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44 years of success - Established 1974

44 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

Find Your Hidden Entrepreneur!

I don’t think there are many of us who haven’t, at some time, thought how wonderful it would be to own our own business and be our own boss. Not having to work nine-to-five, not having to take orders from someone else, using your hard work to make money for yourself rather than someone else. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Many people manage to make this dream a reality. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds and you can only succeed if you go into it with your eyes open to the problems and have people around you who you can rely on and who will support you. Also, it’s essential to have a good, solid, business plan in place.

So why do you need a business plan? Continue reading

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The Seven Basic Skills That Employers Are Looking For

I’ve been hearing quite a lot about the ‘seven basic employability skills’ recently. So what are they? They’re the skills that all businessmen and women are looking for when they take on new staff, and they include:

Positive Attitude:  You want to do everything you attempt to the best of your ability. You’re willing to have a go with no negative feelings about your job or the people you work with.

Communication:  You must be able to listen well, explain your own ideas clearly and write grammatical and easy-to-understand, emails, letters and reports. Continue reading

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Good Managers Write Good Reports!

When I’m mentoring business students, the one thing that comes up time and time again is writing reports. Many of them find this difficult – and I’d go as far as to say some of them have a mental block about it.

But, if you always work logically and follow a few basic tips it should be a straightforward task – something that you need never dread again. So, before you write anything, you need to be absolutely clear about the answers to the following four questions:

WHY are you writing?

What is your purpose in writing the report? What are your aims and objectives? Without a clear purpose, there is no point in writing anything.  There must be no doubt in your mind. It often helps if you come up with an appropriate title at this early stage as it helps to focus your thinking. Continue reading

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Opening Your Eyes to Sales Techniques

Two of the Business Training Courses that I particularly like are the Complete Copywriter Course and the Professional Sales Techniques Course. I think it’s probably that selling skills – whether oral or written – play such a large part in our life.

You may not think you are a copywriter, but every time you draft a short advert to sell something on ebay or your local online marketplace then you are writing copy. You have to think what features your product has, what  advantages these will provide for the buyer and then what benefits he or she will get from  owning the product. If you can do this successfully you will help yourself stand out from all the other similar ads and make a sale. In other words, your ad will be FAB (features, advantages, benefits). Continue reading

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Happy Staff Work Harder

I was reading an article recently that said that the average British worker spends 81,000 hours – that’s a full 9 years of their life – at work. Now I know that this is only an average, and it varies considerably from person to person, but it certainly gives you something to think about.

If you’re going to spend so much of your time at work then you need to be happy there. So, what are the main things that make you feel good at work? Employers have been looking into this so that they can decide how best to motivate staff – and I’ve been thinking about it from my own point of view, too. There are things that are personal, that the employer can’t do much about. But there are also lots of things that employers can do to make their staff happier, more productive and keep them from leaving. Here’s my list: Continue reading

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Give Your Confidence A Boost

There are times in our lives when all of us – even the most confident individuals – suffer from low self-esteem. We worry that we’re not doing as well as other people, or we aren’t managing our lives as well as we should. So what can you do to achieve a more positive outlook? Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t compare yourself with other people. You’ll always find someone who you think is better at their job, has a more satisfying social life or is better looking. It’s so easy now to see how many friends other people appear to have on Facebook, what exciting lives they lead and what wonderful pictures they post. But you never know – they may also have their own areas of insecurity. Continue reading
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Could You Be The Perfect Salesperson?

What do you feel when you meet a salesperson – whether you’re looking to buy a new phone for yourself, a car or equipment for the office or home?  Are you happy to chat to them, confident that their aim is to help you? Or do you dread the encounter because you think they’ll put pressure on you to buy more than you need or persuade you to pay more than you planned? I suspect that most people feel the latter.

The good news is that salespeople are being trained differently these days.  They’re being taught to take more of an interest in helping their customers – not just getting the order form signed. The emphasis is on getting repeat business and building  good, long-term relationships with their customers rather than just aiming to ‘make a quick buck’. Continue reading

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Using SMART Goals to Achieve Success

As you probably already know, when we talk about SMART goals we mean goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

But when you’re planning a project – either at home or at work – it often helps if you set yourself smaller, manageable goals because when you have a series of smaller goals, you know the next step you have to take. And when you know what you have to do, you get on and do it without procrastinating. That feeling of fear/worry is removed.

So, knowing the next step is vital for staying positive and calm! Continue reading

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Do You Know How To Say ‘No’?

Many of us struggle to find enough time to fit in everything we want and need to do: work, time with family, studies, friends… the list goes on and on.

A vital step in taking control of our lives is being able to deal with those people who impact on our time. We don’t live in a cocoon. We have bosses and colleagues at work. At home, we have other family members and friends. All of these people make demands upon our time. So, to gain more control over our time, to do what WE want to do, we need to manage how much of it we let others take from us.

We all like the word ‘yes’. It’s great when people do what we ask them to do; however, other people have a tendency to ask us to do things too. Saying yes to them has an effect on what we do with our time. So, why do we say yes to people? Continue reading

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Success Is All About Planning

Unemployment in the UK is at its lowest level for many years, which is great. But that still doesn’t stop people wanting to give up good, secure jobs and work for themselves. Some people just have the urge to run their own business and follow their own destiny. Is it perhaps an entrepreneurial  gene?

But, we’re always being told that the failure rate for start-ups is high. Statistics vary depending on who you talk to, but there does seem to be a consensus that 30% of new ventures fail within the first two years and up to 50% in the first five years.

So, if you’re one of those people who feel they’d like to start a business of some kind then what’s the best thing you can do to ensure it succeeds? Continue reading

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Susan Metcalfe - head of Business Training - discusses business, training and work issues. Come and join in the conversation or just enjoy the read!