Help to grow

It’s often said that business leaders should spend 80% of their time working on their business and only 20% working in it. But that is not always easy. Just how do you step back and take a good hard look at the overall picture when faced with a series of immediate challenges, not the least of which is Covid and the aftermath of Brexit?

But the blunt truth is that unless leaders do take time out to plan there is a danger that a series of short term workarounds could leave the business spiralling in the wrong direction. And whilst taking time out to plan might feel wrong when faced with the day to day, effective planning is one of the key roles of business leaders.

That’s why the Government has launched a ‘Help to Grow: Management’ scheme. Offering a mix of business mentor support and training from selected business schools, the scheme aims to equip business leaders with the tools they need to take their business to the next level. Delivered over a period of twelve weeks, and designed to run alongside day to day business requirements, areas covered include financial management, innovation, and digital adoption.

The scheme is open to businesses with between 5 and 250 personnel and which have been in existence for more than one year. It is aimed at senior decision makers such as CEOs or Finance Directors. The Government say they are subsidising 90% of the cost, leaving businesses to fund the remaining £750. Commenting on the scheme the Dean of Brunel Business School, Professor Jane Hendy, said: “Furthering our commitment to support local businesses, we’re here to help businesses keep going, keep gaining and keep growing.”

At the end of the twelve week scheme, it is envisaged that participants will have prepared a tailored growth plan for their business. Of course, preparing a plan is one thing; translating that plan into actions on the ground is quite another. Alongside inertia and lack of management support, one of the key reasons given for transformation failure is the existence of legacy systems. It can be extremely frustrating to have the drive for change brought to an abrupt halt by the need to source and replace equipment.

That’s where inbuilt flexibilities can come into play. For example, choosing a flexible telephony system could help businesses to deliver improved levels of communication, perhaps as part of a customer focused campaign, without having first to install a lot of new equipment. Whether you want to add more call handlers, introduce a call waiting management system, or revise existing hunt group pathways, a flexible system can grow or change in response with your needs.

Or perhaps your plan might call for better customer information points. Options here might include a business information line or, perhaps, issuing SMS text messages to those who have opted in to receive updates in that way. Here again, a flexible system which can move with your business’s changing needs can help to deliver the plan.

Written by Alison