When we took over an English language centre at an Australian university, it had a debt of a quarter of a million dollars, the curriculum was dated, the books were old and in a bad condition, the teachers were being paid below the national award and student numbers were low.
We knew that careful planning was needed to ensure that sustainable expansion underpinned by good groundwork would have to take place to overcome the problems above. We concentrated on diversifying the business and cutting costs in the first instance. In just two years and five months, we managed to clear the debt, diversify the business, raise staff salaries to 1.5% above the national award, increase student numbers in our regular program and supplement it with regular study tours and rewrite 500 hours of the curriculum. We also won many new contracts. We completed the project by covering the whole debt and generating surplus funds on an on-going basis for the university.
When we took over this organisation, there were not many programs or activities at the Centre. We saw the huge potential and started planning strategically to ensure long term sustainability.
First we completely overhauled the financial system, developed and implemented financial management strategies to achieve revenue targets. Realising that a comprehensive system of internal financial controls was needed in order to protect the Centre’s assets and finances, we introduced in-house controls, implemented procedures and processes, and ensured that all financial dealings were transparent.
We started applying for grants and have been successful in securing triennial funding from both State and Federal governments, other annual grants and a few project funding. We then planned programs that generated extra income for the Centre.
When we completed the project, all their programs were running at full capacity and we also established a few businesses such as a gift shop and a café. We recruited skilled staff members and volunteers to run the programs and operate the Centre.
This organisation services an area of approximately 100,000 square km. It stretches from Armidale to the Queensland border, Moree to Tamworth and everywhere in-between. We were invited to assist the organisation when the CEO resigned with no notice and it was discovered that the organisation was going to close down within 6 weeks. Within two and a half months of taking on the project, we were able to sustain the business, revoke staff termination notices and re-instate staff members who had been terminated. We made productive partnerships, met KPIs and managed the budget to make the organisation sustainable.