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22nd October 2021 in News

Help to Grow with a Business Model Canvas

Louise Towler

By Louise Towler

Help to Grow with a Business Model Canvas

I am now half-way through a ‘Help to Grow’ Management Programme which has given me some great ideas on how we can innovate and improve on what we do at Indigo Tree.   

The Strategy and Innovation module has been the most useful module to me so far.  We were introduced to the Business Model Canvas which is a tool for Strategic Planning. 

From Freelancer to Agency 

Like many small business owners I started out doing what I love – building websites – and did not know anything about running my own business.  I did not have a strategy, I just started to get a bit busy. So then I thought it would be great to get some help, recruited my first employee, and a decade later we are now a team of twelve

I don’t know what I don’t know about running a business! 

LOuise Towler

The Management Programme covers all the key areas of running a business. I realised the content looked very relevant to how we operate, when I was considering whether or not to sign-up (as it is quite a large time commitment).

Help to Grow Modules

Business Model Canvas 

The Business Model Canvas is a simplified view of a business. This is helpful in highlighting the most important areas and how they relate to each other.   

Business Model Canvas
By Business Model Alchemist – http://www.businessmodelalchemist.com/tools, CC BY-SA 1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11892574 

I find that it is easy to be distracted by all of elements that are involved in running a business.  This tool enables me to see how all of these elements are interrelated and affect each other, providing me with a better understanding of how we operate as an ecosystem in a holistic way.  

This model can be completed quite quickly to generate new ideas. At the heart of the Business Model Canvas is our value proposition and why we exist.  I think about this a lot as our values are part of who we are and why we work the way we do at Indigo Tree. 

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Planning our growth 

This Business Model Canvas tool is simple for me to start sharing and using with our team so I can get feedback.  It is visual and easy to explain and understand, so we can collaborate on our strategy as we undertake more complex work and recruit new people.  

I also have the peace of mind that I am running Indigo Tree in the best way possible.  The 12-week programme is giving me new tools and techniques to plan our growth strategy and minimise the risk of unexpected issues taking us off track. 

Brunel Business School 

This Help to Grow Management Programme is amazing value for money as it is 90% funded by the Department for Business.  It is being run across the UK by various University Business Schools. I selected Brunel Business School as we are expected to attend face-face classes with a case study every three weeks for an afternoon. It is very convenient, as Brunel is less than an hours’ drive from our office in Tring.

The other eight weeks of the programme, have a two-hour webinar followed another day by a one hour peer-group discussion.  As part of the programme I also have ten hours of 1-1 mentoring.  So far, I have been really impressed with the quality of teaching at Brunel and the mentoring on offer.  It has also been a great opportunity for networking with other small business owners in a variety of different sectors. 

Help to Grow Programme 

The 12-week programme combines online sessions with face-to-face learning. It has been designed to allow participants to complete it alongside full-time work. The best thing is 90% of the course fee is funded by the government and you will also get 1 2 1 mentoring from experienced mentors and peer groups with like-minded leaders.  


  • Enhance your management and strategic capabilities 
  • Produce a growth plan for your business 
  • Build resilience to future shocks 
  • Learn how to innovate in your business 
  • Adopt digital technologies to boost productivity and operational agility 
  • Develop your value proposition and reach into growth markets 
  • Improve employee engagement and responsible business practices 
  • A blended programme that combines interactive, online sessions with face-to-face learning to suit you 

You can also find out more on The Small Business Charter website

Here is more information about the programme at Brunel Business School and how to book your place.  

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