Graduate Business Academy Workshop – Did they Shape up?

Business AcademyI’ve recently completed the BiY Grad Business Academy workshop to prepare 12 graduates for working in a small business. What I found was an unexpected depth of talent and skill.

The 12 graduates at the Business Academy were keen to contribute & open to new ideas. The resultant business cases were of a quality I’d be happy to use to present to a business owner.

We had two groups of 6 and two business owners with a real challenge in their business. One was seeking to undertake a complete rebrand. The other was over reliant on one customer and needed a plan to reduce the risk. The first business has 5 staff, the second has over a hundred.

The initial session was setting the scene for graduates and small businesses.

Government focus on small businesses

The Government has identified, through Lord Young’s report, that small businesses represent the greatest opportunity for growth, but face many common challenges. Primarily the better use of technology to drive more sales and better productivity.

BiY have held over a hundred peer group sessions with businesses. We shared the 6 most common issues that owners have identified.

We seek to match solutions to their problems.

All businesses have challenges. We seek to match solutions to their problems. We identified the many skills that graduates naturally possess; these could be used as solutions to the problems faced by businesses.

Real Life Business Cases

The graduates then developed business proposals, designed to solve the real-time challenges of the 2 business owners they had previously met. The result? The graduates have a much better understanding of the skills they already possess as ready solutions … and are now “business ready.”

BiY Grad Business Academy

I found that all the graduates were enthusiastic & eager to learn. They brought a range of skills from problem solving to presentation skills to data analysis.

Technology Focused

One thing they all have is a natural affinity to using the latest technology.

Some had skills to help a business get more sales – see 5 Ways a Marketing Graduate Can Improve Sales

  • website development,
  • internet marketing
  • researching new markets & customers e.g. using the website to access export markets
  • social media

Others were more process orientated to help a business become more productive

  • new business systems,
  • better data analysis e.g. Microsoft Excel
  • shared IT services e.g. Cloud implementation
  • the smart use of apps.

They deliver great value for a relatively low investment.

These are all skills that can be channelled to positive effect in solving business problems of small businesses. They deliver great value for a relatively low investment. They also offer great flexibility: you can employ them on a fixed term project, or on a temporary contract so that you can see them in action before you commit to full time employment.

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