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BUSINESS: Build Training into your


Business Plan by Mich Yasue of My Furoshiki


From designing to dealing with IT, making to marketing, administration to accounts – it’s easy to understand why people talk about ‘running’ a business! It seems that however fast you go there’s always more to do and so much more to learn. The question is: what to master first and how best to do it?


This article looks at how to bring some structure to this process by building training into your business plan. Whether your business plan is for your own use or aimed at potential investors, it’s a key tool to enable you to clarify and sense- check what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to get there.


Identify your skills gap The first stage in the plan is to set


65 | ukhandmade | Summer 2011


out what your business objectives are and what you require to achieve them. A business plan should break these down into key areas. Commonly these would cover: • what your business is; • marketing and sales; • operations; • financials; and • people.


The section on people should set out who works, or will work, for your business. What will they do and what experience and skills will they bring? Then, stand back and consider, given your business objectives, what skills are actually required to grow your business.


Now, what is the gap between the skills and experience you have and


that which the business needs? Be realistic – potential investors will want to see an assessment of strengths and weaknesses and a credible plan as to how the weaknesses will be addressed. Don’t try to do everything at once though;


“...what skills are actually required to grow your business.”


think what is most appropriate for your business given the stage it is at and what, if any, training might be compulsory. For example, to ensure you and your staff meet health and safety requirements.


Build your training programme Having identified the skills and knowledge gap, the next step is to


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