The Glass Room co-director Richard Wiki is fixed firmly on growing the design company using insights from a course intended to propel existing businesses to the next level.
The business was one of 10 that took part in the 2015 Hi-Growth Launch Programme (HGLP), delivered by Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) with support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. In 2016 the programme is aimed at existing, scalable businesses with an annual turnover of $150,000 plus.
For 10 weeks Richard, his partner and business co-director Dorothy Ratcliff and daughter Caley Wiki all attended workshops with experts giving guidance on essential business topics. They were also paired with mentor Martin Morrissey – a perfect fit for the business.
Each participating business is partnered with its own mentor, provided through Business Mentors New Zealand.
“That was the game changer, he was perfect for what we needed. I had been on other mentoring programmes and they were useful, but not dynamic in effecting change,” Richard said.
He thinks having all three of the management team on the course meant they were on the same page with the future direction of the business, which started 25 years ago and specialises in the design and manufacture of architectural art glass.
At the completion of the programme Richard decided he had to distance himself from the day to day running of the business and take a more strategic focus. Caley, who has a Masters in Interior Architecture, is now the Operations Manager looking after the general running of the business and freeing Richard’s time up.
“I’ve effectively had to distance myself from day to day activities, which are all absorbing, so I can start to put in place some of the initiatives learnt through the programme. Caley has stepped up and so has everyone else in the company to allow this to happen.”
This has included strategic planning and protecting, and documenting, intellectual property.
Richard recommends the programme to other businesses, but says management teams need to be prepared to work hard to implement change.
Applications for the 2016 Hi-Growth Launch Programme are now open. The programme will run from April 2016 and culminate in a graduation evening.