8. Business Skills and People Management Training for SMEs

Funded Business Skills and Management Training for SMEs

Do your business operations and support staff have the range of skills required to drive a business forward in today’s challenging climate? Have they received any formal business management training? Would you like your people to manage projects such as increasing revenue, business development or managing change?

Do your managers know how to manage a team effectively? Do they get the best out of the team? Do they know how to motivate and inspire?

Within SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) there can be limited resources. This often means staff don’t have access to the wide range of training available which would help drive your business forward.

Senior people in your team may have little or no formal business skills training, and this can mean that there is limited expertise and/or resource. Often managers have been promoted due to past performance and consequently have never received any formal management training. This can hold back their potential as leaders and managers. Management training can help to unlock this. 

Two management training courses, Business Skills for SMEs and People Management for SMEs can add real value to the organisation and to the individual by developing knowledge, skills, confidence and giving them a fresh approach to business challenges.

Practical HR and Crown Vocational Training have therefore come together to offer these affordable and practical Business Skills and People Management training courses for anyone who looks after business operations or manages a team of staff.

What is the cost?

This is amazing. The cost of each training course is £5,000, but because it is 95% government funded* (subject to eligibility criteria) it will cost just £250 per participant.

Even if an individual has some experience, they may not be reaching their full potential, and this means that the business and the individual are missing out. This training has been proven to improve performance and business goals. 

How long is the training?

The course runs across 12-18 months. It is designed to be very practical and to embed newfound knowledge and skills within the workplace benefiting both the company and the individual.

What’s covered in the course?

The courses cover the following:

Business Skills for SMEs People Management for SMEs
• Independent decision making and problem solving • Building effective teams
• Implementing change  • Planning and monitoring workloads
• Managing projects to improve business performance • Managing people and performance
• Operational Management • Communication and Building Relationships
• Managing Finance and Budgets  • Problem Solving and Decision making


…. and more


Participants are allocated a specialist tutor. They will receive handouts and links to information and resources. Workshops and one-to-one sessions support and guide learning. They also have access to an online learning platform with a wide range of resources.

They will also be given access to a library of HR guidance and templates via the Practical HR online resource, YourHR.guide, which can be referred to when considering managing people. This can be used as a key resource and will provide guidance and information to assist with any HR themed projects, and with day-to-day HR, which is particularly important if dealing with conflict.

How is the training delivered?

The training is a mixture of blended learning including group and 1-2-1 sessions, assignments, and guided learning. The training is delivered remotely (e.g., sessions via video conferencing), so location is not an issue. 

Over the course of the programme there will be the opportunity to explore a range of different tried and tested business and management approaches through an individual learning plan. This individual learning plan is adapted to meet the needs of the participant and the business aims with flexibility to fit around the business needs. 


Participants will gain a more detailed understanding of the skills required to drive a business forward. They will expand their knowledge and skills which will be demonstrated through assignments, a portfolio of evidence and a final project.

Throughout the course they will have access to a wide range of resources and tutor expertise which will enable them to develop knowledge and skills to use for a whole range of situations that might arise in the workplace.

Portfolio assignments and projects will provide a direct benefit to the organisation. This could be anything from developing new processes, managing an effective project and implementing change to increasing profitability through budgeting and managing finance.

The end point assessment is carried out by City and Guilds. 

The case studies and testimonies at the end provide examples of how the training can support the business and add value. 

How to get Started

It’s really easy to get started. All you need to do is contact Crown Vocational Training (contact details are at the end) and tell them you are interested in the Business Skills or Management Training.

Here is what the plan looks like:

Step 1.

  • We take some details of who is interested in the training and check eligibility for the funding.
  • We make it as easy as possible for you to complete all the forms that are needed for the funding and application.

Step 2.

  • We introduce you to your Tutor who will run through the course details with you.
  • We provide you with your Premium log-in to YourHR.guide.

Step 3.

  • Crown Vocational Training support you through the entire programme.
  • Your knowledge and skills grow, and you use this to make improvements in the Company.

Step 4.

  • Business success


Case study 1. (Business Skills)

Developing social media through increasing ABCs branding on LinkedIn

Susannah identified that her employer had very little interaction on LinkedIn. 

Project aim was to drive traffic to company’s website and landing pages. This type of marketing campaign will also boost brand awareness which aims to increase engagement on ABC’s content and boost followers on company LinkedIn page. 

The Business Skills programme covered an area on responsibilities to navigate how a project should be launched so the first item was identifying what elements would be part of the branding on LinkedIn, such as content, frequency of uploading, monitoring, and analysing – all which were thoroughly explained and demonstrated as part of the learning process.

