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So you've thought of a brilliant business idea, and spotted a huge gap in the market where it can set up home. Now things get complicated. Shaping a big idea into a sustainable small business is a challenge at the best of times – and for those with little or no experience of running an enterprise, it can be incurably discouraging.
This jargon-free, hands-on masterclass combines established business thinking with the best lessons of the revolutionary lean startup culture which has accelerated innovation in the tech sector. Management consultant Richard Hughes-Jones, founder of startup specialists Fire, will first guide you through the process of researching and analysing your market, your customers and your product. By the end of the day, you'll have drafted a workable business plan tailored to the specific needs of your company, and ready to take your first steps into the market. Featuring invaluable advice on how to build a strategy, understand your strengths and weaknesses and avoid common financial pitfalls, no matter what stage your fledgling company is at, this course can transform your business model from unviable to enviable.
This jargon-free, intensely hands-on course provides a thorough introduction to business strategy through a series of practical exercises. Throughout the day, Richard Hughes-Jones will provide continuous feedback on your progress, ensuring every attendee gets the personalised results they need. Topics covered on the day include:
- What an intelligent business plan is, and how it differs from traditional approaches
- Hypothesising and avoiding 'leap of faith assumptions'
- Simple tools for analysing your market, competitors, customers and your own company
- Where are you now, where do you want to be in the future and what do you need to do to get there?
- Financial and risk management
- How to develop – and execute – your own intelligent business plan
This course is for you if…
- You have a great idea for a business, or have spotted a great opportunity, but don't have the management skills or experience to make the most of it
- You're already setting up a small business but concerned your existing business plan isn't robust or detailed enough
- You're considering investing in a startup but don't know how to ensure a return on your investment
Richard Hughes-Jones is The Boss at Fire, established to bring strategic business thinking and training to startups and high growth enterprises. He has ten years experience as a management consultant, working at Deloitte and in a senior management position at HM Treasury. He prides himself on challenging the traditional corporate stereotype, something that those he works with recognise. Richard was recently voted the 12th most influential blogger in 2013 on the world's most popular innovation website, Innovation Excellence, and he is on Twitter @FireLDN
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
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The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.