Since 2012, 150 local business have successfully completed the Growth Catalyst programme.
97% of the participants strongly agreed or agreed that the programme was worth the time invested and agreed that they had become a better leader, 68% saying that they felt more confident to grow their business. The average growth of those participating has been 26%.
Tommy Murphy - Knowsley Lift Services
“Practical learning, with sharing of similar experiences.”
Knowsley Lift Services installs, services and maintains elevators for a number of business clients in Merseyside. The company had grown considerably since their establishment in 1997, however more recently the business had suffered from increased competition from low cost Europeans lift systems.
Tommy Murphy is co-director and operational manager within the business, with responsibilities for Business Development. He registered onto the Growth Catalyst programme to improve his leadership abilities and to help him to address various staffing issues. He was a self-confessed workaholic and found it difficult to trust and delegate responsibility.
After completing the programme, Tommy said, "I felt trapped in the business, but have now stopped working ridiculous hours with no detrimental effect. I now delegate more and manage my own time more effectively and have become more energized as a result”.
The business is now growing steadily and through a programme of training and staff development, Tommy has been able to inspire staff to believe in his vision for the company and in their own career prospects within it.
Anna Jenkins – Silky Bouquets Ltd
“Life changing for the business and me.” Anna Jenkins – Silky Bouquets Ltd
Silky Bouquets Ltd was established in 2011 as a shop and online retailer. The business has expanded into a warehouse production unit, providing both artificial and fresh flowers to the general public and commercial sellers.
Anna Jenkins registered onto the Growth Catalyst programme to enable her to spend more time working “on” the business rather than “in” it. “I needed to move away from the day to day and to focus more on strategy and growth,” she said.
During the programme Anna came to the realisation that, as owner of her own business, if it was to succeed, she had to take more control and lead the business forward. “I realised that as the leader I had to step up, acknowledge my responsibilities and sell my ideas to the team.”
Members of her Action Learning set gave Anna the self-belief, support and challenged her to radically restructure the business, freeing her up to focus on the bigger picture.
With everyone now clear of their roles, the business is growing rapidly, three more employees have been taken on and new showrooms have been opened in Aigburth and Widnes.
Anna concluded by saying, “I now have much more confidence and self-belief in how far I have come and how far I can now go.”
Jordan Dougan - EFT System limited
“An excellent course, where I have taken something away from every session. My confidence has grown hugely and I have been able to successfully implement many of the things I have learnt on the programme”.
Jordan Dougan is a Co-Director of the highly successful provider of Safety and Security Services called EFT Systems. The business has grown considerably over the last two years with employee numbers increasing by over 30%. They have also incorporated the EFT Group which now boasts a construction and electrical arm taking the company to over 100 employees.
Jordan registered onto the programme in order to gain new skills to match the company's growth. This included, the desire to become a more effective leader, to review the organisational structure and to support and motivate new and existing staff”.
Jordan said "….it’s very challenging being a woman in our industry as there aren’t many of us at the top, but with support and encouragement of my fellow delegates I felt reinvigorated to take the business to the next level”.
Not only did the programme give Jordan greater skills to grow the business but also the confidence to restructure, delegate responsibly and review her work life balance. “I have become a stronger leader and now manage all my time much more effectively”.
Jordan has clear plans to grow the business bith organically and aggressively throughout the UK.
Phil Taylor - IT Managed Systems
"Over the last 3 years with the help of the programme, which I’ve really benefitted from, we’ve doubled in size. We look at larger contracts, different things that we wouldn’t have taken on before or offered in the past."
Phil Taylor is managing director of IT Managed Services. He enrolled on the programme with the University of Liverpool to help him boost the company growth and attract new markets.
Phil was assigned a dedicated coach to help him concentrate on growing the business by putting a strategy in place that ultimately led to the growth of the business. Phil said: "My coach ensured we were properly looking after our finances, that we had an eye on the marketing and that we were generating new business.
"I would recommend the programme without hesitation. It’s one of the best things that I’ve done. The staff at the university were absolutely superb, everyone went out of their way to be helpful. A great experience, I learned a lot from it."
Alex Frech - Black and Ginger
"I was asleep and now I am awake!"
Black and Ginger creative agency, was founded in 2003. Their work ranges from branding, TV commercials, Traditional advertising, digital platforms, interior design and packaging. Prior to starting the programme, Alex Frech, Managing Director, identified both sustainable growth and increased profits as key goals. "We needed to move away from a hand to mouth existence and change our business model to focus more on serviced clients as well as securing large projects." Alex identified focus, direction and team maturity as obstacles to growth. Over the course of the programme Alex was able to use his dedicated coach as a sounding board to discuss and shape his ideas, to produce a clear plan of action.
Since completing the programme, the business has doubled its profits and taken on four new members of stadd. Alex said: "the Growth Catalyst programme has helped me to improve my leadership abilities, focus on the profitable parts of my business and increase the productivity of my staff. I feel reinvigorated, have more confidence and the belief that my business will succeed."
Proud to be based in Liverpool and with renewed enthusiasm for his business, Alex is looking to launch a sister agency, refocus on TV commercials and develop regionally and internationally collaborative opportunities.