Industry challenged to see if they have a growth mindset

Posted on 25 Mar 2015 by Jonny Williamson

UK manufacturers are being urged to see if they have the ‘high growth’ mindset by completing an online tool that could help them expand.

The Business Growth Service, which incorporates the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), has undertaken research in collaboration with the Centre of Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University, to look at what leadership behaviours drive high growth in small to medium sized firms.

The six key components identified are: active-decision making; business vision; growth drive; innovation drive; market expertise, and sales drive.

As a result, the Business Growth Service is now inviting manufacturers to assess their own mindset, with 20 quick and easy to answer questions.

By providing honest answers, manufacturers will receive a personalised insight into their current mindset, suggested areas to focus on, and how they can access the right support to help them get there.

Head of manufacturing at the Business Growth Service, Steven Barr explained: “The ‘Mindset of High Growth’ study revealed the importance of learning cognitive skills, such as market expertise, a drive for selling and effective decision-making.

“It also suggested that the ability to grow your business is something you can learn and is not something you are born with.

“We want to test this principle out on our SME manufacturing base, as we believe it will help them identity areas where they may need additional support or external expertise to achieve their expansion plans.”

He went on to add: “The online tool is very simple to complete and will deliver bosses a personalised report on how they have performed against the set criteria. From there one of our manufacturing-focused Business Growth Managers can offer the advice and strategic guidance they may need to take the next step in their business growth journey.”

The ‘Mindset of High Growth’ research initially questioned more than 100 companies, with a number of manufacturers taking part.

One such firm was Bristol-based TasteTech, a food flavouring specialist started in 1992. The company was initially a pioneer in its field, but struggled when its technically innovative products proved difficult to sell.

As a result, it had to reinvent itself and look at new ways to go to market, an approach that has worked with turnover up to £5m and sales recorded in more than 35 countries.

Co-founder Janis Sinton believes in ‘keeping ahead of the competition and that is what they always aim for’.

Her responses to the questions illustrated a clear ability to negotiate the market and expertise in delivering high volumes of sales. She also showed a willingness to bring in external expertise, which was reflected in employing legal staff to underpin TasteTech’s substantial export trade.