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Fast business growth programme practices what it preaches & signs up 100th Company

Originally published 9 June 2004

A special business support programme designed to help small and medium sized Midlands businesses find ways of starting and managing periods of fast growth is practising what it preaches by growing as fast as the businesses it is helping. It has just signed up its 100th company - Mechatronic Production Systems Ltd. The Business Innovation and Growth Programme (BIG) is a development of a growth programme pioneered by Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick.

Mr Evans, Managing Director of Mechatronic Production Systems, (who employs 16 people who design and build bespoke manufacturing equipment for the automatic assembly, testing and processing of products- and which has just won the Midland’s Better Business Award) says what he expects to get from the BIG programme is:

“Help in dealing with the people element in a business from employees to customers, help to gain a disciplined approach to strategic thinking on financial performance, health checking and goal setting, and a more empathetic attitude towards marketing and sales.”

BIG is delivered by the Mercia Institute of Enterprise in collaboration with Warwick Business School and is sponsored by Business Link Coventry and Warwickshire and the Chamber of Commerce. BIG programmes have helped many fast growth companies including well known names such as - Comtec Translations, ADECs, City Analytical Services, Johnsons Coach Travel, Parenthesis, Travel Management Group and Carrick Travel.

Ian Dunwoody, of TMG plc commented on how the programme helped his company grow in size:

“I started Travel Management Group plc from scratch in 1986. When, in the early nineties, I decided I needed to increase the size of the Company from an annual turnover of around £15 million to a target annual turnover of £50 million, I felt I needed some formal training. The progamme greatly assisted me in identifying appropriate new markets, acquisition targets and also helped me to identify relevant strategies and systems to ensure that our growth was successful, profitable, and sustained.

"The areas of the progamme I found most beneficial were marketing, internal and external communication, understanding more fully the threats and opportunities, the value and motivation of management and staff, prioritizing. The interaction with other local businessmen on the course, from a very diverse range of business backgrounds proved most informative. Despite our businesses being very varoed we found our challenges, hurdles and ambitions were often quite similar. Many fellow participants on the course also became very good customers, which was a real bonus! I have signed up several of our key manager to the Programme.”

Warwick Business School have tracked the UK’s most successful firms for a number of years and they have found that fast growth companies tend to be highly profitable and grow at four times the rate of the typical middle market company.

The next BIG Programme will start on 24 September 2004. More detail at this web page or email

Note for Editors:
The BIG Programme costs £3,600 per delegate. Funding of up to 40% may be available towards the costs from Business Link Coventry and Warwickshire

For further information contact:

Stephen Hagen,
Director, Mercia Institute of Enterprise,
University of Warwick
024 76 528995

Richard Evans,
Mechatronic Production Systems Ltd
0121 742 7206

Ian Dunwoody,
Travel Management Group plc,
02476 692061

PR54 PJD 8th June 2004