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A programme for scaling up your business

By Billy Lyle - Posted on 12 May 2016

Strathclyde Business School’s Growth Advantage Programme created for entrepreneurs who want to scale up their business launched just over a year ago. The first cohort have recently graduated from it, amongst them Billy Lyle who describes here what benefits he gained from doing so. 

As a time-strapped business owner – as many of us on the Growth Advantage Programme were - I thought I should start with the key things GAP 2015 delivered for me and my business. These were:

· Great academic learning from the university
· Great industry-style training from external guest lectures
· Real business insight and motivation from inspirational leaders who have scaled their businesses already
· Exceptional peer learning from other members of the course
· Time to think about my business
· A focus on the key areas of my business which will enable growth
· A clearer view of what I want to achieve
· Inspiration to achieve what I want and knowing that it can be done and how

To understand why I chose to go on this journey, a little background may help. I started my business Redspire back in 2003. We deliver Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultancy services, improving sales, marketing and customer service within our customers’ businesses. Since starting the company we rapidly grew to a team of about 15 to 20 and we have been successfully running at that size for the majority of the time we have been going.

However each time we try and expand above that size we seem to hit some sort of barrier that drags us back. Over the years this has become very frustrating and, to be honest, was sapping my energy for the business. Over the years I had looked at other courses in the south of England and the USA, however the time and travel commitment is prohibitive when you have a business to run at the same time.

When I was contacted about this programme I was interested but a bit sceptical about what might be delivered. However with my frustration in the business and a great opportunity in the CRM market just now - meaning I want to expand again - I decided to take the leap and commit the time and money.

From the first session that I attended I knew this had been a great investment: the sessions open your mind and focus you on finding ways to improve key areas of your business. By the end of the course you have focussed on each area of your business. You then have a dinner which is great for networking and discussing what you have learned that day but the real highlight is having a guest speaker at the dinner. All the speakers were individuals that had successfully scaled there business, and the speaker had also been well selected to really highlight what had been learned in the session that day.

During the course, the team really took us though all the key areas of my business and gave great insight into what might be causing barriers to growth, really letting us understand what can be done in each of these areas and where to start to fix issues I did not even know I had.

I looked forward to each session and overall got so much more than I thought I would from the programme. After experiencing the 10 sessions I feel it has been perfectly crafted to introduce knowledge, embed that knowledge and give participants the confidence and motivation to take it and use it in our businesses. This was perfectly paired peer learning – we saw people run their business differently but in ways that reflected their skills; we got to see others put the tools into practise; and you see what can be achieved with the right skills and motivation within your own business.

If you have the opportunity to be part of this course, take it - it will transform your thinking and build a great network of real friends that will support you moving forward. Thanks to the team at Strathclyde and all my other course participants for a great experience!

Does your business need to ‘scale up'? Have you been part of our GAP programme or similar programme and how did that help? 



Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114
 sbs-adviser@strath.ac.uk 

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119
 sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

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University of Strathclyde
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