Membership

Business benefits

As part of our commitment to delivering the AIM Project, which is part financed by the European Union, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce will be running a series of masterclasses to complement the work of your Business Navigator and help you to realise your business' growth ambitions. These masterclasses will cover a wide range of business operations, including HR, finance, international trade, and sales and marketing.

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Please see the eligibility criteria below and check if your business is eligible to access support through the AIM Programme:

Your Business:

  • Must be based within the Black Country
  • Must be in operation for over 12 months

Your business must not have:

  • More than £180,000 worth of State Aid over the past 3 years;
  • An annual turnover of more than £42m;
  • Have an annual balance sheet total of more than £36m;
  • More than 250 employees (including owners and directors);
  • Ownership by another company (or combination of companies) of more than 25% of your business.

Please see below a list of the masterclasses that will be taking place. Please note, the dates for each of the masterclasses will be confirmed throughout the year. If you would like further information on any of the below masterclasses, or to register your interest please contact your AIM Navigator. If you do not have an AIM Navigator, and would like to take part in the project, please click here, contact the Black Country Chamber of Commerce on 0330 024 0820 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Marketing Strategy: Product Diversification or Market Diversification?

Masterclass Objective
Identification of potential new markets for your business and the next steps involved in reaching new markets.

Masterclass Content

  • Your marketing strategy
  • Apply a number of marketing tools to your business i.e. SWOT analysis
  • Analysis of your current market place
  • Market segmentation
  • Identification of market trends
  • Considering external factors
  • Growing markets
  • International markets
  • Competitor analysis
  • Risk assessment of new products vs new market strategy
  • Your attitude towards risk
  • Costs and resources involved in product/market diversification

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your Marketing strategy. Suitable for SME’s considering diversification of the product itself or the market and/or SME without a marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategy: New Product or Service Launch

Masterclass Objective
Identification of potential new markets for your business and the next steps involved in reaching new markets.

Masterclass Content

  • Identifying your market
  • Market segmentation
  • Value proposition
  • Understanding your competitors
  • Market research
  • Testing the market
  • Calculating the cost of your product or service
  • 4 P’s
  • Routes to market including international routes
  • Costs and resources involved
  • Supplier considerations
  • What else you need to consider before you launch

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your Marketing strategy. Suitable for SME’s with an idea for a new product or service or the appetite to develop one in the future.

Sales: Innovative Commercial Excellence

Masterclass Objective
Improve sales performance through challenging your thinking and inspiring you to consider new commercial approaches.

Masterclass Content

  • Analysis of your customer journey
  • Your unique selling point
  • Differentiation
  • Maximising sales using new techniques
  • A new approach to your international strategy
  • Innovative selling
  • Maximising your online sales potential
  • 21st Century sales techniques; value proposition; customer partnering; mindset/behaviours of commercial sales
  • A highly interactive session with practical work based on the delegates real world challenges

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your Sales strategy. Suitable for SME’s in need of some inspiration, particularly in relation to sales approach.


HR: Talent Acquisition

Masterclass Objective
Obtain a number of tools which will assist in recruiting the right people.

Masterclass Content   

  • The ‘right person’ for your business
  • The costs of recruiting the ‘wrong person’ for your business
  • Succession planning
  • Salary benchmarking
  • Job descriptions
  • Person specifications
  • Job adverts
  • How to be an attractive prospect for an employee
  • Choosing suitable recruitment methods
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Other ways to assess candidate suitability

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your HR strategies. Suitable for SME’s with the potential to be more competitive through improving talent acquisition processes.  


HR: Performance Management

Masterclass Objective
Improve company performance through a more effective performance management process.

Masterclass Content

  • How well is your current performance management process working?
  • The cost to your business of ineffective performance management
  • Talent management and succession planning
  • Identifying skills gaps – now and in the future
  • Types of performance management processes
  • Effective training for managers of performance
  • Coaching

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your HR processes. Suitable for SME’s with the desire to improve company performance through better performance management systems.


Management: Managing People

Masterclass Objective
Encourage line managers to have more awareness of managing different types of people and gain knowledge of a number of tools available to assist with managing people.

Masterclass Content

  • Understanding people 
  • Staff motivation
  • Time management
  • Effective appraisals
  • Feedback and coaching
  • Training including how people learn differently
  • Management tools

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or line managers. Suitable for SME’s with experienced line managers in need of a fresh approach or newly appointed line managers. 


Process Improvement: Operational Efficiency & Throughput Improvement

Masterclass Objective
Identify ways to increase throughput, reduce inventory and operating expense.

