When Chris Lindsey of Colchester-based HVAC systems firm The Lindsey Group  heard about the Help to Grow: Management programme he realised the fully-funded course, with coaching and mentoring from business experts, would give him the tools he needed to set his nearly 100-year-old family business up for a successful and sustainable future.

Chris says the 12-week programme, which is delivered through a blend of webinars, face-to-face workshops and one-to-one mentoring “gave me the confidence that I could take my company forward for the future”.

The Lindsey Group was founded in 1925 and, since Chris took over, he felt he needed to strengthen his business and leadership skills and Help to Grow was an opportunity to do that with funding provided by the Government. Since completing the programme he has refocused the business on renewable energy and helping businesses and the public to save energy, which saves money and saves carbon. Chris has also been busy laying the foundations for the future of his business, hiring more engineers, building a more engaged team and launching a new website.

Ipswich IT recruitment firm, Bristow Holland, founded by Andy Bristow and a business partner 10 years ago has grown from 5 staff 12 months ago, to 11 now and aim to have 20 by this time next year with plans to expand their services beyond Suffolk by establishing a presence in Norwich and Cambridge.

Andy completed Help to Grow in June and says:

Help to Grow gave me the structure I needed to see clearly how I could grow our business by expanding into new territories and focusing on our core offering.  This has led to the hiring of a new team and investing in a new website for which the marketing modules of the course were particularly useful and our goal is to double our turnover in the next 3 years which will create roles for up to 10 new consultants and help grow the tech sector in the East of England”

Paws Indoors is a Norfolk mobile vets service visiting people’s homes to care for their pets. Rosie Smith, a qualified vet, established her practice as a one-woman band in 2003, and believes she was only the second mobile vets in the UK. Paws Indoors now turns over more than £300,000 a year and employs six people.

Rosie chose the Help to Grow programme because she felt she needed to strengthen her business skills and professionalise. As a result she has grown the business taking on a new staff to cope with demand, adopted new technology, reviewed their marketing and launched a new website.

She says: “The Help to Grow Management course gave me time to get to grips with my business. The programme enabled me to tease out what the essential cornerstones of my business are and to reflect this in everything we do. It enabled me to better define and deliver and serve my customers and to put in surer marketing, financial and process strategies so that the business continues to grow.”

Help to Grow is a government-funded programme designed for business leaders from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) by experts at UK business schools. It’s an opportunity to step back from the day-to-day running a business and create the perspective to work on the business, to strengthen business skills and focus on efficiency, productivity, sustainability, customer and staff relationships and ultimately growth.

The programme launched in 2021 and has been attended by 100s of business leaders in the East of England and 1000s across the UK. The next programme for East Anglia starts on 21 September and is open for registrations. It is led by the University of Leicester School of Business with most sessions held online and four in person workshop in Cambridge.

Find out more about Help to Grow: Management