Make the most of Mentoring - 3 Top Tips

5th September 2018

Newable Mentor Carolene Thompson gives us her 3 top tips on how to best utilise the mentoring that comes with a Newable loan.

Make the most of Mentoring - 3 Top Tips

1. No man, woman or gender neutral being is an island

No matter how experienced or successful a business may be, there will always come a time when external help and expertise is required to achieve growth.

Sometimes the direction you want to go in seems fairly clear and stress free, as demand is healthy and the path to generating more sales, thus profit, is one that has been created for you organically.

At other times, achieving growth can seem like trying to feel your way through the dark. This is particularly so for unplanned growth, however, planning growth can be equally as tricky for even the most seasoned of entrepreneurs.

Whether you operate alone or have a team of directors and other staff members to aid the efficiency of your business, sometimes having a fresh pair of eyes enables you to see things from another perspective.  Identifying aspects of your business that can be improved, or opportunities that can be exploited, leads to results and results mean satisfied customers and more profit.

There also times when things are not so rosy, and finding practical solutions for issues with staffing, legal disputes, supply chain management, financial management and resources, marketing and so on can seem both confusing and time consuming, not to mention stressful.

Having a mentor means that you have someone there to point you in the right direction, providing support to turn around difficult situations. There is not a single person on Earth that knows the answer to everything however, an experienced mentor can introduce you to their network of experts, so that if they do not know the answer to your question they will probably know someone who can.

Mentors will also provide you with information about business grants, events, sources of support and other resources that may be of help, accompanying you on your journey to the next level.

2. Honesty is always the best policy

Mentoring support is confidential, meaning what you discuss with your mentor stays with your mentor. That being said, the more honest and open you are about your circumstances, the more able your mentor will be able to assist you with finding the right solutions for your business.

At first, it may seem a little strange speaking to a complete stranger about the issues experienced in trying to grow or manage your business from day to day. After all, how could they possibly understand what you are going through or experiencing?

However, this is what mentors are trained to do. Many business mentors have experience of working with hundreds if not thousands of small businesses. As much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, it is unlikely that your circumstances will come as a shock to an experienced mentor.

If things are not going well, let them know, you would be surprised how effective another pair of eyes and ears can be in times of difficulty.

Moreover, for every problem there is a solution and in such, working with a mentor may help you to find logical solutions to some of the issues experienced from day to day, and if your mentor cannot provide a solution, they are bound to know someone who can.

Never be afraid or too proud to ask for help, not matter what the circumstances may be, that is what we are here to do.

3. Dot your I’s and cross your T’s

You are never too old or too wise to learn. Your mentor will be able to answer many questions about growing your business, financing, human resource management, marketing and more. To be effective they will need to have as much information about your business as possible. Meaning that you will need to be aware of what is happening in your marketing department, HR, finances and so on.

Quite often, the larger a business becomes the more times removed the owners become from day to day operations. It's important to speak with your team to gain an understanding of what is working and things that may need some improvement. Having up to date information will help your mentor to gain a better understanding of how best to assist and what, if any, external help or expertise you may be able to benefit from.

Here at Newable we work as a team, and have access to a diverse range of skills to assist businesses with in a variety of different sectors. Much of our services are provided free of charge. Take full advantage and get the help you need to achieve your full potential.