Our Business Support Spotlight series highlights the wealth of support listed on Boost’s Support Hub and available to Lancashire businesses.
Today’s spotlight shines on Lancaster University Management School’s Business Model Innovation Programme.
How do you help Lancashire businesses?
At Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) we have a range of opportunities and support available, drawing together our academic expertise and our deep understanding of the real business world. We’ve been working in this space for over 20 years, helping business leaders to innovate, develop and grow their businesses.
LUMS academics and staff have been working closely with SMEs throughout the pandemic, helping to make sense of this ever-evolving situation, navigate the different restrictions imposed by government and adapt to changes in their markets.
All of our support uses peer-learning at its core – it’s not just about learning from our expertise, but learning with and from other business leaders who have different experiences, strengths and challenges.
One of our latest initiatives is the Business Model Innovation Programme from the Lancashire Forum which is supported by Boost; Lancashire’s business growth hub. We piloted this late last year and are now launching cohort two, which is due to start 24 February, 2021.
Why do Lancashire businesses need your support?
It’s becoming an overused word, but these times really are unprecedented – now more that ever business leaders are isolated, alone and have some incredibly tough decisions to make. To successfully navigate the challenges of today, it’s important to lift your head up and not just look inwards. The power of peer-learning is phenomenal and can bring both expected and unexpected benefits.
Specifically, the Business Model Innovation programme, helps delegates identify opportunities to evolve and adapt existing business models – this is vital at a time when markets are changing so quickly. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that businesses need to invest time to prepare for the unexpected and need a business model which is resilient and allows them to do that.
Time is precious for Lancashire businesses trying to rebuild, push forward or just survive after what has been an incredibly difficult year. Now more than ever, SMEs need to stay alert to the opportunities around them and explore how they can adapt their businesses to take advantage.
How are you helping Lancashire businesses overcome the economic challenges of coronavirus?
The Business Model Innovation programme helps businesses to build resilience and flexibility into their business models. We break business modelling down into three straightforward components: Creating, Delivering and Capturing Value. We explore these areas in turn, using a blend of theories, models and practical activities.
These workshops all take place in a safe and trusted peer-learning environment to provide stimulus and challenge from like-minded business leaders.
Beyond this programme, we have a number of other initiatives specific to the challenges business are facing as a result of coronavirus – digitalisation, stabilisation, productivity and ‘building back better’.
What are the other key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?
The challenges are really diverse and it varies from sector to sector and business to business. Aside from Coronavirus and all its various domino effects, Brexit has returned from the shadows to shake up the world of any business who imports or exports.
There is also the Climate Crisis rumbling in the background – that problem has not gone away and it’s becoming ever more important for businesses to build sustainable practice into their core. The rate of technological change is also causing headaches for many firms – those who are not keeping up will start to fall further and further behind their competitors. Often in digitalisation, it’s the first steps which are the hardest – taking a leap into areas which business leaders often don’t fully understand.
These critical areas are where we focus our work – bringing our academic expertise and our business engagement heritage to the fore to drive Lancashire and the Northwest forwards.
What’s the future for the Lancashire economy?
Lancashire people and Lancashire businesses are resilient. The last year has been really tough – and the immediate future isn’t all sunshine and roses either, but the firms who will come out grinning on the other side are those who see the opportunities, who adapt and innovate to meet the needs of a changing world.
It’s time to see the glass as half full, be bold, be brave and for those who draw on the support available, think carefully and make the right calls, there’s an incredible future just around the corner.
As well as offering the Business Model Innovation Programme, we also have a wide range of offerings for businesses in the North West. Visit our website for more information: lancaster.ac.uk/lums/business/sme-programmes