An Entrepreneurial Academy is available across the Highlands and Islands to support the region’s entrepreneurs accelerate their business growth.
Originally launched by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in 2017, the Entrepreneurial Academy will provide a series of one day workshops.
The programme kicks off with an Entrepreneurial Sales workshop in Thurso on Wednesday 13th June, and this is followed later by Brand Development, Pitching Skills and Delivering a Digital Strategy workshops.
The workshops will continue until June 2020 in Benbecula, Forres, Fort William, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Inverness, Oban, Portree, Thurso and Stornoway.
Each workshop will be delivered by experts in the various fields and provide the opportunity to drill into the detail of the subject as it relates to the attendees’ business or social enterprise.
Matthew Quinn of Future Sales Factory will help attendees understand the selling cycle, from initial research for generating leads to post-sale management.
Matthew will show how to build rapport with potential customers and understand buyers’ motivations, as well as demonstrating how to best present the benefits of the product or service.
Louise MacDonald, Senior Entrepreneurship Manager at HIE, said: “We’re delighted to be rolling out the Entrepreneurial Academy across the Highlands and Islands, following a very successful pilot in 2017.
“These skills workshops help businesses and social enterprises accelerate their growth through providing them with a structured process, tools and tactics to boost sales, enhance their brand, hone their pitching skills and develop a digital strategy.”
Matthew said: “From first handshake to first invoice, those attending the Entrepreneurial Sales workshop will go away with skills that can be implemented in their business straight away.
“We work with people from single-person businesses to multinational corporations and are delighted to be helping HIE support young and growing businesses in Scotland.
“Our last Entrepreneurial Sales workshop was a complete sell out and received maximum feedback scores from everyone who attended, and I’d encourage entrepreneurs from any industry to attend on 13th June.
“From food and drink, tourism, energy, engineering and business services; these sessions always prove that the sales process is exactly the same, no matter what industry you are in.”
Michael O'Connell, director and co-founder of Visual Performance Management Ltd, said: “Having not done much in sales in the past, it was not something that came naturally to me, so the Entrepreneurial Sales workshop provided some great insights. Not only did it improve my confidence in my ability to have sales conversations, it also got rid of the myths around sales and off-putting stereotypes brought about by bad salespeople.
“The workshop also covered the process behind selling – it’s not an art, there is a process and understanding that can really help.
“I’d really encourage others to attend, especially those intimidated by the idea of sales or those who would like to employ someone else to do sales for them – the course may change your perceptions.”
The Entrepreneurial Sales workshop takes place at Caithness Horizons in Thurso on Wednesday 13th June.