Case Study: Help to Grow Programme helps a local freight transport business to expand and reach their ambitions.

Leeds University Business School delivers the 12-week government-backed course, accredited by the Small Business Charter to help SMEs to grow and reach their full potential.

At the end of 2023, Shahbaz Khan, Managing Director at Dropbox Logistics, completed Help to Grow and is already well on the way to taking his business to the next level.

What made you decide to go for the help to grow programme?

I received a letter from HMRC that said I can go on a course. I called help to grow to confirm that it is 90% funded by government. I did my MBA with Leeds University Business School which I finished in 2019 and so I was already a big fan of Leeds University Business School. I just wanted to have some change for the company and decided to go on this program and see what latest tools and information is out there and so that I could meet other business owners and make some contacts.

Would you recommend the help to grow program to other businesses in your network?

I would highly recommend the course for people to go on as there are so many nice tools to share. You look at how you're going to grow your organization, what sort of systems and processes you should have in place, how to use different technology.  I think that it is an environment where you see personal growth as you seek to grow your business and it will help you to realise that you probably already have some leadership attributes that have made you successful.

During the program did you receive help from a particular mentor?

Steve Baker was my mentor and I thought he was very good. We had detailed conversations about where I think the business could go and I think that was probably the best part of the program. I used Steve as a sounding board and he took me out of my comfort zone, showing me how to work with stakeholders such as Amazon and he took me through the steps I had not thought about yet. The most important thing Steve gave, was listening to me and then helping me to channel my thoughts so that I did not become blind sided with some of the difficulties of running a business.

What were the areas of expertise that helped you the most?

There were a lot of areas of expertise which helped me to understand the best way to do things with the stakeholders. The biggest thing for me was the relationship that I built with Steve and the coaching that he provided for me. He took me through the steps on how I should pitch myself as a person and as a company whilst ensuring that I remained clear on the overall objective and what we can provide. We looked at the objectives not on my growth plan that I can go after but will be the hardest for me to win. I discussed with Steve the best way to get my name out there to prove that we are the best company against our competitors. 

What made you decide to do help to grow with Leeds University Business School?

Leeds University is easily accessible for me, just two miles down the road from where we are set up, so it is very convenient. I found the team very knowledgeable, and I just love the campus and the people in Leeds. I had a great time with the university previously and I still have a great time with them this time.

What are the next steps looking like for your business?

I have a 12-month growth plan that I have committed to since I finished the course that we are going to try and deliver. I've already doubled up my contract with DPD and then we are doing a lot of groundwork with Amazon to try and gain a second delivery station with them. Somebody was saying to me I will have the moment of realization when everything goes live. Currently, there is a team of five managers in the company, and I would like to spend more time thinking about what the company structure could look like. We are thinking about how we can grow more, not just here and now, but also over the next 12 months to get all the objectives achieved.

Are you glad you did help to grow and had the opportunity to meet Steve?

I'm happy that I did the course. It was like a mini-MBA, but it's more content than the MBA. It is a very fast pace, and it goes through so many models and so many different case studies. I really enjoyed my time because it gave me something else to think about and not to just do the same old thing every day. It's been more focused on my own personal growth and it's a worthwhile experience. 

Shahbaz team Dropbox help to grow

Leeds University Business School is committed to supporting local SMEs through the Help to Grow programme. If you are interested in growing your business today, don't hesitate to get in touch with for more information.