Disclaimer – I am a member of Business Blueprint, not staff
I need to be clear that I am a paying member of Business Blueprint. I have been for 3 years now. Obviously I am happy with it, but at the same time I want to be clear about the good and the bad and try to be as impartial as possible.
What isn’t Business Blueprint?
Let’s start with what Business Blueprint isn’t.
It’s not a business coaching service. There’s no-one that will step into your business to help you run it. There’s no-one that will sit next to you and ask you the hard questions. There is a “business coach” available to answer questions, but it’s a responsive service, not a pro-active one.
It’s not a course. There is no beginning, middle and end. But there is a “fast track” in the first year to take you through core ideas.
It’s not a social group. Actually it is. It’s not meant to be a social group.
What is Business Blueprint?
Business Blueprint is a “school” for entrepreneurs. Well, maybe more of a TAFE. It’s not a uni. It’s not about theory, it’s about practicality.
A big part are the quarterly conferences. These are 2 or 4 day events depending upon your level of membership (more on this later). The format for the conference is:
Day 1 – Platinum members only. A one day “intensive” where one speaker talks about a specific topic for the day.
Day 2 – A series of one to one and half hour talks by experts. These tend to be very focused on specifics (e.g. web sites, marketing, branding, HR, outsourcing, procedures etc)
Day 3 – More talks but the day starts with “timely tech” which focuses on apps that make life easier, and finishes with the writing of a 90-day plan to help focus direction. It tends to have one talk which is more inspirational than practical.
Day 4 – Platinum members only. About 20 experts are brought in for 3 round-table events where you can ask questions and get advice.
Social – All breaks are a great opportunity to socialise with other members. There are also a number of dinner events over the days.
Quality – Are the speakers good? Absolutely. Are they practical? Absolutely. Are they all high quality, smooth talkers? No, because many of them are experts in their field, not professional speakers. But overall I find the quality great, and the content better.
Every fortnight is a webinar on a specific topic. They tend to be very practical. Some will take you through step by step how to do things. And since they are a webinar there are opportunities for people to ask questions.
As well as the live conferences all members have access to previous conferences. Or putting it another way, you have access to recorded sessions on specific topics. This is rapidly becomes a big library of resource materials.
The Facebook group is a very active community where questions and ideas are discussed. There are local drink nights, and there are informal get toghethers.
The reality is that Dale actually does very few of the presentations. At each conference he is likely to take a session, but most talks are by experts in their specific field.
I suspect much of the success of Business Blueprint is in Dale’s network of friends and the access he has to many great speakers, and he does a great job bringing it all together, but it’s not about Dale sharing his knowledge. So no, it’s not about Dale.
The entire program is pitched at business owners who have a company size of 1 up to probably about 20 or 30. It’s focus is on how to take a small company and turn it into a successful medium size company. Or how to take a small busy company into a small well run company. Or how to take a growing company and get it ready to sell.
There are some members who haven’t bought a business yet but are equiping themselves. There are people who have owned a business for decades.
The big question is, is it good value for money?
For me, yes. And you can probably get that sense from the good press I’ve given it in this review.
In terms of numbers, there are far more people joining each month than leaving. That means it now has members who have been a part of it for many years.
Does that mean it is failing to train them? After all, who wants to stay at school forever?
The reality is that technology is changing faster than we can keep pace. At the same time there are the things we should be doing but lose sight of. I suspect that these are two key reasons for people staying. And the talks are good.
Attend Dale’s one day “New Rules of Business”. Chances are you will learn so much that you won’t have time over the next 3 months to join Business Blueprint. And if that’s the case, then that’s why you need to join Business Blueprint.