November 11th, 2016
As Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) arrives, running from 14th to 20th November 2016, many people in the UK are looking to take the plunge and start up a new business. Over the first 6 months of 2016 an amazing 80 businesses were started up every hour, according to figures from StartUp Britain – an even higher rate than in 2015, which was itself a record-breaking year.
Basepoint is a Top Partner for GEW and we have also been awarded a High Impact Award Host badge as a result of our involvement last year, underlining our commitment to helping entrepreneurs. We run flexible serviced offices in areas including Evesham, Camberley and Crawley, and take a close interest in supporting small businesses and new ventures and helping entrepreneurs to get the training they need.
Many events during GEW will look at the need for training in various aspects of running a business and how to go about arranging this.
What Areas Do Entrepreneurs Need Training In?
There are many reasons for wanting to start up your own business, including the ability to do things in your own way and make your own decisions. However, to do this effectively you need to be confident in your own abilities – and that means getting the right training in any areas where you feel you need help.
When you decide to start up a business, it is likely you will already be skilled in the specific services you intend to offer. However, there are also many more general business-related skills which you will need to develop. While there may be no formal training plan for a business owner, areas where you will need to develop confidence and skills for many types of venture include:
• Writing Business Plans/Proposals – Preparing a business plan is essential if you want to arrange finance. As you go forward, the plan will also be a vital tool to help you look ahead and prioritise, working out which tasks are most business-critical. You will also need to be able to write convincing proposals in order to pitch for contracts. Writing these documents can seem quite daunting, as there is so much which needs to be included. However, getting support and training from experts can help, and it is also helpful to get a business plan independently reviewed once it is complete.
• Finance – Business accounting is something which can be complex and time-consuming even for a very small company. If you are going to do your own books, you will need training at the outset to ensure you keep all the right records. But, even if you decide to outsource your financial record-keeping to an accountant or book-keeper, it is still essential for you as a business owner to understand your finances, so that you can review your progress.
• Public Speaking and Presentation – Most entrepreneurs may not often have to get up on a platform and address a public meeting, but it is still essential to be able to put across your message face to face. Good speaking skills can be useful for everything from holding meetings with clients or colleagues to making contacts at networking sessions.
• Leadership and Management – If you are going to employ staff, however small your company may be, you will need to be able to manage them. You need to put across what is needed to others you work with, and also to know when to delegate. Related to this, project management is another important aspect of running a company.
• HR – All employers, including small businesses, to ensure compliance with a whole range of HR legislation, covering everything from holiday entitlement and sickness absence to any disciplinary issues. As with finance, this is an area where you may find it helpful to outsource work to an expert. But, even if you do this, you still need to have a good knowledge of HR legislation yourself to make sure your business complies.
• Digital Skills – Working with the latest technology can help to save time and money in many different types of business. But many entrepreneurs who are not IT specialists may feel nervous about embracing new systems and business apps, wondering if they will go wrong and cause confusion.
Where Can You Find Training?
It is important for training to be tailored to your needs and skills and the requirements of your business. Taking general business courses can give a good grounding, but you may also want to find people who can work with you one to one in the particular areas you need to master. For instance, many businesses have a digital specialist they can go to for training as and when it is needed.
There are many different places to look for training, ranging from Chambers of Commerce to local and national small business organisations, as well as colleges and other organisations. For instance, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) runs courses on accounting skills for business owners, while ACAS provides many different courses on HR topics. Increasingly, online training is also important.
Finance providers will often put new business owners in touch with a mentor, who can advise you on where to look for support and training. These are also topics which can be discussed with other small business owners via networking events.
Basepoint’s flexible serviced offices offer the ideal environment for networking with other business people. We organise a range of events through the year, such as those being held during GEW at all our business centres.
We also offer the free Mibase service to licensees, which includes the ability to find out about seminars and training events as well as having access to experienced mentors. For more information about Basepoint’s centres, click here.