Sarah Breese (BSc 2009), Operations Director, TPT Consultancy and Training Ltd, recently completed the Help to Grow: Management business development programme at Cardiff Business School. Sarah tells us about her experience on the programme, and the changes she’s implemented in her work since.
After graduating from BSc Business Management in 2009 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career so I took a few interim jobs as a barmaid and a hotel receptionist. At the time, my father was running TPT Consultancy and Training Ltd and needed help on a large-scale funded project.
I joined the company on a part-time basis, initially for a few months. Twelve years later, I have had roles at TPT including admin, sales and marketing, business excellence and, now, my current role as Operations Director.
TPT, like many companies offering a face-to-face service had a tough time during the pandemic, and we knew we wanted to grow the business and expand our offering. I signed up to Help to Grow with the hopes that I would receive support and the tools to achieve our business growth.
The programme definitely gave me the skills and knowledge I was looking for, along with gaining confidence to implement the tools that we were given. I really enjoyed the module on Internationalisation and Winning New Markets. This was our first face-to-face module and it was great to meet all the other delegates. The Microfresh case study really brought the module to life and I enjoyed the discussions we had around it.
For me, the most useful module was Developing a Marketing Strategy. Marketing is something that we as a business have found difficult in the past. This module really helped us to segment our market more successfully, especially as we are moving from solely B2B into the B2C market. It also helped us to clarify our position and where we fit into the market.
I think the biggest thing that I developed during the programme was confidence. The confidence that the things I’m doing are the right things, and the confidence to present new growth ideas to the rest of the team.
The programme also offered opportunities to network and make connections to other businesses. I think the most interesting thing about networking is that you realise that everyone has similar problems, fears and issues. We were a diverse group in terms of sectors, business size, roles etc. but there were common themes running through the group, and it was interesting to discuss things with so many different people and perspectives.
Following my time on the programme, at TPT we have expanded our portfolio of training courses. After working at the workbooks from the marketing modules, we decided to diversity our offering with courses that complement our current offering and targeted our existing markets. This has already been a success with the courses externally approved and selling.
One thing I would say to someone considering signing up is: “Do it!” It’s a time investment, but if you’re willing to put the work in and embrace the programme, then you will see benefits.
Help to Grow: Management is a programme that supports senior managers or small and medium sized businesses to boost their business’s performance resilience and long-term growth.
Twelve sessions over twelve weeks cover key areas of leadership including strategy and innovation, adopting digital technology and building vision and brand.
The programme is 90% funded by UK Government, costing business owners just £750.
Find out more about the Help to Grow: Management programme.