Start Your Own Business Programme

Are you looking to Start Your Own Business but are unsure of how and where to begin? We've developed an 8 week evening programme for you!

Under the guidance of a specialist training company, you will learn how to research your business idea, assess its commercial viability, pick an appropriate business structure, identify sources of funding and explore effective sales and marketing strategies.

All course content has been carefully chosen to support any new product or service-led business.
Class sizes are limited to 15 people to maximise learning outcomes for participants.

This programme runs over an 8 week period (usually one evening a week from 6.30pm-9.30pm) and runs in various venues throughout the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

Session 1

Introduction to Starting Your Own Business, Self-Employment & Refining Your Idea

- Entrepreneurship: what is it?
- Personal skills analysis
- Steps to starting a business
- Reasons for success and failure
- The importance of failure as part of the process
- How to generate and develop an idea
- How to make an idea better
- Introduction to the Lean Model Canvas
- Networks of support and advice for start-ups
- Demand and Margin: business fundamentals
- Choosing the correct business model for your start-up business
- Starting with the end in mind: what are you trying to achieve?

Session 2

Validation & Customer Discovery

- What to concentrate on to validate your idea o Customer discovery
- Emerging trends your product/service may benefit from
- Running the numbers quickly
- Validating the business model and structure
- How to start researching
- Who to research and how much research to do
- Sources of information (including new tools on the market)
- LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for business research
- Use of CSO and others for facts and figures

Session 3

Preparing a Business Plan

- The importance and practical use of a Business Plan to the start-up business
- Main elements of a Business Plan
- Expanding the Lean Model Canvas
- Setting goals and objectives
- Reviewing sample business plans
- Practicing your pitch
- Tips for an excellent Business Plan
- Using online tools to help generate a Business Plan
- The Entrepreneurs Academy Business Planning workbook
- Social and environmental impact considerations: SDGs, Circular Economy, etc.

Session 4

Market Research Using Online & Offline Tools

- Most start-ups fail because of the lack of market research – how to avoid this
- What to research
- Understanding what questions you need answered
- Online and offline tools available to help with research
- The importance of networking
- Market research methods (inc. new online methods)
- Primary and secondary research
- Price in the context of marketing: how to research and set correct prices
- Competitors’ pricing.
- Researching: promotion
- Researching: place/location
- Impact of Brexit/diversification due to COVID market instability

Session 5

Marketing For The Small Business inc. Technology for Start-Ups

- Introduction to marketing
- The traditional 4 P’s: the practical approach to marketing
- New trends for 2023 and beyond
- Market environment
- Product/Service comparison
- Identifying and meeting customer needs
- Marketing online
- Promotions for start-ups
- Developing your brand essence and message
- Communication channels for start-ups
- Creating a marketing plan
- PR and its importance
- Creativity & marketing
- Online marketing creation tools
- How cloud computing has changed how we do business
- Selling online: retail trends.
- Introduction to social media for business – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, trends and advertising online
- Social media planning (marketing)
- Creating a website and trading online
- Business planning: online tools
- E- Commerce: selling your product or service online
- Taking payments online

Session 6

Finance 1 and Legal Considerations

- A guide to legal structures
- The difference between sole trader, partnership, and Limited companies, including case studies of each
- Employment law: an introduction
- Contracts
- Insurance
- Registering a business name
- Tax requirements and recent tax changes
- Patents, trademarks, and copyright
- Opening a business bank account
- Bank reconciliation
- New online offerings
- Costs: the costs you can expect to have in your start-up
- Introduction to small business finance
- Basic bookkeeping
- Books of prime entry
- Online registration with Revenue/ROS
- Accounting options
- Introduction to online accounts: various options
- Taking payments online
- Income tax
- Corporation tax

Session 7

Finance 2: Cashflow, Pricing & Sources of Funding

- Cashflow: how to do a cashflow forecast
- Drawings and personal budgeting
- Business costs
- Profit and Loss
- Basic financial ratios
- Balance sheet & credit control
- Pricing
- Break Even analysis
- Sources of funding and the various supports available: Microfinance, seed capital, priming grants, feasibility studies, Trading Online Voucher, peer lending, etc

Session 8   

Sales & Negotiation

- How to sell AND what to sell
- What is involved in the sales process
- Building on market research to identify a list of sales targets
- Identifying the right channels
- Developing a sales plan
- Selling & approach
- Developing a great pitch
- Strategic networking
- Negotiation: the process
- Introduction to customer service and aftercare
- Introduction to exporting: developing new markets overseas

* Please note that changes to the running order of these sessions may be made.


'Start Your Own Business' Programme - How it is Delivered

This programme features group work, individual tasks, presentations, Q&A and exercises. The priority is to equip participants with knowledge and skills which they can implement into their new businesses.

Book Your Place & Get Your Business Started...

The Programme Fee is €150 per person and is payable prior to course commencement.

Please click here to see a full list of up-coming programmes.

If you do not see a Start Your Own Business Programme listed, please contact us on (01) 204 7083 or to find out when the next programme is due to commence.

By the end of the 8-module course, participants will:

  1. Understand what is required to start their own business.
  2. Have mapped their business idea onto a Lean Model Canvas: validating a viable business.
  3. Have assessed markets to assess the need.
  4. Understand the real value of market research and testing and refining their business idea.
  5. Know how to market and sell their business.
  6. Understand the concepts of business finances and the importance of cashflow management and online accounts packages.
  7. Have gained information on sources of funding.
  8. Have learned about the legal aspects of business formation, including health and safety and insurance considerations.
  9. Have evaluated their “Elevator Pitch” and be able to pitch their business for funding if required.
  10. Understand the power in strategic networking for business development.
  11. Understand the importance of Information Technology in gaining competitive advantage, including E-Commerce, social media, and video marketing.
  12. Have prepared and assessed a business plan.
  13. Know about the relevant LEO supports and feel confident to seek out their next steps with the LEO.