Help to Grow

Boost your business's performance, resilience and long-term growth


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About the Help to Grow: Management Course

Take your business to the next level with Help to Grow

Join other senior leaders taking part in a practical management training course delivered by Lancaster University Management School and other world-class business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter. Develop your strategic leadership skills and boost your business's long-term growth.

Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, this course will support you in developing your strategic skills with key modules covering financial management, innovation and digital adoption. By the end of the course, you will develop a tailored business growth plan to lead your business to its full potential.

Start dates

The next course starts on 24 September

Course details and timetables
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An introduction to Help to Grow

Find out about the Help to Grow: Management Course from programme director David Ritchie.

What does the course involve?

Over 12 weeks, you gain access to the following, as well as designing a unique Growth Action Plan for your business:

Facilitated Online Sessions

Eight facilitated online two-hour sessions followed by an hour peer group call building on the session discussion with the opportunity to share experiences in a small group with other small business leaders participants

Face-to-face Workshops

Four face-to-face practical and interactive case study workshops held on our Lancaster campus that occur every third week of the programme (typically in the morning from 09:30 - 13:30)

One-to-one Mentor Support

One-to-one support from a mentor, providing you with personalised support to develop your business growth plan from module 3 onwards (up to 10 hours in total)

Alumni Programme

Access to the Alumni Programme featuring events with inspirational speakers, business clinics and networking events

Who can take part?

To join the Help to Grow: Management Course, your business must:

  • Be a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) based in the United Kingdom
  • From any business sector, employing between 5 and 249 people
  • Have been operational for at least one year
  • Not be a charity

To Join Help to Grow: Management, the applicant must:

  • Be a decision-maker or member of the senior management team within the business, such as Chief Executive, Finance Director, Operations Director etc
  • Commit to completing all sessions

Find out more about how and why Lancaster University and our funding bodies hold your information.

Enquire now
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How much does the course cost?

The fee for the Help to Grow: Management Course is £750 for the whole programme. The remaining 90% of the course costs are funded by the UK Government.

What is the cost for a second participant from the same company?

The second participant will also be 90% funded by the government, so each participant will only pay £750.

Course overview

Strategies for Growth and Innovation

Module 1: Strategy and Innovation

  1. Understanding innovation and its relationship to growth, profitability and productivity.
  2. Reviewing your business model and value proposition in relation to current and future market opportunities.
  3. Understanding how business model innovation can help you respond and recover from challenges.
  4. Finding out about the UK's innovation ecosystem.

Module 2: Digital Transformation

  1. Understanding the benefits of digital adoption for SMEs in innovating business models and seizing opportunities.
  2. Considering what stage your business has reached on the path to digital adoption from digitalisation to digital transformation, and identifying priority development areas.
  3. Understanding the role of digital leadership and considering digital enablers to achieve a transformational culture.
  4. Being alert to the risks of a digitised environment and ways to mitigate risk.

Module 3: Winning New Markets

Taking an in-depth look at how a business has:

  1. innovated its model
  2. developed markets overseas
  3. explored models to address opportunities in different countries
  4. adapted their business model and overcame challenges
  5. how the experience encouraged them to innovate.

Engaging with Customers

Module 4: Vision, Mission and Values

  1. Understanding the strategic value of vision, purpose and brand, their link to the customer value proposition and role in achieving competitive advantage.
  2. Exploring vision, mission and values statements and planning an approach for reviewing these in business.
  3. Defining brand components and how they add value to your business and customers.
  4. Understanding the role of your business's vision, values and brand in organisational culture and employee engagement.

Module 5: Developing a Marketing Strategy

  1. Further developing your customer value proposition and your business's approach to marketing.
  2. Understanding market segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) within your business's competitive environment.
  3. Considering the stages in the buyer decision-making processes.
  4. Starting to consider the benefits of database marketing.

Module 6: Buiding a Brand Case Study

  1. Exploring how a business built a market-leading brand and continued to serve its customers' needs through changing times. What challenges had to be overcome and how did the company stay true to its purpose and values.

Building a Sustainable and Agile Business

Module 7: Organisational Design

  1. Identifying growth phases and when and how it will be necessary to evolve the shape of the organisation to implement growth.
  2. Considering SME examples of different structures and ways of working and the implications for your workforce.
  3. Jointly with others in your business, reviewing skills, roles and training to ensure the required expertise is available to deliver the growth plan.
  4. Considering structures and processes to facilitate agile working.

Module 8: Employee Engagement and Leading Change

  1. Identifying appropriate strategies for leading change in an inclusive and engaging way.
  2. Planning to implement approaches that enhance employee engagement.
  3. Recognising the impact of your own leadership approach as a key enabler for growth.
  4. Being able to utilise tools and resources collaboratively to lead your team towards strategic goals.

Module 9: High-Performance Workplace Case Study

  1. Exploring an example of a company that has put employee engagement at the heart of their business and created an inclusive culture. The tools and ways of working are innovative and productive, and the business has achieved growth through the way it works as much as through what it does.

Operations and Financial Strategies

Module 10: Effective Operations

  1. Understanding the role of operations and how to take a systemic approach, aligning operations with marketing strategy.
  2. Analysing operations using a value flow map.
  3. Considering an approach to key metrics which engages teams and creates a culture of continuous improvement in value flow.

Module 11: Finance and Financial Management

  1. Using financial data to make informed decisions about future operations including identifying relevant financial metrics for monitoring growth and productivity.
  2. Understanding the importance of cash flow forecasting in managing crisis and recovery.
  3. Considering options for financing growth both internally and from external sources, and being aware of where to source information and advice.

Module 12: Implementing Growth Plans Case Study

  1. Developing priorities and a timeline for implementation, using your Growth Action Plan.
  2. Identifying the resources required to achieve the objectives in your Growth Action Plan.
  3. Embedding key management practices critical to growth and productivity in your business.


Find out more about the Help to Grow: Management Course, and make an enquiry.

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