These workshops are partially funded by the U Start project to support students, graduates and university staff to unlock their business potential and become enterprise ready.


Business for Beginners

Got a great idea, but you don’t know if the world is ready for it yet? Maybe the demand is there, but you don’t know how to start making and selling the product. Business for Beginners is a great starting point for finding out whether you have a viable business idea.

Does your idea hold its own? What makes your idea unique? Is there a market for it? Where will you operate?

Some of the things this session covers:

  • How to start a business
  • Moving an idea forward
  • Checking an idea before planning
  • Getting your first customer

Structuring Your Business

Which type of business is best for you: sole trader, Limited company, social enterprise or a business partnership? There are pros and cons to each, so it really depends on your specific business.

In this workshop, we can help you figure out which option is best for you and how that relates to the following:

  • Tax, insurance, VAT & NI
  • Intellectual Property
  • Know your consumers’ rights
  • Whether to rent space or work from home
  • Health & safety

Essential Guide to Marketing

People often understand the art of Marketing – the adverts, the graphics, social media posting – but what about the science? Marketing is all about observing behaviour and trends, analysing the situation and creating content that encourages consumers to engage. There’s a lot more to it than pretty pictures and punchy text!

Essential Guide to Marketing is currently delivered by Jackie Harris of Bright Spark Marketing.

Understanding Business Finance

Knowing what you’re worth and what others are willing to pay can be a tricky business. We often underestimate ourselves. It’s important to know what income to expect, especially when bid writing. There are different pricing strategies that can be applied to your product or service to ensure you’re providing a fair deal and can still pay the bills.

This workshop covers:

  • Financial terms
  • Business viability and planning
  • Profit and loss calculations
  • Pricing
  • Cash flow forecasts

Bookkeeping for Beginners

Once you’re trading you’ll need to keep track of your income and outgoings. This isn’t just for your own piece of mind but is important for insurance and tax reasons. Different companies need to report to different regulatory bodies. Find out how to keep the books tidy with this workshop.

You’ll learn:

  • Record keeping
  • Financial control management
  • Who to report to
  • How to do a tax return

Sales & Negotiation

There are many circumstances that require negotiation within business, whether discussing a higher salary, lowering material costs, bidding on new contracts or even devising the company’s strategy moving forward. You might not want to do it, but with a few techniques up your sleeve, it can be a painless experience.

Selling uses a lot of the same techniques as negotiation. How do you convince someone to buy your product or service?

In this workshop:

  • Win/win approaches
  • Selling techniques
  • The 5 points of selling
  • Pitching


Brilliant Business Ideas

What even is ‘creative thinking’ anyway? Take a look at what ‘creativity’ means within a business context. This workshop provides you with some techniques to generate multiple enterprising ideas and helps you assess whether those ideas can get off the ground.

  • Creative thinking in business
  • The 3 stages of ideation
  • Idea generation techniques
  • Checking the viability of ideas

This briefing is 1.5 hours long.

Creating a Business Model

It can be a bit overwhelming starting up a business. If you’re working it out as you go along, it can be hard to know what to prioritise, right? Well, that’s where business models come in. A business model pulls together all aspects of your business into one place, providing an overview of everything you could possibly need to consider.

In just two hours, you’ll be able to describe, analyse and design a business model that illustrates the value and core activities of your company.

You’ll look at:

  • Key elements of a business
  • Understanding your value
  • Creating a business model canvas

This briefing is 2 hours long.

The Inspiring Entrepreneur

Russell Hogarth is an Honorary Fellow and the Entrepreneur in Residence for UCLan. He is also Community Engagement Ambassador and Co-Founder & Chair of the Creative Communities Group (CCG). His area of special interest is community engagement, higher education and supporting and advising entrepreneurs and SME’s.

Come speak to Russell at one of our briefings, hear his story and have a conversation.

  • Published author
  • 25 years of experience running a successful business
  • Consultant to the House of Commons, House of Lords and European Parliament

This briefing is 1.5 hours long.

Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

So, what is it that you do?

First impressions are important, especially if they are brief. What can you say in the space of a minute to give people an accurate impression of who you are and what you do? How can you engage their curiosity and make them want to see more from you?

This is where the elevator pitch comes in. An elevator pitch is how you sell yourself in the space of an elevator ride. In this workshop you can pull together the fundamental elements of what to tell people and practice getting it perfect with Liz Pickstock.

  • Features of sale pitches
  • What to tell people
  • Practising the elevator pitch

This workshop is 1 hour long.

Web Design Basics

The type of website you need will vary depending on whether you are sharing information, uploading multimedia, displaying a portfolio, selling directly to customers or whatever else you need. It’s important to have a presence online to get your name out there, inform about your offering and prove that you are a reputable company.

Setting up a website is a lot easier than you may think. Luke Nelson from the iLab can talk you through what to do.

  • Hosting and domains
  • Tools and templates
  • Optimising the user experience

This workshop is 1 hour long.

Confident Networking

“It’s not what you know, but who you know”

Clichéd, but there’s a lot to it. We’re more likely to buy from people we’ve met face to face and recommend people we know and trust. That’s not to say you can’t be success if you don’t mingle, but it certainly helps.

If the idea of talking to strangers fills you with dread, it’s worth developing skills and techniques to help you slap on a smile and build those relationships. It might not be as difficult as you think. Join Liz Pickstock to overcome those networking nerves. Looking at:

  • Common networking fears
  • Principles of networking
  • Building confidence

This workshop is 1.5 hours, followed by a Networking event.

Social Media for Business

Do you use Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram or something else entirely? Which platform you use depends not only on your audience, but also what your marketing aims are. If you are looking to raise brand awareness, then you need a different social media strategy than if you are focusing on customer retention or sales promotion.

Madeleine Melling from the iLab will talk you through the main functions of the more popular social media platforms and some of the options useful for businesses.

  • Benefits of social platforms
  • Planning a social media strategy
  • Running a successful campaign
  • Composing your first tweet

This workshop is 1.5 hours long.

Business Ethics

In this workshop, we’ll look at how to ensure an ethical approach across all aspects of business: from consumer concerns, staffing, supply chain, paying taxes and composing an ethical policy for your company.

  • Core values and branding
  • Employer practices
  • Analyse your supply chain
  • Environmental considerations
  • Grants for going green
  • Creating an ethical policy

This workshop is 1.5 hours long.

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