Course up to date as of September 2016
Are you about to start your new small business?
Have you started a new business in the last twelve months?
Has your business gone stale and does it need a shot in the arm?
This course will take you through all aspects of starting and running a small business, from the very beginning to selling it at the end. It is based on the tutor's 5* rated book “A Pocket Guide to Small Business Success” and is a real-world course based on 25 years' practical experience of running companies. It isn't the typical Silicon Valley “be a billionaire by Friday” course and deals with real on the ground issues faced by all normal people in normal day to day businesses.
What is included?
The course contains the following sections:
Documents and Templates are included
The course provides template business plans and projection spreadsheets and other generic documents for the student to download for their own use.
What you will get from the course
Students will get a gentle guiding hand in the overall running and progress of their business. The tutors' book has been described as a “friendly, experienced voice whispering in your ear on each stage of your journey, reminding you of what to watch out for and giving you ideas of how to make it better along the way” and this has been brought through into the course. Access to the tutor via email and discussion is available for all students with no limit to access. This course is a good way of having a non-executive director on board without having to employ one.
Welcome to the course! Thanks for taking the time to sign up and learn how to make your small business a great success. I'm Rob England and over the last 25 years I've started 3 new businesses, sold 2 of them successfully and now help young and small businesses to thrive, prosper and grow. As you can see, I'm a normal guy providing a course for all the normal people that run their own businesses. I've included as many resources and supplementary materials as possible to help you plan and run your business, and they are available to download in the appropriate lectures.
Enjoy the course and let's get on with it!
This lesson questions why the student is setting up their business and their reasons for doing it. It looks at the many reasons why businesses are created and specifically advises against one of them!
This lesson urges the student to have a vision in their mind as to how the business will look when they consider it "finished" and able to say to themselves "I did it!".
This lesson discusses the three things that no entrepreneur can escape from; risk, responsibility and reward and ensures the student is aware of the risks and responsibilities of running a business. It also reminds the student that the rewards tend to come last, not first.
This lesson discusses the level of research required to put together a proper assessment of the market potential and a business plan. It looks at working the costs of the business and projecting what it might cost to run and whether there is enough sales potential in the products to make it viable.
This lesson is a screen-cast that creates a real Profit and Loss Forecast in Excel. Download the spreadsheet from the Resources and complete it at the same time for your own business.
This lesson covers the fact that initial projections will always be wrong and offers advice as to amending the projections to get a reasonable result.
This lesson amends the Profit and Loss Forecast to show how small changes can make a big difference to the funding requirements of the business. It shows why it pays to be cautious when putting together forecasts that you will rely on when running the business.
Having completed the projections, the student should have an idea as to how much money will be required to fund the business initially. If the student doesn't have enough themselves, this lesson looks at how it may be raised from other sources.
This lesson gives a brief recap over the salient points from the "Before you start" section.
This lesson discusses ways of structuring capital so that the initial investors can extract their money from the business in a tax efficient manner.
This lesson covers the knowledge and requirements needed for successfully raising capital for the business. More importantly, if the owner doesn't know the financials for the business, how can investors have any confidence in the business or the owner?
This lesson discusses the requirements and security required if borrowing from a bank, but also provides some ways around those requirements.
This lesson discusses how finance can be raised through Enterprise and Government agencies in the form of grants and loans.
This lesson discusses entrepreneurs' common attitudes towards external investors and why they may be short-sighted and wrong. It discusses the benefits of investors and shows how not owning the whole company can actually be a good thing.
This lesson covers the use of the initial seed capital invested in the business and how it should be made to last as long as possible.
This lesson is for UK based students only and shows how a Government scheme can help small businesses increase their profitability by doing nothing more than trading normally.
This lesson gives a brief recap over the salient points from the "Money" section.
This lesson talks about getting the best staff members possible, not just the cheapest. It highlights the fact that the cheapest may be that in month one, but over the life of the business, they could actually become the most expensive.
The lesson covers parts of recruitment and suggests that if you can't find someone ideally qualified, then giving a youngster, or a graduate, a chance may inject a healthy degree of youthful exuberance into the business.
This lesson covers the age old problem where businesses recruit qualified and expert staff, but then the owner often smothers them and tells them how to do it.
This lesson covers the topic of how to look after the best employees and make sure they stay with you forever.
This lesson covers what to do when the wrong people, or the wrong attitudes, have been recruited in to the business and how to stop them destroying a good atmosphere.
This lesson highlights the fact that recruiting the right people is a really difficult thing to do and that ultimately, sticking to your principles and values is probably the only thing you can rely on.
