Programme details

The distinctive Better Business Programme process

Every owner manager who participates in the Better Business Programme wants a different and better future for their business and for themselves.

The aim of the programme is to help you to actually create the different and better future you want for your business and for you – to make it happen for real in the real world of your business.

We have two underpinning beliefs about what we can do to help it be more likely that that different and better future does actually come about

  1. A different and better future is more likely to come about if you can very clearly articulate it and preferably in a way which inspires other people to help you bring it about
  2. Having articulated it, it’s yet more likely to come about if the you then develop a clear, comprehensive and robust plan of what you’re going to DO to get you from where you are now to where you want to be.

So, the core process of the Better Business Programme is one by which you develop your own growth strategy for your own business and a plan to implement that strategy.

That process has a beginning and an end.  We provide the complete process, broken down into stages and detailed steps, which you need to undertake in order to develop your strategy and plan.

And it’s the real strategy and plan of what you’re really going to do.  In fact, everything we do on the programme is real, about your business and you.

At the top level, the strategy development process consists of three simple stages

  • Where are we now? A robust stock of the way that things are currently in your business and the way in which you manage it with the very focused goal of helping you identify and implement immediate improvements
  • Where are we going? The articulation of your inspiring vision
  • How do we get there? The development of your clear, comprehensive and robust plan

At each step of the process, we introduce you to the ideas and approaches that you need in order to undertake that step.  And, very quickly we get you applying those ideas and approaches to your business and exposing your thinking to the challenge of other owner managers (ie. your fellow participants) and our delivery team.

Of course, your business looks and feels the way it does today, and has the opportunities and challenges it has today, because it’s yours.  If it were somebody else’s, it would be different.  And, the future of your business will be primarily driven by you – your personal goals, personal ambitions and personal drivers – and your ability to lead and manage the business to become what you want it to be.

So, while the Better Business Programme covers all the conventional stuff of business and management, we also place great emphasis on you.

And, quite distinctively, our process for the development of your strategy for your business starts with helping you to articulate the future you want for you – your personal goals, your personal ambitions and your personal drivers – and then to design and build a business which delivers those things to you.

Overall, the Better Business Programme provides a unique opportunity for you to step back from the day-to-day demands of running your business and build a better future for your business and for you.

The famous 4Ms

Across the whole programme, you work on four key themes:

  • Markets. In which we help you examine the market segments in which you operate, the trends within those markets, the opportunities and threats to which those trends give rise, your customers, your competitors, the distinctive benefits that your products/services bring to your customers compared to your competitors and how you can put even more focus on those distinctive benefits and grow your business
  • Money and Measures.  In which we help you look at the financial and other measures in the business, what they tell you about your business performance and how you can improve, the measures on which you’ll need to focus in order to implement your plan, the investment you’ll need to fund your plan, and your options for sourcing that investment.
  • Management.  In which we help you to assess the way in which you find great people and bring them into your business, how you manage, reward and motivate them once you have them, how you organise and structure them, and ultimately how you build them into a great management team.
  • Me.  Arguably, the most important theme of all – and certainly the most distinctive.  In the Me theme, we will help you to to articulate the future you want for you – your personal goals, your personal ambitions and your personal drivers – and then to design and build a business which delivers those things to you.  We’ll also help you consider your own leadership and management style and the impact you have on other people in the business so that you can identify how you need to develop in order to become the leader your business needs you to be.  For many participants, the Me theme is the most challenging part of the whole programme – it’s also one of the most valuable parts.  It’s certainly the most distinctive part since nearly all the content and process within the Me theme is proprietary to us.

The format

Because every participant has a business to run, the Better Business Programme is a modular programme. The main part of the programme runs over an elapsed period of about 11 weeks. During that time, there are

  • Four two-day modules during which all the participants convene to work through each step in the process of the development of their strategy and plan.
  • In between these modules, you continue to run your business while also working further on the development of your strategy and plan. You also achieve immediate benefits by making immediate improvements to the way you run your business based on ideas that you’ve developed during the modules.
  • About five weeks after the fourth module is Presentation Day, where you present your strategy and plan to a panel and receive even more input, ideas and advice.
  • About six months later, we reconvene for Progress Review to review your progress with the implementation of your plan.

A dedicated 1-1 business coach

Throughout the programme, you’re supported by a dedicated and experienced business coach who works with you on a 1-1 basis.  At the top level, their role is to help you get the maximum possible benefit from your participation in the programme.  They visit you in your business, feedback to you on what they see and hear, ask you lots of challenging questions, offer you their insights, and work with you 1-1 and in small groups to guide you through the whole process.

Looking for investment for growth?

An additional and unique benefit of our relationship with Cass Business School is that participants on the Better Business Programme are eligible to apply for equity investment to support their growth from the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund.

Scholarships and bursaries

There are various ways in which owner managers can potentially access contributions to the programme fees

  • Participants in the Better Business Programme are highly likely to qualify for Leadership and Management funding through the Government’s Growth Accelerator initiative
  • Alumni of Cass Business School are automatically entitled to a bursary to participate in our programmes
  • Each year, a small number of women owner managers are supported to participate in the Better Business Programme by the Jennifer d’Abo Foundation.

For further details of how to access these bursaries and scholarships, please speak to Programme Director, Gerard Burke on 01525 261 074.

Next programme dates

For information on future programme dates contact Gerard Burke, Programme Director, on 01525 261 074 or


The six modules of the Better Business Programme take place at Lane End Conference Centre near High Wycombe. Lane End is a purpose built conference venue with exceptional facilities. When we run the Better Business Programme, we have exclusive use of a self-contained unit which integrates all plenary rooms, syndicate rooms, dining room, bar and bedrooms in a single block.

Register for a Better Business Briefing Event

Come along to one of our Better Business Briefing Events to get a real feel for how the Better Business Programme works and how Your Business Your Future and Cass can help you create a better future for your business and for you.

Click the red button to apply for your place at a Better Business Briefing Event.


Register for Calling all Owner Managers - Learn about The Twelve Steps to Business Success - includes a FREE coaching session to help you to grow your business on Eventbrite

For a discussion about you, your business and your ambitions

Contact Gerard Burke, Programme Director, on 01525 261 074 or