Back to School – SYOB Course

Earlier this year I enrolled in the Start Your Own Business course run by Bernadette Farrell of ACE Training in association with the Westmeath County Enterprise Board. This is a fantastic course and I highly recommend it to any of you that are considering starting up a venture of your own.

Back in the classroom again, I tried to tone down my nerdy tendencies for fear of bullying from my classmates. Bernadette went easy on us and kept our homework to a minimum. We covered some great topics on how to research and price a product, marketing and advertising, manage our basic accounts, and we were also told about tax and legal issues we should be aware of.

The course ran for 6 weeks, with a 3 hour class every Tuesday night. We covered 6 modules:

  1. Getting started
  2. Tax for Start-Ups and Bookkeeping
  3. Costing & Pricing
  4. Managing Cashflow
  5. Research Module
  6. Advertising and Promotion

With only 3 hours a week, there were no in-depth studies into each of the subjects. We received just the right amount of information to educate us on what we should be doing. And pointers on where to go to find out more.

Bernadette has some great tips – here are some of my faves:

  • Set up a separate bank account for your business – keep business transactions separate from your personal finances
  • Put some cash away every month to pay your VAT bill
  • If you have cashflow problems – recognise and deal with them

and lastly, my favourite of them all

  • Network! Network! Network!