Help 2 Grow boosts ‘insane’ growth agenda

Categories: Salford Business School

A new course aimed at boosting small and medium sized businesses is helping one company with its ‘insane’ growth agenda. And places are now available for the February intake for other businesses who want to grow.

Delivered by the University of Salford Business School, Help to Grow: Management takes place over twelve weeks, with new courses starting throughout the year. Teaching includes both online and face-to-face sessions with leading figures from industry and experienced entrepreneurs.

The programme covers several key areas of leadership, including strategy and innovation, growing national and international markets and adopting digital technology. It is open to all businesses with between 5 and 249 employees and 90% of the costs are covered by Government funding, leaving business to pay just £750.

GAIN LINE, a consultancy which specialises in helping mainly other SMEs who wish to grow by optimising their business operations via a blend of design thinking, lean startup and user experience, is one company taking advantage of the skills and knowledge the course offers.

Jonathan Ward, Commercial Director of GAIN LINE said: “We identify inefficiencies inside a business through our consultative product that we call an Optimisation Sprint. This is a powerful framework of workshops and activities that are designed to rapidly align teams to solve key challenges in their businesses and then develop testable solutions that can be immediately implemented within them.

“We have something of an insane growth agenda at the moment as we have pivoted from traditional software development services to deliver a more consultative approach through our Optimisation Sprints which further cement our partnership with existing clients as well as create opportunities for growth with new ones.

“And that is where Help2Grow has really shone for us. The innovation bit of the course was just what we needed, as we look for areas of growth through diversification. It has been the perfect time to do the course as it has reinforced and helped shape our Optimisation Sprint product offering.

“And the networking has been very useful, hearing the challenges that most other businesses are facing which has fed into how we position our Optimisation Sprint product.

“It's very fast paced and demanding but I’ve managed to fit it around working at the same time.”

And another business, Warrington based Pageant Girl is also finding big benefits from Help 2 Grow. Company Director Holly Pirrie sells prom dresses from her shop and organises pageants.

Holly said: “It’s a hidden hobby over here. It’s a live fashion show, it’s about creating friendships and developing as much as winning.”

The company has six full time members of staff, with seasonal employment is can go up 20 and sends girls all over the world to take part in pageants. 

She added: “The pandemic hit our business a lot, our events were cancelled last year, though we did manage to have some this year. Everyone says go digital but we want to bring people together and create experiences, our business does not got digital very easily.

“So I started thinking what am I going to do during lockdown. Wanted to make sure I was learning. The course has made me think about vision and growth in a clearer way. Definitely good value for money. I had never studied business before, so it was interesting to learn some new techniques, but also put we are already doing into context and sharing ideas with the group.”

The January course is full but expressions of interest for a place on the next available course, to start in February, are being taken via Small Business Charter website. The deadline to apply is two weeks before the start.

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