Business Gateway workshops in Argyll and Bute

Find out about courses coming up

Find out about the Supplier Development Programme and courses

Planning to start your own business?

Develop your ideas into a practical and effective plan to launch your business

Key elements covered include:

  • Getting the marketing right for your business
  • Developing a realistic, working business plan
  • Deciding what finance you need and learn how to use financial information

The “Practical Basic Book-keeping” workshop

Book-keeping is a core business skill, and, even if someone else does it for you, you still need to understand and value the process. If you want to know the starting point for good record-keeping, this is the course for you. Those new to business and with little or no formal training in bookkeeping will particularly benefit.

Build your own business website

Aimed at small businesses looking to build their own business website. It is aimed at those with no technical web development skills or experience but basic PC skills are required.

The course includes some very basic online trading but those who would like to learn more about integrating this to their website should also consider the Online trading essentials workshop.

Those who have already built their own website, or have a website built/managed for them that they would like to improve should consider the Improve your business website performance workshop.

Improve your business website performance

Aimed at small businesses that already have a website, whether this was built by a professional website designer or homemade, who feel that their website isn’t producing the results that they expect, or needs refreshing.  It is also suitable for people currently in the process of building or having a website built to make sure the end result is going to be successful.

It is aimed at those with no technical web development skills but basic PC skills are required.

Online trading essentials

Small businesses that are considering selling products or services, or taking bookings and payments online, but don’t know where to start. This course is less suitable for people who are already trading online and are looking for detailed technical advice. 

In this workshop delegates will be introduced to the basics of online trading. It will look at the essential things needed in order to be able to take online orders or bookings, and how they can be achieved, including online payment such as PayPal. It will cover various means by which and online shop or booking system can be achieved, including using third party providers such as eBay, Amazon or

Meet the advisor

Business Gateway can offer advice and support to help you develop your ideas into an effective and practical plan.

The advisor can meet with you to talk through your ideas and offer free advice, in confidential one to one meetings.

Marketing your business

A one day workshop aimed at existing small and micro businesses with ambitions for growth.  The session will help participants evaluate their current marketing activity and create a realistic marketing plan to meet their business needs.  The workshop will provide a practical approach, using real examples and shared best practice, to cover understanding markets and competitors, identifying customer needs and wants, setting marketing objectives and budgets, deciding on the marketing mix, developing a plan and measurement of activity. 

Becoming an employer

A half day workshop that will help businesses understand the process of employing people. It will cover legal obligations and recruitment and is aimed at those taking on staff for the first time, or as a refresher for those who have not taken on people for a while. It will cover setting job descriptions and salary, how to confirm a job offer, registering as an employer with HMRC, obligations when an employee starts work, health and safety legislation and employers’ liability insurance and managing staff performance. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to create a structured plan for taking on staff.

Getting the most out of your people

A half day workshop helping businesses to recruit, induct, manage and develop staff in a way that supports their growth. It will cover the skills and processes required to get the best out of staff, rather than the legal aspects and include recruiting and retaining the right staff, induction and training, managing performance and how a business can growth through developing its people. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to create a plan for managing and developing the staff within their business.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of the above workshops please contact the Business Gateway team on 01546 604555 or
To book online visit

HM Revenue & Customs workshops

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have a series of online presentations or webinars giving help on tax to businesses and the self employed.

The webinars are free but you must register in advance. The presentations last approximately 30 minutes. There are two types - live webinars on set dates, which allow a further 30 minutes for live Q&A; and pre-recorded webinars, available round the clock.

The webinars will cover many different topics, including:

  • Business expenses and capital allowances
  • First steps as an employer
  • The Construction Industry Scheme
  • Self Assessment online
  • Limited companies, an overview
  • How VAT works

The webinars allow businesses and the self-employed to participate in the live seminars and ask questions. These will then be available on the HMRC website to view. The pre-recorded series of webinars will be accessible to watch at any time of day or night.

To find out more or register at

Reaching More Customers – Craft Business Development

This workshop is aimed at helping small craft businesses develop and reach more customers profitably.  The workshop will include understanding your market and competitors; pricing; choosing where to sell; using social media; networks and collaborating with other craft businesses; making an impact at craft fairs.

Introduction to Social Media

Social Media has grown significantly in recent years and has become a vital part of the marketing mix.

This workshop will give you an overview of how you can use sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to interact with your customers to promote and grow your business. As well as practical tips on how to start using Social Media for your business, it will also help answer common questions like:

  • What Social Media sites should you be using?
  • What kind of Social Media posts get the best response?
  • How much time/ money does it take to get started?

Developing a Social Media Strategy

Do you already use Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, but want to know how to use them more effectively to promote and grow your business?

This practical and interactive workshop will show you some of the tips and tricks that can make Social Media a business tool (as well as a fun way to engage with your customers!). You will get answers to questions like:

  • What is a Social Media strategy and why do you need one?
  • How have other people used Social Media to increase awareness and sales?
  • How do you measure the success of a Social Media campaign?

Courses coming up

Find a course

Downloadable list of courses for 2015

To book a place please call the Business Gateway team on 01546 604555 or email