Build Your Business Day

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Join us to hear from a range of experts on business and branding to brush up on skills and help you build your business better.

Event information / agenda

A Big House Event supported and delivered by the Creative Quarter.


This Build You Business event from The Big House will take the form of an opening talk from Ross Cox, co-founder of Dispace Technologies, followed by two 90-minute workshop sessions, where attendees can choose to hear from any of the four speakers on the schedule.

Whether you run your own business or want to spruce up your LinkedIn Profile - it's important that you have a high-quality, professional headshot. We will have a professional photographer, Steve Edwards on hand at the event to take creative, fun portraits for anyone who wants one.

  • 9.30am: REGISTRATION
  • 9.45am: Opening talk - Ross Cox, Dispace Technologies
  • 10.30am: Workshop Session 1
  • 12pm: LUNCH (Food will be provided)
  • 1pm: Workshop Session 2
  • 2.30pm: CLOSE

Opening Talk: Ross Cox, Dispace Technologies

"Is YOUR thing a thing? Avoiding the pain of starting a poorly thought-through business."

My start-up journeys read like an A-Z of screw-ups. So much so that I occasionally wonder if it’s some kind of sub-conscious adrenaline sport. I’ve been lucky that I’ve had the means, wherewithal and support to navigate onto the right path, but it’s these sorts of mistakes that lead to the high % of business failures. This session is designed to demonstrate the value of properly validating your business or self-employment journey using a bunch of painful, occasionally cringe-inducing examples of what not to do. We’ll look how you validate your product or service idea properly, and then build a business plan with proper economics and sensible assumptions. The goal being that you can honestly reflect and say ‘MY thing is a thing’. And not only that, but it can provide me with what I need to live the life I want.

So whether you’re building a tech platform or considering freelancing, whether you’ve already started or haven’t yet taken the plunge, or if you just like to sit back and listen to a catalogue of mishaps, this session is for you.

Workshop Sessions - All 4 sessions will run once at 10.30am, and again at 1pm. Choose the two sessions you would like to attend.

The foundations of Brand Strategy with Tim Elliott

Great brands are built on solid foundations. In this short workshop style session we will explore the foundations of effective brand strategy and learn the tools and techniques that will help you go and build brilliant brands in the future.

Marketing on a low budget with Lindsey Newman-Wood

Marketing can be seen as a bit of a dark art, in this engaging seminar, Lindsey Newman-Wood will show you some of the tricks of her trade and give you practical tips on how to market your business on a budget but still get maximum impact for your efforts.

The session will cover:

• Why Marketing is important
• How to work out your ideal client
• Top tips for success
• How to get the clients you really want
• Q&A session

10 simple tips to make managing your finances easy with Emma Torrance

This session is aimed at those that either are fairly new to being self employed or those that struggle with numbers and finances and want to make managing finances easy. We'll cover 10 tips that cover the basics of managing your finances in simple steps.

Strategy 101: approaches for small business owners with Steve Hobbs

It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up, a micro-business, or you’re trying for that first growth spurt; spending time thinking about your strategy will help you achieve your goals.

Join Steve for an introduction to strategy from a really practical perspective. Learn about the portfolio approach; maximise the impact of your marketing and sales activities while keeping you flexible and responsive to opportunities and market changes.

FREE Headshots with Steve Edwards Photography

Whether you run your own business or want to spruce up your LinkedIn Profile - it's important that you have a high-quality, professional headshot. Using your phone, electronic device or camera to take a selfie just isn't good enough, so we will have a professional photographer on hand at the event to take creative, fun portraits for anyone who wants one. https://steveedwardsphotograph...


This conference is aimed anyone running or working within a start-up, growing or established business, who are looking for business support.

You are only eligible to attend this event if you are based in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire and run a creative or digital business, or have an idea for one you would like to start. If you have any questions about eligibility or enrolling, please contact the Events Team on or phone 0115 710 0107.


Ross Cox

Ross Cox is co-founder of Dispace Technology, a property management and booking software provider specialising in events, meetings and facilities hire solutions. Having previously founded and exited a consumer debt buying investment fund and been involved in early Open Banking solutions, Ross has a wealth of start-up experience to share that is an inevitable blend of highs and lows. His formative steps as a grass roots football coach and NLP practitioner are following similarly bumpy paths!

Tim Elliott

Tim Elliott has worked in the creative industries for over 23 years which means over the last couple of decades, he's been at the table having strategic conversations with 1000's of businesses and leaders, helping them understand how to apply creativity strategically so that they can do better work and do work better.

Today, his work regularly involves delivering keynotes at events, speaking to leadership teams internally at organisations as well as at leadership groups, masterminds and retreats, delivering lectures and seminars and facilitating workshops.

Lindsey Newman-Wood

Lindsey is an experienced Marketing Consultant, Trainer and Speaker who set up Passion Marketing in 2012.

Lindsey is known for delivering engaging, fun, informative and practical workshops aimed at ambitious business owners and marketing professionals who want to grow their business.Her portfolio of clients that she has delivered workshops for include the Big House, D2N2 Growth Hub, LLEP Business Gateway, NBV, Derbyshire Dales County Council, Birmingham University, Natwest Bank & Oxford Innovation Business Centres.

Emma Torrance

Emma is a SFEDI qualified independent business adviser helping with running & understanding complexities of running a business including business planning & finances.

She is used to being at the sharp end of retail and hospitality businesses having co-owned a cafe, gallery and meeting venue in Nottingham City Centre, enjoying successes and failures and earning valuable insights and wisdom along the way.

Emma has an MBA and have been involved in supporting and mentoring other businesses for two decades, so understands both the theory and the practical realities of running your own business. She provides one-to-one coaching, mentoring and workshops to freelancers, small private businesses and social enterprises across a range of sectors including creative, music, food, IT, educative, hospitality, leisure and retail.

Steve Hobbs

Steve Hobbs has been supporting start-up and growing businesses for over 20 years. He is is an expert in designing and facilitating programmes for leaders and owners, supporting the creation of strategies and plans and driving effective execution. His focus is on the mindset and behaviours that get things done and he draws on his years as a naval officer and over 30 years as a business owner and manager - including of a design and print business - to bring practical experience to his work as a facilitator, mentor and coach.

His approach is both challenging and supportive; looking for what’s right for you and your business, whatever the situation and its complications. A fan of lean startup approaches and tools, he will help you move from idea to execution rapidly and with confidence.


Wednesday 9th February, 9.30am -12.30pm, Bolero Suite, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, NG1 1LA.

We will be asking all attendees to present either an NHS Covid Pass, proof of a double vaccination or proof of a negative lateral flow test (taken within the last 24 hours) before entering the event. Please show your NHS confirmation text or email to a member of staff on the door. Mask wearing and social distancing is encouraged.


The Big House offers fully funded business support, mentoring, workshops, networking events and access to grants for creative and digital businesses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2022

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Wednesday 9th February 2022

9:30am - 14:30pm GMT

Motorpoint Arena
Bolero Square
NG1 1LA,

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