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Skills & Training

Every successful business needs access to a variety of different skills and as you grow your business, the range of skills will need to grow too.

We can signpost you to advice and support that will allow you to build and develop the existing skills in your business and help you to learn new ones. Training in general business and enterprise skills is beneficial to anyone planning to start or develop an existing business. Below are some key skills that you should identify to help you succeed:

  • Business skills

It is essential to acquire new business skills if you do not already have them. It is important to understand the principles of running and managing a business, including marketing, planning, finance, people management and so on.

If you have no current business experience, it can be beneficial to take a business start-up course, which may be free of charge or available at minimal cost.

  • Leadership skills

For your business to grow, you will have to employ people, meaning your leadership and people management skills will be vital. Many promising enterprises fail to grow because their owners do not have these skills when they employ staff. Consider whether you would benefit from further training or support in this aspect of business.

  • Sales skills

Every business requires an element of selling. Initially, it is important to educate and persuade people about why they should buy from you, and in some cases it will be crucial to be able to negotiate to win new business.

  • Organisational skills

In order to trade effectively, business owners must be well organised and administratively efficient; it is important to organise yourself and others, plan ahead, manage your time and have the discipline to meet deadlines and statutory commitments.

As your business grows, you will have to consider skill gaps that may arise. With topics such as marketing and social media or management and leadership, you may be able to take advantage of free training. However, as your IT systems become more complicated you may need to consider recruiting staff with technical knowledge.

  • Supporting existing skills

As your business grows, you may want to consider implementing apprenticeship schemes, or working alongside local providers. Apprentices will bring a great range of new skills to your business and can help with long-term development.

  • Apprenticeships

    • There are around 200 different types of apprenticeships covering areas such as business, administration, agriculture, construction, health, retail and much more. For a full list, please click here
    • Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16, who is not in full time education
    • Apprentices usually work at least 30 hours a week and must be paid at least the appropriate National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice (which varies according to age)
    • Apprenticeships must last for a minimum of 12 months, with Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships lasting longer

If you intend to take on an apprentice, you can advertise your vacancy free of charge on the National Apprenticeship Service’s apprenticeship vacancies website. You can also visit the Government’s Fire It Up apprenticeships campaign site.

  • You may want to consider:

    • Training your current workforce
    • Developing your management and leadership capabilities
    • Recruiting externally
    • Outsourcing work, such as graphic design for marketing, to a specialist company or agency

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