Workshop Two – Business Environment


FBMplus competition:

Tuesday 15th December 2015. Beamish Museum.
Workshop Two – Business Environment


The second workshop in the FBMplus 2015/2016 competition saw the four teams from Bishop Auckland College, Park View School and Framwellgate School Durham reunited at Beamish Museum. As an open-air museum looking at stories of life within the North East in the 1820’s, 1900’s and 1940’s it was the ideal venue for learning about the Business Environment considering this years competition theme of ‘Hospitality’.

Teams were transported immediately back in time, travelling on the Beamish Tramway across the museum site past the Pit Village and Farm to the meeting venue of the Masonic Hall in the old 1900’s town which includes a Sweet Shop, Bank, and Co-Op.


Jenny Barrett, Managing Director of TICE began the initial theory learning with an overview and clarification of the importance of Place within the bigger picture of a business environment, recapping on SWOT & PEST analysis. In asking teams to re-assess their business structure through a SWOT analysis and skills match, it helped identify the skills per team member they could attribute individual strengths towards.

Market sectors were discussed next and the importance of carrying out both primary and secondary research to establish key target markets and the intended audience plus identify the competition. Teams were asked, “Do you know who (demographically) your market is made up of?” and “Who is at the top of their game (competition)?” This is a points based competition and judges are looking for physical evidence that teams have carried out a range of information gathering techniques, so research is key!


Simon Woolley, the Head of Learning and Skills at Beamish Museum picked up this train of thought perfectly in his introduction to life at Beamish, focusing on Hospitality, Customer Service and the job structure within the museum.
It was a fascinating insight given into the museum history, its development since its conception in 1973 and how constant engagement with customers provides the best possible experiences to foster return visits and business growth. Simon said, “ Beamish Museum thrives through self reliance of entrepreneurial spirit to look for new opportunities to innovate and grow to reach more people. It puts visitors first, using its collections of everyday life to bring together life experiences and hands on learning for all the family”.


The session concluded with the teams having a walk around Beamish, using the time to learn and engage with staff, asking questions and garnering any useful information they could apply to their own business ideas.

Gary Chaplin, Enterprise Development Manager at Business Durham said, “ Today’s session here at Beamish Museum can only have enhanced the students understanding of the Business Environment and it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to bring the teams to such venues of interest.”


There are just 2 more workshops in the competition now before establishing who are the 2016 FBMplus enterprise champions!

Workshop 3 focuses on Price & Finance Research and another fantastic venue awaits, Lumley Castle is up next!