Project planning module enabled a plan to be compiled to see how this initiative could be moved forwards with help of other team members and delegating tasks which made the project easier and more accessible, and work focused. With bimonthly meetings with targets set, the LinkedIn campaign was compiled and launched. Projects reports were compiled as feedback to the organization on how effective the launch was, together with content. 

Susannah was able to focus her learning of the program and apply it practically to her work setting as well as allowing her to enhance her current skills set in an administrative field. This was a great added value to the organization as there are more followers and content engages the wider audience. Business enquiries started to increase.

Case Study 2. (People Management)

Managing people and understanding behaviours

David had been the manager of a company supplying building materials for several years. He had moved into the position of manager because he was good at the job and had managed teams working on site. The company had grown, and David found himself managing a larger, quite diverse team. David had not received any formal management training and was facing challenges with managing staff effectively. David enrolled onto the Team Leader/Management programme. There was a strong focus on understanding behaviours and what motivates people. David learnt how to manage the team effectively by engaging with the team, involving them in decisions and inviting individual input. He said he ‘learnt how everyone is different and not to expect everyone to be motivated by the same things as you’. David put in place a number of new processes which the team bought into because they had been involved. He also had an ‘open-door’ policy encouraging staff to come to him with any issues. The whole team now works more effectively which improves the business and the general working environment.

Case Study 3. (Business Skills)

Using financial controls to maintain budgets, monitor cashflow and increase profits

Sam is the Office Manager for a medium sized property maintenance company. He is responsible for invoicing, booking and allocating jobs, producing quotes, inputting financial information into QuickBooks and overseeing compliance with industry expectations. 

The Business Skills programme helped Sam to close the gaps in his knowledge of business operations,finance and budgeting. He also learnt about project management and how to implement changes by working with resources provided as part of the programme and one-to-one support with his tutor/coach. 

At the end of his programme, Sam’s project involved him conducting a cost saving analysis to identify where the business could make savings by using different suppliers and changing processes. He also was able to keep a tighter control on budget and cash flow saved money and improved profitability. 

Case study 4. (People Management)

New Manager leading team and putting new compliance processes in place

Katy is the manager of a lettings and property management agency. She manages a property management team which is made up of staff with different levels of experience. There are also two apprentices who have very little experience.

Katy became the manager because she was very good at her job and her manager had recognised her potential. Because the company had experience of the benefits of training, Katy had previously been an apprentice property manager, her manager suggested Katy should enrol on the Management programme.

Katy had established there were processes which needed to be changed to comply with new legislation. Through learning about different leadership and management techniques and encouraging input from her team, she was able to utilise the diverse skills within her team. As a result, a new service level agreement was introduced which was acceptable to all the team as they had all had input. It also meant monitoring maintenance and contractors was easier and would reduce any issues arising from non-compliance. She was also able to put together a short training programme for the two apprentices which formed a checklist for them. The training would also be used at induction for any new staff. Katy’s confidence in her abilities as a manager grew and she was happy to take on additional responsibilities.


“I undertook the Team Leader/Management programme to help me develop my skills and knowledge, as this was a new role with new challenges that I had minimal experience of handling. I enrolled on the programme and can't believe just what I have learned and the confidence I have gained. The course and tutors have way exceeded what I had expected. I was thinking I would just have a certificate at the end to show what I had achieved not realising how this was going to make me grow and be more assertive in my work life, home life and social life. I can honestly say I am a much better Team Leader as a result of my course.” (Beverley) – Team Leader

“The course helped me so much with my understanding of the different roles I have as a Manager. Moving from leading, managing, to coaching and mentoring allowed me to develop my skills with my very diverse team. The style of teaching was engaging and practical.” (Neil) - Manager

“The Business Skills course helped me improve my skills and gain promotion …. The teaching was wellstructured, engaging, and supportive.” (Catherine) - Business Skills

“The management course helped me develop the skills I needed to modernise the organisation by increasing brand awareness, interaction with customers and encouraging new ideas from others. This resulted in a rise in profits in a short period of time. I highly recommend this programme to managers who want to make a change which has real benefits.” (Paul) - Management

Contact Details / Getting in Touch 

Crown Vocational Training

Sophie Chowdhury
Email - schowdhury@crownvt.co.uk
Telephone – 01702 597499
Mobile - 07508 758970

Practical HR
Email - hello@practicalHR.co.uk
Telephone - 01702 216573

*Funding is via the Government Apprentice Scheme. Please do not let the word ‘apprentice’ put you off! It is just the mechanism and framework to access Government funding. Anyone, of any age, can do an apprenticeship (subject to eligibility) and benefit from the funding. Apprenticeships cover a wide range of job roles and skills, right up to degree level qualifications.