Academy Curriculum

The academy’s modules cover the FUNDAMENTALS OF BUSINESS GROWTH and each session is led by an expert in his or her field.


Module 1

Business Plans

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

We all know we should have a business plan, yet less than half of us do. And even then it often sits in a drawer never to be seen again.

In this module you will learn:

  • Why we should all have a business plan
  • What its purpose is and how to use it
  • And most importantly how to create it for your business
Neil Bradbrook
Module 2


As Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine once said, “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”

In this module we help you:

  • Understand how creating your brand will give you focus and confidence – leading to growth
  • Define and empathise with your key target audiences – helping to make your business more relevant to them
  • Create your brand story – that will help turn customers into advocates
Giles Etherington
Module 3


Your website is the most important part of your business. All of your future customers will view it at some stage. Their decision to buy from you will be heavily influenced by the look of your site and the information presented on it. There is an art to getting this right.

Your website also determines the success of your marketing campaigns.

In this module you will learn:

  • How to structure your site to attract customers
  • How to create landing pages that generate leads and sales
  • How to use free software to improve your site’s performance
David Reid
Module 4


“Stop selling. Start helping.” – Zig Ziglar

Without sales we have no business, but most of us are not natural born salespeople, so how can we drive the sales we need for growth?

In this module you will learn:

  • The steps to a successful sales process and how to manage your pipeline
  • How to identify your target audience and build engagement (help don’t sell!)
  • To develop your elevator pitch and manage objections
Neil Bradbrook
Module 5


Marketing is essential for business growth. For most small business owners, digital marketing can be daunting and is often not your area of expertise.

But when it is explained in simple terms and you learn how to use the best digital channels for you – you will see how it can transform your business.

In this module you will learn:

  • How to follow a proven roadmap to achieve success
  • What digital marketing channels will work for you
  • How to start using simple marketing techniques to boost sales
David Reid
Module 6
July & August

Strategy & Growth

“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.” – Morris Chang

 We all know the word “Strategy”, but what does it actually mean in business? Do I need one and how do I go about setting one?

In this module you will learn:

  • Why we need a strategy and the difference between strategy and tactics
  • SWOT analysis and how to use it to help your business
  • Pricing and Market demand
  • Strategies for Scale Up and Growth
Neil Bradbrook
Module 7


This module looks at the responsibilities an employer has under the law at each stage of the employee journey.

The programme focuses on providing an overview and resources to help employers understand and quickly find guidance for employment issues.

Practical examples include looking at current employment issues impacting on members’ businesses.

Gill Gorman
Module 8


“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure the impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sanberg

Leadership is such a big topic we could discuss it all week, so for this module we will focus on what it means to be a leader of a small business, with tools and techniques to help us be more effective.

In this module you will learn:

  • Our role as a leader in small business
  • How to be more effective at communication
  • Better self-awareness, improved interactions and leveraging the strength of the team through greater understanding of different human typologies
Neil Bradbrook
Module 9

Risk and Cyber

“By establishing milestones, gates and questions, you are ensuring that you are being smart about the risks you are taking.” – Ina Kamenz, EI Eli Lilly & Co

In this module you will learn to:

  • Identify and measure risks
  • Remove, reduce, share and transfer risk
  • Understand and mitigate cyber risk
Andrew Pollard
Module 10


“Efficiency is intelligent laziness.” – David Dunham

Most of us spend our time working IN our business, rather than ON our business. This means we are not being effective. If we want our business to grow we have to learn how to let go and focus our time on the right things.

In this module you will learn:

  • What we should be doing and what we shouldn’t be doing
  • Time management, delegation, automation and how to stop sweating the small stuff
  • How to identify efficiency improvements and cost reduction opportunities
Neil Bradbrook
Module 11

Funding and Finance

“I have tried raising money by asking for it and by not asking for it. I always get more by asking for it.” – Millard Fuller

In this module you will learn:

  • How to ask
  • How much to ask for
  • Who to ask
Andrew Pollard