Free Retail Training For Independent Businesses

More than 100 independent retailers in Crawley can take advantage of a free training programme, thanks to a project between borough and district councils in West Sussex.

The West Sussex Retail Hub has been developed by Digital Islands and has been paid for thanks to a joint bid to the West Sussex Business Rates Pool.

The training consists of a series of pre-recorded learning sessions and live events with industry experts. Independent retailers can access the following pre-recorded modules:

  • Measuring sales, tracking profitability
  • Key steps for creating a marketing plan
  • The importance of business planning
  • Employing staff: an introduction to HR for small businesses
  • Using social media for business outcomes
  • Card payments and electronic point of sale
  • Understanding today’s customer
  • Creating an exceptional customer experience
  • Developing a quality customer experience for the modern independent retailer
  • Developing new business models that work effectively and efficiently.

Businesses will be able to access the training from Monday (12 July) at their own convenience. Businesses are free to pick and choose the modules of most use to them. The modules will be available for the next two years and there will also be downloads and useful resources for businesses to keep.

An online launch event using Zoom will also take place at 6pm on Monday (12 July) at 6pm. There will be the opportunity to hear from Mark Smith, Operations Director of sportswear company Sweaty Betty, as well as an overview of the different training modules from each of the experts. There will also be a question and answer session for businesses to take part in.

Weekly live question and answer sessions will begin on Wednesday 21 July and end on Wednesday 22 September.

We are continuing to find ways to help Crawley’s small businesses and I hope that the town’s independent retailers take advantage of this free training offer; I’m sure they will find it extremely valuable. I urge you to sign up now!

Councillor Peter Smith

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development

Crawley Borough Council