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The program that teaches businesses how to grow

Growing a business is like driving a car that’s going a million miles an hour while you’re changing the tyres, with your hair on fire, says Dr Jana Matthews, international growth expert, ANZ Chair in Business Growth at UniSA and leader of the ANZ Business Growth Program. 

So it’s no surprise that when it comes to growth, some business owners just want to “protect what they have” and grow slowly, if at all in fact, only 20 per cent of CEOs have a clear plan* when it comes to growing their business.

Thankfully, the ANZ Business Growth Program is designed to help business owners drive growth - and understand what they need to do, when and in what order to shift gears and drive up the growth curve. Here, we take a sneak peek.

Access a framework for growth

Three brothers run the Munro Group, Australia’s largest shoe manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer. Graduates of the 2014 ANZ Program intake, the team admits that before they started the program, they were experiencing a lack of clarity and direction.

“During the program we created a roadmap in which we introduced new systems, processes, an HR department, a company-wide ERP solution and core values everyone could align to,” says Jay Munro.

The roadmap they developed during the ANZ Business Growth Program had “a profound impact” on the business; Munro Group has grown from being a $59 million company with 200 staff to a $320 million business with 2000 staff in just three years. “While we haven’t quite achieved the 10X growth we were aiming for, we are not far off,” Jay states.

With a clear operating model, the brothers are also able to look at the coming arrival of Amazon as an opportunity rather than a threat. “You can never underestimate Amazon. They are reputably the best retailer in the world. But around 80 per cent of our products are from our own sources, and we have our own brands, so we see Amazon as a growth opportunity. We are actually pretty buoyed by it.”

Achieve strategic and cultural alignment

Rhett Payne is the CEO of Mount Barker’s Country Blinds, another family business run by three brothers. He says the program couldn’t have come at a better time.

“One short year ago, we had a plan, but no real structure. We were entering a phase of rapid growth, and we had new people on board, but not enough training or systems. We were starting to get more negative feedback than any proud business owner wants to get.”

Rhett explains, “What's unique about the program is that it allows you to work on your business (rather than in your business) with two members of your executive team. This gives us the opportunity to get immediate alignment with our strategy and values.”

He continues, “After the first module the fog kind of lifted, but we found we had to deal with some cancerous culture. It was unreal to see the positive effect that cultural alignment had on the team. People could see that we were living by our values.”

Access mentoring and networks that prevent pitfalls down the track

A participant in the 2017 program Edward Staughton of the Staughton Group says that one of the key takeaways of the program is learning from the growth experts and other business owners about mistakes they’ve made before they happen. The result is great confidence and insight. Participants talk about how they now have “the rigour to do things in a different way”. 

Another 2017 participant, Felicity Rodgers from Cargo Crew says, “We’ve learned to be more brave and bold with our ambitions, and take things to the next level.”

How to register for the ANZ Business Growth Program

Register your interest in a free one-day ANZ Business Growth Seminar. The seminars are open to all business owners across Australia, whether you’re an ANZ customer or not.

You can also speak to your ANZ Business Banker about attending a one-day Growth Clinic in 2018. From there, the Australian Centre for Business Growth will shortlist 10 candidates for a nine-month ANZ Business Growth Program. Find out more.

* ANZ Business Growth Program Insights Report 2015 prepared by the Australian Centre for Business Growth.

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