About the Business Growth Hub
The Business Growth Hub was established in 2011 and has since gone on to help thousands of businesses across the Greater Manchester area to grow, develop and realise their full operating potential. Working with forward thinking ambitious companies - from start-ups to well-established organisations – the Hub offers a range of integrated business services to companies who are looking to gain a distinctive edge against their competitors.
In 2014 the Business Growth Hub were invited to participate in a pilot programme which was 100% funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). For the very first time, this meant that businesses in the Greater Manchester region were able to access executive development training, valued at £1,500 per company, completely free of charge.
Being a publicly-funded scheme, the Hub invited a number of training companies to tender for the work, meeting with each prospective provider to gain a detailed understanding of their offering and programme delivery mechanisms.
Out of the 10 training providers gaining final approval on the pilot, Executive Development Manager at Business Growth Hub, Dawn Duggan said, “Total Excellence Centre stood out from the very start.”
“What impressed me was the quality and range of content they offered, the experience of their trainers, consultants and coaches and the proactive approach the team took towards promoting this exciting new initiative. The take-up rate was brilliant and even half way through the pilot programme, we already had a waiting list of ambitious, growing businesses desperate for this kind of support.”
Fast forward a year and thanks to the overwhelming success of the pilot programme, the scheme has become a permanent fixture, thanks to additional ERDF funding which now secured, will help to continue supporting businesses in the region until December 2018.
Due to the size and nature of the project, the second stage was put out to a formal tender and training providers were once again invited to apply.
Dawn went on to say, “Total Excellence Centre were awarded the next stage of the contract, along with others, so that they could continue the great work they had started. They work very closely with myself and my team, have a “can do” approach and attitude and also refer their clients back to the Business Growth Hub, so that we can continue to support them once they have completed the programme.”
Immediately after Total Excellence Centre was approved under the terms of the second tender, the team quickly identified many ambitious, high growth businesses that they felt could benefit from the training available.
Each business participating in the programme commits to undertaking a growth diagnostic assessment, which helps to establish their goals and objectives and identify what training is needed in order to achieve them. The Hub’s maintains complete impartiality and independence throughout, only matching the strengths of the training provider with the needs of individual businesses.
The diversity and quality of Total Excellence Centre’s offering meant that by March 2017, over 170 businesses had attended their Inspirational Leadership and BOLD Leadership programmes - an average of 56 companies per year and all with fantastic feedback!
The programmes were developed to inspire the regions’ business leaders and included:
- Leadership skills and behaviours
- Decision making
- Building high performing teams Managing people performance Giving and receiving feedback Unlocking people’s potential
- Embracing, leading and managing change
- Strategic thinking Decision making Business planning
- Effective business communication
- 1:1 and 1:Group coaching sessions
Benefits for the Business Growth Hub
When asked about the benefits of the individual training programmes Total Excellence Centre were continuing to deliver and the resounding success of the Business Growth Hub programme in general, Dawn enthused:
“Overall, the programme has been a huge success and Total Excellence Centre is still very much at the heart of that. The whole team has worked hard to raise our profile in the region and have positively reinforced our reputation for delivering high quality business services.”
Dawn continued, “The scale and complexity of the pilot programme could have easily wrong-footed even the most experienced training provider, but Total Excellence Centre remained both in control and professional throughout.
“They managed to streamline the whole process and relieved us of many administrative tasks - we even used their own premises on occasion!
“Nothing was ever a problem for the team. Communication was fantastic with all queries being answered the same day, which inevitably helped to speed things up and saved a lot of unnecessary work and headaches.”
Benefits for participating businesses
To provide the highest standard of training, for which Total Excellence Centre is renowned, the team work hard to engage with every single business that attends, and acquires a detailed insight into their market, ambitions and working ethics as well as helping them to identify obstacles or risks to success.
"Total Excellence Centre has been just that - excellent. They are, without doubt, among our top performing training providers,” said Dawn.
Michelle Mercer, Director at Total Excellence Centre reflects on the team’s involvement in the programme: “I am incredibly proud of the work we have undertaken in partnership with the Business Growth Hub. We were 100% committed to the Executive Development Programme ‘pilot scheme’ from the outset and continue to be a key supplier in the latest contract, which was awarded in 2016.
“Taking even the smallest amount of time out of your business, to develop your own personal leadership skills and capabilities, can have tangible benefits - not just to the business itself but also to your customers, suppliers and the wider commercial community.
“We are delighted with the feedback we have had to date and our team are thoroughly enjoying delivering on this current phase.”
"It was fantastic coming together with a group of like-minded businesses to share the business issues we each faced. It helped us to understand our role as a Leaders and ways in which we could really engage with our people to support and develop them further."
"Since attending, I’ve taken on new staff and more exciting projects, which has meant my team has grown threefold. I still use many of the skills you taught me each day. Thanks!"
"Tom was one of the best course trainers I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and had great knowledge of his subject area. Amazing at interjecting stories and humour into the whole programme. He’s had a lasting impact on me and my business.”
“The course allowed me to re-look at my company, my team and the part I played. I have enjoyed great growth results and even acquisitions that wouldn’t have happened without time spent on this programme.”
"Our complete attitude towards leadership has gone through a fundamental shift and we have a completely different perspective on this area. I personally came back and delivered one of the sessions to our Sales Management Team to ensure that they fully understood the importance of performance management, communication and motivation for our employees."
"An intensive, but very well delivered and beneficial programme. I would highly recommend this to other SME businesses in the Greater Manchester area."