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35 min listen

Work in Progress Episode 5 – Fail to plan, plan to fail

Financial planning. Entrepreneurs either love it or hate it. This time on Asto’s Work In Progress, we talk to three entrepreneurs who built very different business models. We discover the secrets to their planning success, from creating targets and budgets to business plans and growth strategies that worked for them. 

The guests on this podcast are: 

Debbie Wosskow OBE, a serial entrepreneur who successfully grew and sold HomeSwap – the home exchange website – and now runs Allbrightan investment firm, networking group and members club for women. 

Ben Jackson, the founder of Capsicanaan authentic Latin American flavours brand. The chilli fanatic started his business in 2009 and his products are now sold nationwide. 

Seni Glaister, the driving force behind social eating craze WeFiFoThis start-up helps home cooks turn their culinary skills into money-spinning ventures – a sort of Airbnb meets Supper Club.  

After a quick summary?

According to all three guestsbusiness owners needs to learn to plan. “It’s important, as an entrepreneur, to like a list,” says Wosskow. “Anyone can have an idea, it’s all about the execution. The misnomer for entrepreneurs is that we don’t have tidy minds, but most of us do.”  

But you need flexibility into your financial plan, says Glaister. She didn’t factor commercial partnerships into WeFiFo’s original model, and this is now a major revenue generator for the business.  

[It] wasn’t in the original model, but is now a really important part of our business,” she says. “It guarantees the switch from start-up to scale-up. I know we will be feeding 100,000 people in 2019 just with one corporate partnership. It wasn’t in the plan but I’m really glad it’s in the plan now.” 

Jackson advises fellow business owners to make time to check in on progress and review targets. “As a general rule, we have a monthly operational meeting, he says. “We’re not big so we talk constantly about financial planning, but we also do a deep dive once a quarter.” 

Financial planning may sound dull, but it is the cornerstone of all business growth, according to the three entrepreneurs. “We’ve built a model that is focused on scale,” says Glaister. “We will be ramping up very fast this year.” 

Bex Burn-Callandar headshot

Bex Burn-Callander on twitter


Debbie Wosskow OBE | Ben Jackson | Seni Glaister

Some extra reading:

How to find the right funding | Top tips on taking control of your finances

Additional listening:

Life outside the London bubble | Collaborate or Die – Part 2

Come back soon for more insight and advice from some of the UK’s most enterprising business owners.

The views and opinions expressed by any individuals interviewed or participating in our Work in Progress podcasts are their own and do not represent the views or opinions of Asto.