The Business Improvement Program event was created by Alec Blacklaw in Melbourne where it was specifically designed to help owner managed businesses improve their performance.
Now it has just made its British debut at Wetherby, with Yorkshire accountancy firm Armstrong Watson bridging the 10,494-mile gap to bring Alec and his global reputation to the region’s businesses.
Twenty eight bosses got the chance of taking part over two days at Wood Hall Hotel, where they also heard from athletics legend Steve Cram; Paul Dunn, who was one of the first ten people in Hewlett Packard in Australia; digital guru Simon McCaskill, marketer Adam Gray and Richard Rankin and Matt Osbourne from Armstrong Watson. Subjects such as leadership, branding, digital and growth were on the agenda as well as individual mentoring sessions.
“The event was a great success,” said Armstrong Watson's Business Development Director Dave Clarkson.
“We always knew the BIP offered something different, but you never really know how it will all come together until you go live! The businesses really seemed to find extra inspiration from Alec and his team, and the fact that a lot of what happened was directed specifically at our guests and their goals was especially appreciated.
“For Armstrong Watson, it was a natural extension of Blue, our own support programme, so we were all hugely enthused and will definitely be bringing BIP back next year and then as a regular event.”
One of the companies taking part was steel stockholder and supplier John W Laycock in Keighley. MD Mark Sugden told BQ: “We really enjoyed the experience and it was all very professionally organised, even though I was a little apprehensive as well as excited before it began. I knew that it was going to challenge me to find out more about myself and the business and what might be limiting us.
“We trusted Armstrong Watson when they suggested the course and we were right to do that. It was really invigorating and I already have an implementation plan for my company, which has measurable outcomes.
“It also reminded me that we already do a lot of things very well, which really refreshed me.”
Over at dry ice blasting and cleaning specialists Eco-Genics in Dumfriesshire, MD Eddie Black was equally enthusiastic about his two days.
“I found it inspiring, to be honest,” he told BQ.
“It was very thought-provoking and I have already started with some changes, based on what I experienced. I heard some very different approaches to situations and it is now my job to do something about it back at Eco-Genics.
“I went with a very open mind, and I was quite vocal in there because I wanted to make sure I got as much out of it as possible. Our business is doing well, but I now have a lot more tools in the toolbox to help us grow and move to the next level.
“My wife went with me and she said she could feel the energy in the room, with everyone reacting to a very positive experience.”
As media partners for the UK launch, BQ is giving our entrepreneurs the chance to beat the rush and win two tickets to the next UK event in 2017. All you need to do is send no more than 200 words to firstname.lastname@example.org, profiling your company and telling him why you deserve your place. BQ and Armstrong Watson will then choose the best candidate.