Over the last 10 years I have helped hundreds of small businesses to grow. I've now developed an online course to help people increase their own chances of success.
Many people would like to start a business, but are worried about what is actually involved. I'll show you what to be prepared for and how to make things easier for you. With my course you can avoid the common issues that often result in the unfortunate high failure rate.
- My course contains over 2 hours 30 minutes of video, spread over 39 lectures.
- Also included are checklists and spreadsheets for you to download.
- My course can also help you If you are already running a small business but not seeing the results you hoped.
Over 500 students in over 75 countries
In this session we will take time to design YOUR ideal business. Without a plan you may find that your business ends up becoming something you hadn't intended. In this lecture I cover the simple method to make sure that your goals can be achieved.
In this session we will prepare you for the time shock, and all the new jobs you didn’t know you had just taken on. Many people start a business in order to have more free time, but unless you are prepared for the investment you need to make initially, things can go off course.
In this session I will cover the benefits of starting your new business part-time and how you can use it to your advantage. Many new businesses unfortunately fail - they may be good ideas, but unless you start your business in the right way they may never have a chance to flourish.
In this session I will cover some of the points to consider when it comes to the do it yourself approach. Many people get caught out thinking they will save money and do things themselves - but there are two pitfalls you need to be aware of.
A checklist to use in the planning process. It's important that you take time now to set out the goals for your new business, so that you can work towards creating your own dream business structure..
In this session I’m going to cover the best source of finance, and also explain why that is. I’ll also cover some of the other sources and discuss their pitfalls. Financing can be a source of huge worry for the new business, and if you make the wrong choices it can affect the viability of the business.
In this session we will cover the additional downfalls that can occur from the wrong financing strategy, and revisit the solution to avoid them. Unfortunately you will come across people offering high-cost solutions, that may not be right for you - knowing how to avoid this can save your business large amounts of money and worry.
In this session we will cover how to put accounting systems in place at the start. Accounting can be something that is put to one side with all the other demands on your time, but there can be hidden consequences to the business from not having your data up to date.
In this session we will cover the basics of tax, and how to make provisions so you are not surprised. An unexpected tax bill can cause a business to close, but if you make one simple provision from the start you can avoid this issue.
In this session we will cover the areas of business insurance that you should be aware of. Sometimes things go wrong, but with the correct cover in place this shouldn't cause problems for your business.
In this session we will cover the importance of a business plan in bringing together all the elements from the lessons in the previous two sections. Without a plan, how do you know where you should be focussing your efforts? The business plan is a key document, but the size of some of them can put people off - I share a simple 2 page business plan that you can easily use.
In this session I will cover several ways to overcome the issues that are commonly experienced when starting to work on a self-employed basis. You may have worked in an office that someone else arranged - I'll discuss how to choose an environment that is right for you, so that you can be productive while keeping costs in check.
In this session I am going to cover the ideal business equipment combination I recommend, having spent 10 years developing my current systems. Many people can make mistakes when equipping a new business, either wasting too much or not spending enough to provide an effective service - I'll share how a combination of items can all complement each other.
In this session we will cover the methods of how people will contact you and when they will be able to reach you. We’ll also look at how you can get advantages over your competitors and appear to be a much bigger organisation than just a one-person business - at an affordable cost.
In this session we’ll cover the positive and negative points for the main meeting options, from a client’s point of view. We have already covered choosing an ideal location for you to work from, but this may not align with a clients expectations - it's important to take them into consideration when choosing to meet. It is also another opportunity to get an advantage over your competitors by offering something that they don't.
In this session we will cover how to ensure that you are protected from data loss, and can recover from any situations quickly. Backups should be quick and easy, so that you can perform them regularly - I'll share how to make this happen, and the advantages of the two main systems. I'll also cover security points you should be aware of.
A checklist for setting up your 'office'. My recommended combination of equipment, so that you achieve maximum coverage for an affordable cost. You can actually fully equip yourself for less than the cost of one top smartphone - provided you know what to look for and avoid the expensive options.
In this session we are going to cover the importance of knowing exactly what, who, where and how you help clients – key areas that will focus your marketing message. Unless you can define these exactly, you will find that you will be wasting money when you are marketing - you need to know where to focus your spending to ensure maximum results.
In this session we’ll cover an overview of the marketing options available to you, before drilling down into the details of each area in the coming sessions. There are many different options available, not all of them will work for every business. To get results you need to consider where your clients are, and then focus your efforts towards them.
In this session we’ll cover why you should have your own website and some of the things to watch out for. My number one tip for marketing is to have your own website, in this session I'll explain why that is and how it links in to any other marketing you do. Your website can become a 24/7 salesperson working for you to bring in new clients - provided you avoid the common mistakes that I cover.
