After 18 years working with Royal Bank of Scotland Nick Muir decided it was time to follow his dream and set up his own business.

He’d managed the business response for major incidents and technical issues, so Nick’s expertise was in understanding how data can be used to understand customers and make decisions.

Nick’s plan was to set up a crisis management consultancy but working through the Royal Bank of Scotland Business Builder programme made him rethink his strategy.

He’s now looking at providing software to help companies harness and understand their own data, rather than offering his own consultancy service.

“When it comes to setting up a business it’s a minefield,” he says. “But there were a few modules that were really helpful for me.

“The module around Validation and Testing Assumptions were really useful.

“At first I thought people would want to speak to me about how we could make them more efficient when responding to incidents but the more I read through these I understood I was making a big assumption.”

The Business Model Canvas was also brilliant, says Nick.

“It goes into every element and it’s easy to understand and get your around.

“If your idea is woolly you need to go back and rethink it. That really helped me get my head around the new idea that software is the business and if I can get that out there then the consultancy will follow.

BUSINESS Builder is an online platform from Royal Bank of Scotland for entrepreneurs thinking about a start-up.

Every dream needs a plan and Business Builder champions you with a wealth of tools and modules to support future or existing business owners, and you don’t even have to be a Royal Bank of Scotland customer.

The programme is there to support entrepreneurs through their business journey, at any stage.

From mastering the 60-second or ‘elevator’ pitch, to the importance of mindset or revenue streams there are nine different components on the Business Builder dashboard which are all relevant to start-ups.

Members can access workshops and events and join an online community of likeminded people all seeking tips, advice and support from a community or professionals.

Business Builder offers free online support 24/7 taking you through the essential building blocks to help you move your business forward, completing exercises, templates and questions to implement the learning into your business.

Register online at rbsbusinessbuilder.com

“Customer Discovery was another useful module that helped me rethink the angle at which I tackle this.”

Working his way through Business Builder made Nick ask himself tough questions about his proposition and, ultimately, made him pivot.

Nick is fascinated by innovation in the data world, not least the use of Ai (artificial intelligence) to help make decisions.

Recently, for example, data was used to predict how customers would behave in the light of Covid, how this would impact their finances and how they use their money.

As innovation happens in the data world, Nick wants to become the conduit between their tech start-ups and the businesses that can benefit from the new technology.

As a result, he now believes his business Forth Directive Solutions will be all the stronger.