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Tony Phelps from Helapet

Helapet are a well-established business with over 30 years’ experience as a reputable manufacturer and distributor of high quality medical and cleanroom consumables. They operate within several core markets including hospital pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturing, laboratory and veterinary environments. Tony Phelps found himself transitioning from Sales and Marketing Manager to Managing Director during his time on the Help to Grow: Management Course. For Tony, the course proved invaluable in supporting him through his role change and maximising Helapet’s efficiency.

A headshot of Tony Phelps


A wide range of topics — that could provide an overall business understanding and contribute to business development — compiled into 12 modules. This was what stood out to Tony about the Help to Grow: Management Course after a colleague mentioned it to him after hearing about it on Radio Four. He was confident in sales and marketing, with 25 years’ experience selling medical devices in the UK and overseas. With the prospect of the Managing Director role on the horizon, Tony was keen to develop his understanding in operations, finance and business development – both in terms of profitability and supporting employee progression.


Just as Tony had hoped, the Help to Grow: Management Course enabled him to look beyond his usual sales and marketing perspective and broaden his understanding. This was exemplified through Helapet’s development within operations and logistics. The learning and discussion on the course contributed to thinking around continuous development within operations, and subsequently the implementation of further Key Performance Indicators. These KPIs are openly displayed in all areas of the business for staff to see, be it for sales, production, warehousing or financial performance.

Each session of the Help to Grow: Management Course is delivered by an expert on the topic. Tony found that there was a: “great mix of speakers with very relevant knowledge. They didn’t just know a textbook, they’d been there and done it”. The session on organisational design, delivered by an HR specialist, helped Tony meet his pre-course aim of developing a greater understanding on employee progression and succession planning. For small businesses, it can be hard to retain staff once they have started to progress. Tony has helped Helapet to identify what tools their business’s employees need to progress in their roles.

Often without dedicated staff members to mitigate the risks, IT security poses a costly threat to SMEs. In 2022, the risks are amplified with more people working from home. IT security was pushed up Helapet’s agenda after Tony’s experience on the course. The result has seen the addition of new IT security measures, particularly for remote workers dialling into servers. In addition to the implementation of new ideas following the Help to Grow: Management Course, Tony has gained a greater financial understanding as he starts delving into company accounts.

Tony was able to take the learning from the workshops and explore it further through his mentoring. He found this particularly useful when covering the topics outside his comfort zone. “I was matched up very well with my mentor as we both came from scientific backgrounds and went into the commercial world” he says. Helapet has already benefited from the implementation of new ideas and processes, with more results to come long-term through the business’s bespoke action plan.

Tony was surprised by how many synergies there were across such a diverse range of organisations on the course. This proved to be highly valuable for sharing and solving problems. His cohort remain in touch over WhatsApp and Tony has found it useful to communicate with them during the implementation of his growth plan.

Would you recommend the course?

Without question. The return on investment is multiple fold with all the information I got from the course in addition to the mentoring and networking opportunities. The delivery, support and co-ordination from Nottingham Business School was fantastic.

Help to Grow: Management Course

Join 30,000 senior leaders taking part in a practical management training course, a scheme delivered by world-class business schools, accredited by the Small Business Charter.

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