Melbourne-based uniform company Cargo Crew is one of 10 SMEs selected to participate in ANZ Bank’s annual Business Growth Program, which the company hopes will help it unlock further growth.
In partnership with the University of South Australia, the ANZ program will commence in Adelaide this September and help high-performing Australian SMEs take their ventures to the next level.
The intensive nine-month program is designed for small to medium businesses that generate between $5 million to $50 million in annual sales. They must also have at least five employees and be ANZ customers.
ANZ managing director of corporate and commercial banking Mark Hand says participants will learn to accelerate their growth and move from “doers” to strategic leaders in a structured way during the program.
“A lot of customers when they start their business, they take up a certain role [and] they do everything [but] as the business grows they need to move on change the way they spend time in their business,” he told SmartCompany.
In addition to expanding teams effectively, participants learn about how to reach new markets and grow at the right pace.
“They might have ambitions to grow, their receiving interest but they don’t know how to capitalist on that,” Hand says.
“This helps give them some sort of frameworks.”
The program was developed by ANZ chair in business growth and the University of South Australia’s business growth centre director Dr Jana Matthews.
Chief executives, managing directors and two executives from each company will participate in a series of three, three-day modules based on a knowledge framework developed by 10 national and global growth experts, including Matthews.
“Many small companies begin as a family business with close links to employees and the community,” Matthews says.
“It is important for CEOs to learn what is required to grow their companies and why they need to innovate and go global.”
The last cohort to go through the program had an aggregated $132 million in revenue before they started.
By the end of the program in 2015, their revenue had increased by 24% to over $160 million and they had created more than 100 new jobs, while also expanding operations and market reach across several other countries.
Unlocking future potential
Melbourne-based uniform company Cargo Crew, led by fashion designer Felicity Rogers, is one of the 10 companies in this year’s program.
After being selected for a one day workshop with Matthews, Cargo Crew was chosen to participate in the full program.
Since launching in 2012, Cargo Crew boasts a 21-strong local workforce and a star blazing client portfolio including actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and other major corporate brands.
“We’ve taken more of fashion approach and created a brand that people are excited about,” Rogers told SmartCompany.
“For us the program gives us the opportunity to step away from the day-to-day business and get support from specialists to unlock our further potential,” she says.
Rogers is looking forward to dedicating more time with her directors to further develop their growth module and strategic vision to expand their range of uniforms and reach new markets.
“We have really ambitious growth plans for the next 18 months and we’re confident that participating in the program will help us achieve these target,” she says.
Other participants in this year’s program are: family owned livestock company Beachport Liquid Minerals; pet food company Cool Off Pty Ltd; specialist construction firm Cadwell Constructions and Interiors; aged care health services WorkXtra; poultry manufacturer Moira Mac’s Poultry and Fine Foods; Country Blinds, Curtains and Doors which recently invested in robotics; fresh produce company 4 Ways Fresh; luggage and accessories retailer Hunt Leather; and wharf carrier and fleet organisation TRG Transport.
“The thing that stands out from the participants is they’re open to advice,” says Hand.
“They show on the back of the first workshop that they will race back and implement something.”