A respected construction business at the forefront of the industry for more than 50 years has grown further with the support of a leading management programme.
Based in St Asaph, building contractor TG Williams emerged from the pandemic in a stronger position than ever, employing up to 30 staff and planning for expansion in 2023.
A recent graduate of the acclaimed Help to Grow course, delivered by Bangor Business School in partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University, managing director Gary Williams said that experience – combined with his previous ION Leadership placement – had a major impact on their strategic direction.
The £7,500 qualification is 90% funded by the UK Government, and Gary urged other SMEs and decision makers in the private and public sector to register for a place.
“In business I’ve always believed you need to work on the company and not just in it, take a step outside of your bubble and look at where you’re going,” said the dad-of-two, married to Holly.
“The Help to Grow programme enabled me to do that, especially as we were emerging from the pandemic and looking ahead to the future.
“When Covid-19 hit the UK we faced challenges, as everyone did, but rather than going into survival mode we reflected on our direction and pushed ahead, aiming for larger contracts and developments and looking to take on skilled staff and apprentices.”
Gary added: “We have three sides to the business – residential, commercial and conservation and heritage – which put us in a strong position, because if an area of the business was quiet, one of the other areas would tend to be busy, which ultimately proved to be the case.
“Staying at the forefront of technological advances, developing our own software and streamlining what we do to focus on digital, moving away from paper, also helped us to become a more sustainable operation and will stand us in good stead moving forward.”
As part of the Help to Grow programme, Gary has access to a mentor and the relationships forged with other members of the cohort have proven invaluable over past months.
“As well as the exceptional speakers, the mentoring and relevant content we had access to were crucial, as well as the links with your peers because you can discuss ideas and issues with people who are in the same position,” he said.
“We are a firm that has been around for a long time, my dad Trevor built up the name and we are so proud to be custodians of the reputation he created, while always learning and trying to improve.
“Being part of the Help to Grow course gave me that opportunity and makes a big difference, and not just for anyone looking to grow their business.
“Whether it be strategy, efficiency, or diversification, it’s not about chasing turnover it’s about motivation, about sustainability and surrounding yourself with the right people – I can’t recommend it enough.”
The programme is open to senior decision makers from SMEs employing between five and 249 staff, which have been operating for at least 12 months.
It uses a combination of online and face-to-face sessions alongside case study workshops to give delegates the opportunity to apply concepts being taught to real-life situations, which form a tailored Growth Action Plan.
As the next cohort gets underway in Bangor, Nicola Sturrs, Programme Manager for Help to Grow Management and Business Development Manager for ION Leadership Programme, said the qualification is itself growing in stature.
“It’s very heartening to hear Gary’s story and we are thrilled the course had such a positive effect on the business,” said Nicola.
“TG Williams is one of 40 companies to join the programme in the last 12 months, so we have had a fantastic response and look forward to welcoming many more in the future.”