Masterclass Content

  • Explaining what a bottleneck is and how it affects the process
  • How to identify bottlenecks in your process.
  • Theory of Constraints; a process for managing bottlenecks.
  • Interactive factory simulation to demonstrate four methods of managing the same operation with improving results.
  • Practical tips to help improve processes – 11 steps to improving bottleneck yield.
  • Real life examples of the application of bottleneck management.

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners / managers responsible for maintaining and improving manufacturing output and efficiency.


Finance: Financial Processes

Masterclass Objective
Assess and improve your financial processes to enable you to make more effective strategic decisions.

Masterclass Content

  • Financial systems/processes you are currently using
  • Profit & Loss
  • Balance Sheet
  • Financial ratio’s
  • Reviewing financial information
  • Managing cash-flow
  • Credit control

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your financial processes. Suitable for SME’s with a desire to improve financial processes. 


Supply Chain: Improve Your Chances Of Tender Success

Masterclass Objective
Learn practical ways to increase your chances of having success when tendering for business.

Masterclass Content

  • Identifying who you’d like to supply to
  • How to get notified of tenders for your target market
  • Understanding basic procurement jargon
  • Boxes to tick before you consider tendering – making the correct bid or no bid decision
  • Getting your business ready for tendering
  • Bid writing to score high marks and ensure you are responding to the buyers requirements
  • Outsourcing your bid writing – benefits and process
  • Industry standards and accreditations i.e. BIM (construction) ISO standards, living wage foundation etc.

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for business tendering. Suitable for SME’s in industries where tendering is a crucial part of business growth. 


Sales & Marketing: Increasing Sales Through Digital Marketing

Masterclass Objective
Increase your marketing reach by enhancing your digital marketing channels.

Masterclass Content   

  • Review the impact of your current approach to digital marketing
  • Set new digital marketing objectives
  • Social media platforms
  • Finding vital contacts through social media
  • Linking your social media and website strategies
  • The future of social media

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your digital strategy. SME’s with the appetite to implement or enhance sales through your online presence.


International Trade: The Export Sales Guide To Minimising Risk & Maximising Profits

Masterclass Objective
To gain an insight into ways of minimising risk and maximising profits when trading overseas.

Masterclass Content

  • Developing new or difficult overseas markets
  • The risks, costs and cash flow pressures associated with international payment terms
  • Managing the risks associated with exchange rate movements when pricing contracts in foreign currencies
  • The workshop will help exporting companies understand how to establish an effective policy when dealing with overseas buyers and assess the alternative methods of payment as a means of securing overseas debts and negotiating favourable credit terms to promote the growth of sales  
  • The workshop will also highlight the key mechanisms for managing currency exposures and reduce the risk of exchange losses

Length of Masterclass
Six hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your export sales or finance.


International Trade: Export Documentation

Masterclass Objective
To cover all of the necessary requirements that exporters need to follow to ensure that goods are shipped cost-effectively and meet all of the necessary legal requirements.

Masterclass Content

  • An in-depth study of commodity codes and Incoterms 2010, exporter’s commercial and official documents.
  • Getting the goods into UK Ports with Customs clearance procedures and proof of export documentation.
  • Payment documentation (Insurance and bills of exchange).
  • The day is designed to give candidates the understanding they need for preparing and processing export documents in the shortest possible time whilst ensuring the requirements of HMRC are met.
  • The emphasis is not just about on how to complete documents and what to do with them – it also features WHY specific documents are required.

Length of Masterclass
Three hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners or the person responsible for your international strategy.


New Businesses: Take Your Business Beyond Its First Year

Masterclass Objective
Understand the basics required to get a successful start-up business to the next stage of its development.

Masterclass Content

  • Business plans
  • Finance including cash flow, breaking even, keeping records
  • Marketing including branding, social media, finding new customers
  • Legalities of running a business including IP etc.
  • HR and people matters

This masterclass will include practical exercises and be delivered in a relatively informal and realistic manner so that attendees benefit from the experiences of each other and the trainers. Attendees will have the knowledge and information to help plan business growth for the future and a far better understanding of the problems and issues involved in progressing to the second year of running a business.

Length of Masterclass
Six hours

Aimed At
SME Business owners who have successfully completed their first year and ready to consider growth.  

 

If you would like further information on any of the above masterclasses, or to register your interest please contact your AIM Navigator. If you do not have an AIM Navigator, and would like to take part in the project, please click here, contact the Black Country Chamber of Commerce on 0330 024 0820 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2017 15:28

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