, and to reflect on what gadgets you have yet to acquire. For each point you write, ask yourself: is this the best, shortest and clearest way I can record this so that I and others will be enthused to continue to review, reflect, learn and succeed?
Most students write their toolkit as a Word document, but you could create it as a web site or use a suitable app if you prefer. Whatever format you use must be something that you can share with others in particular submit to your lecturer for assessment.
A guide to marking criteria and expected standard is provided on the next two pages.
There are four components to this report. You may choose how you structure these components. The suggested word limit is 2000 words 500, excluding ancillary sections such as Executive Summary, Table of Contents, References and Appendices.