I became a registered and approved Growth Coach for Growth Accelerator in 2013, focusing on creative and digital businesses in the Sheffield area. While I was never entirely convinced that the structure of the programme was suited to small technology-based businesses, I did find that it provided a useful framework and tools for:
- Creating a clear, shared vision of where you want your business to go
- Setting specific, measurable goals that relate to that vision
- Understanding the steps that you will need to take to achieve those goals
- Developing a realistic action plan that will move you forwards
- Keeping the plan on track
Most of the businesses I worked with through the programme found it helped them focus on their plans for the business and keep that focus through all the ups and downs of daily life. It also helped management team members to communicate with each other and understand their own roles and responsibilities.
Growth Accelerator was axed in the 2015 Autumn Statement and the provision of business support programmes is being devolved to Local Enterprise Partnerships. In these fast-moving times, my advice would be not to wait for government (local, regional or national) to figure out what happens next. If you’re ready to grow your business, make your own investment of time, energy and resources and just get on with it.