How ANZ's Business Growth Program is Enabling SMEs to Thrive

14 December 2015
Each year ANZ offers 10 high-performing small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from around Australia have been selected to undertake the 2016 ANZ Business Growth Program, a nine-month intensive course aimed to help businesses build the foundations for long-term growth. We spoke with one of the 2016 participants, Reliance Medical Practice.

What does it take to supercharge business growth? Even considering the question can be difficult for SMEs, as much of their time is necessarily spent on business as usual.

ANZ Business Growth Program

Each year ANZ runs a Business Growth Program, a nine-month intensive course aimed to help businesses build the foundations for long-term growth. The program, developed by Professor Jana Matthews Director of the Centre of Business Growth at University of South Australia, is open to management teams of ANZ business customers with less than 200 employees and more than $5 million in annual sales.

“The ANZ Business Growth Program gives CEOs the tools, knowledge and skills to identify barriers holding them back and strategies to help them grow,” said Professor Matthews.

“The ten companies who participated in 2015 have since created 114 jobs in total and achieved an aggregate 24% increase in revenue, taking earnings from $132m to $164m,”.

Reliance GP Super Clinic & the ANZ Business Growth Program

One of the businesses selected for the ANZ Business Growth Program in 2016 is West Gosford-based Reliance GP Super Clinic, which provides an extensive range of allied health practitioners, available 7 days a week. Canstar caught up with Dr Rodney Beck – CEO of Reliance GP Super Clinic, on the business development opportunity.

Q: What prompted you to nominate for the program?

A: Reliance Medical Practice was selected by the ANZ Bank for participation in the ANZ Business Growth Program in 2016 on the basis of perceived potential to grow. The Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia conducts the assessment and training, and the selection criteria they have is focused on businesses which have got beyond their initial start-up phase and moved into a position where they can grow rapidly. The expectation is that such businesses have developed the staffing, processes, and culture to sustain their anticipated growth.

We responded enthusiastically to the offer because the opportunity for the management team to learn and develop, and in particular to have further external input, is crucial to the long term health of the business.

Q: What are some of the particular business challenges in your industry?

A: The primary health care industry is challenged in a number of ways.

The health demand of the Australian community is growing rapidly due to the general population increase, ageing of the population, and increasing epidemic of lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. This is placing logistical stresses on the system to provide the necessary infrastructure for growth in service availability and to sustain the quality of service delivered to patients.

In addition, governments struggle to provide the ever-increasing funding required for the health needs of the community in the context of the overall budget.

In response, Reliance Medical Practice is aiming to be a high volume, low cost provider of primary health care. One of the essential strategies for this is to use innovation and technology where possible to support the care provided by quality doctors. Focusing on training, education, and the professional values of the healthcare workers and their support staff is paramount in the face of the challenges we anticipate.

Q: Is there a module of the program that you are particularly looking forward to?

A: So far Reliance Medical Practice managers have experienced Module One, about growth goals, growth stoppers, and growth planning. We have begun applying the first module immediately in the business, by reviewing our existing plan to see how much Reliance can sustain an increase in growth from our current annualised compounding 32% growth rate. In the past year we have grown 50%, and we are assessing the practicality of growing faster.

Each manager is providing an assessment of the process and resources they will need to apply to enable a target of 100% growth over the next 12 months. This sounds high, but the business has already invested in the provision of much of the required infrastructure that has a long lead time. Staff development is the main constraint we can see.

Modules 2 and 3 are not yet available to us.

You can read more about the ANZ Business Growth Program here and find out more about the  Reliance GP Super Clinic here.

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