It is fair to say that the last 12 months have not been the easiest for anyone. A combination of COVID and the resulting lockdowns and restrictions, and the confusion and delays around the import and export of goods due to leaving the EU, have made the business environment extremely challenging, to say the least. As a result, perhaps the last thing on most business owners’ minds is growth.
However, it finally looks like the worst is behind us. Measures are being relaxed in line with the government’s Roadmap to Recovery and lockdown is gradually coming to an end. At the same time, businesses are starting to adapt to the new export and customs requirements and beginning to get to grips with the new situation. We can now spend a little time taking stock, estimating the damage and begin looking to the future.
It is going to take time for the economy to recover to its previous levels, but you should already be thinking about how you will grow your business in the months and years ahead. While it is vital that you stabilise your business now and plan for your recovery, it is important not to neglect your long-term goals.
Get ahead of the curve
Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone. Support and training are available to help you consolidate and stabilise your business, recover as quickly and fully as possible, and return to steady, sustainable, long-term growth.
The Growth Curve Programme is run by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Cranfield University and the University of Northampton. Growth Curve provides you with the opportunity to meet with one of SEMLEP’s High Growth Business Advisers to discuss your business, its challenges, and your aspirations for it, before going on to attend a university masterclass.
This masterclass consists of three intensive, interactive sessions that will focus on developing your leadership skills as a business owner. The first session delves into what leadership is (and is not) and dispels some common leadership myths. Session two will help you to understand your own leadership style, and exchange tips and skills with other participants. The final session will focus on refining your leadership skills, including how to develop, motivate and engage your employees and get them fully on board for your business growth journey. The masterclasses will close by consolidating everything you have learnt and setting some actions for the future.
The programme is designed to help you learn how to look at your business from different angles to get new insights into your challenges, and see how other businesses are overcoming similar hurdles. You will learn new ways of working to better lead yourself and your team and develop an action plan to address the most urgent and important issues facing your business. Lastly it gives you the opportunity to network with like-minded people who can be a source of motivation, support and guidance.
Once you have completed the programme you will continue to receive ongoing support, as well as access to a network of your fellow Growth Curve alumni. You will also be notified of future grant funding which you may be eligible for.
In order to be eligible to apply to join the Growth Curve programme, your company must be based in the South East Midlands, have between three and 250 employees, and prior to the pandemic have had annual turnover of £200,000, and been experiencing or projecting high growth for two to three years.
For more information, and to see if your company is eligible, visit SEMLEP Growth Hub.