“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”

Benjamin Franklin, American politician

In today's increasingly complex and competitive environment, people in specialist roles, as well as non-finance managers, need to have greater commercial awareness. Whether you’re working in business, not-for-profit or the public sector, your organisation will have costs, generate value, need to be efficiently run, and work within a wider competitive environment – which is why a baseline level of commercial awareness is so important.

This course will give you an understanding of how to focus on the critical issues needed to support your role as a commercially-focused professional, making commercially informed decisions, managing costs, focusing on creating greater value and reducing waste.

Common concerns we hear from people who attend this course include:

  • How can I understand more about the commercial environment in which my organisation works?
  • I’ve been told I need to be more aware of costs – what does this mean?
  • What does ‘value’ mean in terms of my role?
  • How can I run my team more efficiently?

This Develop-level workshop uses a balance of theory, practical activities and case studies to help you become more commercially savvy and apply ideas back in your own workplace..

All of our trainers are experts in their field and have many years’ experience in organisational finance, commerce and budgets.

Target Audience

This Develop-level workshop is aimed at anyone who wants to become more commercially aware. It is relevant to anyone:

  • Managing a team
  • Managing a budget
  • Managing projects
  • Running a cost centre
  • Making decisions with a commercial element

If you’re looking for a more finance-specific focus, try our one-day Finance Essentials (MPDFE) or two-day Finance for Non-Finance Managers (MPDFNFM-1) courses.

What delegates say

“I will use what I've learned on the course to influence my thinking in my day-to-day job.”

“It has made me want to ask the business more about my role in the grand scheme of things.”

“Very good - explained things well, gave good scenarios which helped understanding things.”


There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Learning Outcomes

You’ll learn how to:

  • Describe what being ‘commercially aware’ involves
  • Identify how value is created in your work and organisation
  • Identify how the external environment impacts your organisation
  • Explore the importance of strategy and the commercial environment
  • Explain common commercial terminology
  • Identify how costs are incurred in your organisation and how these can be controlled
  • Explain how waste can increase costs and reduce value, and identify options for reducing waste and improving efficiency


  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. What is ‘commercial awareness’?
  3. Creating value
  4. Strategy and commercial awareness
  5. Getting to grips with commercial jargon
  6. Controlling costs
  7. Reducing waste
  8. Review and action planning

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