This lesson covers what to do when people resign and say they are leaving, and it doesn't involve increasing their salary.
This lesson talks about identifying the people who are important to the business and the owner would like involved for the long term. How to build your inner circle.
This lesson discusses how everyone who doesn't have to take the responsibility for running the business always seem to vociferously know how to run it best!
This lesson gives a brief recap over the salient points from the "People" section.
This lesson discusses how visibility in the marketplace is so important when a business is first launched. No-body will call unless they know you exist.
This lesson covers your website and suggests that if there's one thing that should be done properly and professionally, it's your website. After all, the first thing most people will look at when searching for a company or product in the internet age is your website.
This lesson covers how to price your products and makes the point that you are rarely the customer, so don't price your product at what you think you'd pay for it, price it for what it's really worth to the customer.
This lesson looks at how to monitor the profitability of products and instills the ethos that if a product is not profitable, it shouldn't be sold.
This lesson is for the perfectionists running their own businesses, who often get so wrapped up in creating the most perfect product, they forget to go out and sell it and run out of money.
This lesson shows how profits can be increased by reducing costs, rather than increasing prices.
This lesson talks about finding ways of generating recurring revenues for your business, and how subscriptions can provide a very solid and comforting foundation for the company.
This lesson gives a brief recap over the salient points from the "Sales and Marketing" section.
This lesson urges owners to recognise that they can't do everything and should look to delegate or allow the staff employed to simply do their jobs.
This lesson talks about ways of making yourself, as the business owner, dispensable, so you find the time to run the business properly and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
This lesson covers the importance of being on the ball with regard to everyday matters, particularly in terms of cash collection.
This lesson is a screen-cast showing how to complete the 3 month cash flow spreadsheet. This will enable you to monitor whether your business has enough cash coming in at the right time to cover costs for the next 3 months.
This lesson discusses ways in which a little research can make a lot of difference, and how complacency can cost a lot of money. It also provides a real tip on how to recover some of your spending costs.
This lesson discusses the importance of being on top of the financial side of the business on a monthly basis and provides a downloadable document that students can use to monitor their businesses financial performance.
This lesson suggests that being organised and tidy is a necessary part of running a business properly and that if the boss doesn't know where anything is or what's going on, then how will anyone else?
This lesson covers time, and how it can be your friend when you're profitable, but a serious enemy when you're not. Again, tackling issues early is essential when time is your foe.
This lesson talks about how small businesses are often bullied by large companies or corporates, and urges them to stand up for themselves and their needs.
This lesson covers the importance of contracts, even when dealing with associates and friends, and suggests that contracts actually come into their own when the people who negotiated them are no longer around.
This lesson gives a brief recap over the salient points from the "Running it" section.
This lesson discusses the need for thinking time, and ensuring that time is taken to think things through, particularly in relation to the longer term business strategy.
This lesson covers how to review the achievements of the last twelve months and how to put a new strategy in the place for the next twelve months.
This lesson discusses how the recruitment process for new employees should be started early and highlights the time lags involved between deciding the recruit a new employee and the time it may take for them to become really useful to the business.
This lesson covers the common issues of owners being control freaks and that for the good of the business overall, they should let go!
This lesson gives a brief recap over the salient points from the "Ongoing Strategy" section.
This lesson discusses the need for realism when looking to sell the business and making sure that the price being asked can at least be justified.
This lesson discusses how to approach a valuation that may not be as high as you would like, but is sooner than you had originally planned to sell the business.
This lesson talks about the options of an owner staying in the business as a key employee once it has been sold, or whether they should just take the money and leave.
This lesson covers the events leading up to a sale and the actual sale process itself - how it pans out, what is expected, the demands placed on the owners and how to get from an offer to a completion.
This lesson discusses ways in which the business owner can get their administrative house in order early if they are planning for a sale. It talks about the documents that will need to be found and completed prior to any sale taking place.
This lesson gives a brief recap over the salient points from the "Selling it" section.
This lesson reminds the student that their business is, after all, theirs and they don't have to ask permission for whatever it is they do.
Rob England is a UK based Business Mentor and has been involved in small businesses for the last 25 years. He started his last business from a blank sheet of paper, designing and developing a healthcare software application, but then running the business until it was sold to a stock-market listed plc for a 7 figure sum.
He now works as a professional Business Adviser and Mentor, helping young new businesses to grow and succeed. Over the last two years alone, he has helped one particular business to grow by 400%!
He has many years of real-life, down to earth, practical business experience and is now bringing that experience to Udemy. In 2015, he also published a 5* reviewed book, "A Pocket Guide to Small Business Success".