In this session we will cover the advantages of blogs and online video, and how they can be easily adopted as part of your marketing strategy. While you will have to invest some time to create videos and blogs, you will find that they can more than repay your investment - I'll cover how this repayment occurs as well as how to get started easily.
In this session we’ll cover the many advantages of face to face networking, but also the unknown fact that catches many people out and results in them giving up thinking it doesn’t work. Usually when people start a business they are told to 'go networking' but with no idea of how to get results - I'll share my top tips to make the process easy for those new to networking.
We’ll cover a quick introduction to taking your first steps with social media in this session. Without a plan of action, it is possible to waste huge amounts of time online - I'll share my guide to getting started with probably the easiest social network, where you can learn the basic skills that can be applied to other sites.
In this session we will cover some of the more popular paid advertising options. With a new business, you can spend all your budget on ineffective paid advertising if you are not careful, I'll cover some of the downfalls so that you can avoid any unwelcome surprises.
In this session we will cover how to make the best use of some of the free marketing resources available, while being mindful of any time cost. There are many options now for free marketing, provided you know where to look - but one has the potential to damage your results unless you are aware of it in advance.
In this session we will bring together all the elements from the marketing section into a plan of action. Like the easy business plan, the easy marketing plan will let you set out what marketing channels you are going to use and when. I'll also share the key calculation you must make with any marketing, otherwise you could find that the business isn't growing as you hoped.
In this session we will cover an introduction to sales and marketing. Your new job is in sales, but many people do not understand how sales and marketing are connected, and how over time your effectiveness will increase. You need to be aware that some setbacks are perfectly normal in the sales process, and be aware of these in advance so you don't become discouraged.
In this session we will cover how to manage client communication expectations. If you are running the business on your own, you can still provide a better service than your competitors, provided you know how to communicate effectively and make the best use of the technology available to you.
A checklist for the sales process. Summarising the progression of client from lead to paying customer. The checklist also reminds you of the key equation for sales success and how you can influence this from both sides.
In this session we will cover how time allocations will develop over time, and the importance of planning for these upcoming changes. Whilst you may have had to take on many new & unwanted jobs when you started - you must plan for the business growing and your roles changing over time.
In this session we will cover the importance of ongoing learning in developing the competitiveness of your business. Continuing learning will give you an advantage over competitors and ensure that your business is developing alongside the changing market. It is also a way to provide extra value for your clients.
In this session we’ll cover how your existing clients can actually be a great source of business, and how you can help them to help you. You have worked hard to gain new clients, but may then be missing out on a key area of new business growth but not even be aware that you are.
In this session I’ll cover how you can generate more time for yourself, to spend on other areas of the business. We have covered how your roles will change over time, but if you plan for it this can be an advantage to you. By structuring your business to take advantage of the opportunities available to you, you can increase your profit while freeing up time for yourself as well.
In this session we will cover how your business accounts are a valuable document, and also how you can gain further understanding. Surveys say that up to 50% of small business owners are missing out on the opportunities for growth available to them from something they already have.
In this session we will cover why it’s so important to schedule in downtime to ensure business growth. Whilst you will need to invest significant time to grow a business, particularly in the early stages, you do need to make sure that downtime is scheduled - otherwise you could be missing out on business growth.
In this session we’ll cover how the ongoing business plan is an important document for a business. To ensure that your business continues to grow, you need to keep refining what you do - businesses that fail usually try to keep doing exactly the same thing without taking advantage of opportunities that become available. We started the course setting out what your dream business would look like, in the concluding lesson we ensure that you make sure to continually adapt in order to grow.
Congratulations on completing the course - this quiz will remind you of the key points.
This is an active course, I will be continuing to add and update content that is relevant – and if you have any questions please do make contact.
I started my own business in 2006, taxhelp.uk.com, from scratch - specifically to help those running one-person businesses. Since starting my business I have helped hundreds of small business owners. Because I am a business owner myself, I can identify with all the challenges faced by new business owners, as I have been through them myself.
My guide to getting started easily with twitter. On twitter you can quickly learn the basics of social networking, that you can apply to other sites.
James McBrearty founded his own business in 2006 and has helped hundreds of small business owners to grow. He is dual qualified in tax and accounts, and a fellow of his tax association.
In 2016 he was the bronze award winner for his use of social media for business in the Surrey Digital Awards, and he also won gold in the 2015 awards.
In 2014 he was chosen as one of the top 100 businesses in the UK to be featured for Small Business Saturday, and invited to Downing Street with the other winners.
In 2011 he developed a well-received 'social media for business' course and delivered it to local business owners in the UK and in Spain.
He is the author of two books for small business, Chocks Away published in 2010 and Power Climb published in 2012 - both have been endorsed by a New York Times best-selling author.