Companies in the Joensuu region have preserved their ambition for growth and development even during the corona crisis: coaching was moved online, and new groups will start again in April

“We had made rapid progress as a growth company. This was exactly the right time to review the company's situation and to structure our operations from different perspectives. We needed external sparring,” says Ari Hakulinen, CEO of Bittiguru Oy. Hakulinen's thoughts are shared by many of the entrepreneurs participating in the growth coaching. Although the market situation is a big question mark for many right now, the smartest way to prepare for the future is to focus on the development of business, products and services.

In September last year, Business Joensuu launched a growth coaching programme based on a hands-on approach. So far, approximately 70 people from around 50 companies have participated in the coaching directed at companies in the Joensuu region regardless of size, sector or age.

– The growth coaching service was created for the genuine needs of companies in the region. We have a lot of growth-oriented companies that need to update their plans, get sparring and obtain concrete new tools for business development, says Business Coach Mervi Leminen from Business Joensuu.

Ari Hakulinen, CEO of Bittiguru, also appreciates the practical nature of the coaching. Bittiguru provides IT services, and in recent years, its growth has been rapid as well as cyclical at an annual rate of 5–30%. The growth coaching period brought a methodical approach and a sense of control to the company’s operations.

– In personal coaching, we used a variety of different planning solutions to find the most suitable ones for our purposes. The coaching introduced fairly substantial changes to, for instance, personnel strategies and to some extent even job descriptions. Overall, there was a real need for coaching in our company. The process made us calm down and look at the future from different perspectives.

Situation varies in different companies

According to Mervi Leminen, the situation is extremely difficult just now for companies in the tourism and catering sector, to mention just two examples. On theother hand, the slowing demand has made it possible for some companies to focus even more intensively on development. Thanks to the remote connections that wererapidly established, it has been possible to continue growth coaching both in groupsand individually despite the corona pandemic.

– There are many growth companies in the Joensuu region, for which the effects of the pandemic have been very limited; for some, the situation has also brought a lot more work.

Crisis is an opportunity

– Even in a normal situation, an entrepreneur is often left alone to solve things. Experiences and results from our growth coaching services confirm that it is worth considering matters together with other like-minded people and experienced coaches. Companies that are able to look beyond the acute crisis even during difficult times and invest time to develop something new are in the best position when the situation returns to normal.

Further information and an application form for growth coaching can be found at https://www.businessjoensuu.fi/en/services-for-companies/business-growth-and-development/business-and-growth-coaching/. Applications for the coaching can be submitted at any time. Participation in the 10-week growth coaching programme costs 140 euros per person. The funding partners for growth coaching include the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Regional Council of North Karelia andBusiness Joensuu.

Further information:

Business Joensuu Oy

Mervi Leminen

Business Coach

+358 (0)400 196 688

mervi.leminen@businessjoensuu.fi