The Essential Business learning management system

Our pre-start and start-up training materials have been used by business support organisations, colleges and universities and local authorities for almost ten years – almost exclusively for face-to-face delivery. Last year we asked our clients, "What's missing? What could we create to help you deliver cost-effective training to the clients who need it?"

Our clients told us, almost exclusively, that they wanted:

  • Embedded multimedia courses for pre-start and start-up businesses.
  • An affordable licensing model.
  • The opportunity to add their own courses and learning materials and adapt embedded courses.
  • Access to other business start-up resources.
  • A bespoke system which could be amended to match their brand.

Using our tried-and-tested existing workshop courses as the starting point, we have spent the last six months creating the first of a suite of online multimedia courses. We then spent time researching the best delivery platform and partnered with a Moodle specialist to create one of our most exciting projects, in terms of its potential: the Essential Business learning management system.

  • Lorraine Bell, University of Brighton
    I've used Essential Business materials for training and business advisory work over many years. I have trained hundreds of individuals using the ‘Before You Begin’ and ‘Planning and Starting Your Business’ course materials. They are without doubt among the best business start-up materials on the market, they make training enjoyable and they ensure your trainees not only love your workshops and courses but guarantee that they cover all the essential areas when starting a business. I highly recommend them.
    Lorraine Bell, University of Brighton

    The system is supplied with two step-by-step-courses: a free pre-start course for clients who are thinking about business and a licensed start-up course for new business owners. Both courses have been used nationally for many years by a range of organisations.


    Digital delivery of learning materials reduces costs and helps with staff allocation. You can use the system to provide cost-efficient remote online learning for your clients with no extra photocopying or venue hire fees.


    The system can be fully branded with your logo, colours, address and social media details. You also have the option to incorporate your own courses or work with our team to create bespoke courses for your organisation and clients.


    Clients can be tracked throughout the training and signposted to the most relevant modules as and when required. You can manage course attendees for both online and face-to-face courses.

What do learners like so much about our courses?

We've helped many organisations lead their clients through our pre-start and start-up courses. We are known for our plain English writing style and step-by-step, clear instructions. The audio narration of each course, in particular, is liked and used by clients, especially by those people who are not natural readers or for whom English is not their first language.

We have started and run our own businesses over many years – so we understand how clients might feel and what could be useful for them to learn and understand. We aim to educate your clients, without terrifying them in the process!

In our courses, your clients will find:

  • Interactivity

    Each course includes downloadable worksheets with videos showing clients exactly how to complete and make the most of each worksheet.

  • Audio

    If your clients don't have the time – or the inclination – to read the text, they'll love the audio narration feature. Click the embedded player to listen to each page.

  • Video

    Most worksheets have accompanying videos that explain how to make the most out of the sheet and why they're needed.

  • Step-by-step

    Each step in the course is clearly written and easy to follow. It assumes no prior knowledge of the subject.

Take a look inside one of the courses

Planning and Starting Your Business is one of the courses currently available in the system, under licence. It is broken into five sections, each containing text for your clients to read (or listen to, if they prefer), resources, and worksheets to download and complete in their own time. The videos contain clear instructions about how to complete the worksheets – and explain more about why each particular worksheet matters. Here's the first video in the opening section, explaining how the course works:

This course works particularly well with the Planning and Starting Your Business workbook and can lead seamlessly on to face-to-face workshop delivery. There is also a comprehensive trainer pack to support your delivery team.

Would you like to try out the system?

If you'd like to take a look inside the Essential Business learning management system
to see how it might work for your organisation, please get in touch and we can arrange it.

Call Marianne Whitfield on 0191 461 8020 or email 
to discuss your particular training requirements and how we might help.

Essential Business  •  •  +44 (0)191 461 8022

Essential Business is the trading name of Essential Business Publications Limited, a company registered in England and Wales.
Company number 9358750 and VAT number GB 201 8284 37.