On the face of it, David Bowmaker’s business was flying high.
At 10 years old, Life Fit Wellness – which combines healthcare and exercise services under one roof – was well established, stood out in its field, had a dedicated clinical team, and was enjoying strong sales.
However, for David the time had come for a growth push. David says: “We were growing slowly but organically. I was ready to take the bull by the horns and move the business forward.”
Life Fit Wellness employs a team of expert clinicians and therapists and offers physiotherapy, ultrasound scanning, injection therapy, pelvic health, massage, nutrition, phlebotomy, Pilates, exercise classes for specialist populations and Nordic walking, in locations in Falkirk and Linlithgow. David was the first to admit that, confident as he was in his venture, there were gaps in his business knowledge.
A year after completing the Help to Grow: Management Course with the University of Stirling – which helps boost an SME’s improve performance, resilience and long-term growth – David says it has transformed both the business and his outlook. With the knowledge he has gained from the course, he hopes to grow his team from 15 to 20, upskill his existing team, and double his annual turnover in the next three years. He would also like to add another location and launch a digital site.
David’s main takeaway from the Help to Grow: Management Course was having course tutors and a dedicated mentor who listened to him and applied the course content directly to his business. “All the people teaching were very approachable. Finally, there were people who understood my business, who knew how to make the course applicable to it, and who got what I wanted to do with it. That meant a lot.”
He added: “The course content is pitched exactly right. I think some people might be deterred from doing it because they might think it’s very academic. But I can honestly say the delivery was perfect – not dumbed down, not academic, but just right.”
David admits that his confidence grew, thanks to the fact that the course covers all aspects of business, from employee engagement to digitisation. “It really is a business A to Z. That means that in areas you are confident in, it’s confirmation you’re doing the right thing. Where you’re not so experienced, the knowledge you gain is invaluable.”
The 12-week, 90% funded Help to Grow: Management Course is designed for senior SME managers and undertaken alongside full-time work through a combination of online sessions, face-to-face learning, peer support and mentoring.
Stirling Management School is one of a select number of Scottish partners delivering the course.
The University of Stirling is now recruiting business leaders for its next delivery of the Help to Grow: Management Course. For more information and to register, visit: www.stir.ac.uk/helptogrow