What is Business Mentoring?
Read on to learn everything you wanted to know about Business Mentoring.
Business Mentoring is proven to be one of the most effective forms of support for business leaders, but understanding exactly what Business Mentoring involves has never really been concretely defined.
- What is Business Mentoring?
- How can Business Mentoring help me to grow my Business?
- What are the Benefits of using a Business Mentor?
- Why do I need a Business Mentor?
- Are Business Mentors professionals?
- What is the difference between Business Coaching and Mentoring?
- How do I find and choose a Business Mentor?
- What should I do to get the most out of my Business Mentoring relationship?
- Are their any risks to Business Mentoring?
- Can you give me some examples of Business Mentoring and Coaching Success Stories?
1. What is Business Mentoring?
Traditionally, the term ‘mentor’ might conjure up for us a picture of a ‘white-haired wise man or guide’. In fact, the origins of the word mentor come from Homer’s The Odyssey. Before leaving to fight the Trojan war, Odysseus left his son and his entire estate in the care of his friend Mentor, who then guided the young Telemachus as he grew up. Mentor however, was only in his early twenties!
Within a more modern context, most of us might be familiar with the concept of a business mentor within our workplace as being someone who has more experience or wisdom and is willing to share their knowledge and insights in bringing on a younger colleague, guiding their career within the company.
It is only relatively recently however, that the term mentor has broken out of the workplace and into the marketplace and the term ‘business mentor’ is often freely bandied around to encompass a broad range of activities and services from business angels to non-executive directors.
For our part, we are absolutely clear as to what ‘business mentoring’ should be – and it begins with absolute and genuine belief in the businesses we work with and their onward success.
"Thank you for facilitating our group mentoring sessions, your pro active engagement has enhanced the process, fostered good relationships and enabled focus on meaningful outcomes. Your ability to promote and keep the sessions enjoyable and significant, with a light touch, and an ability to know when not to speak or say too much, is a rare talent. Thank you once again."
Paul Carter, MD, Panache Commercial Furniture Ltd
Let us be in no doubt however, most successful entrepreneurs will attribute much of their achievement to the support and guidance they received from a business mentor – Richard Branson still cites the support and belief given to him by Sir Freddy Laker as being one of the key drivers behind his success within the airline industry.
Business Mentoring does not involve employing a consultant or employee to help run your business. Instead, it’s a relationship between you, the Business Owner, and someone with business experience that can guide you through making the difficult decisions, point out ways of improving your business, ask you the tough questions and motivate you to want to achieve higher levels of performance, all within the bounds of a trusted relationship.
Because it's lonely at the top, business mentoring can offer you a partner in the process, a sharing of views with someone who really knows the ropes. Working with a Business Mentor will help you gain fresh insights into problems and decision making, through impartial, objective discussion and feedback.
Some of the benefits of Business Mentoring include:
- Reducing the level of risk in making business decisions - exploring options becomes easier when you have someone that understands and shares your concerns at the deepest levels
- Focusing your energy - simply having someone else to motivate you and to share your successes with can often lead to extraordinary results
- Making positive progress more quickly - taking the actions that matter can make a big difference to your profitsBusiness possibilities begin to open up - with your time and energy better focused, striving for new opportunities now becomes a reality
In short, a business mentor is someone who is available when you want him/her and whom you can trust totally to tell it like it is.
Business mentoring is a rewarding positive experience, which not only supports your business growth but helps you develop personally too.
Your success however, depends on you taking ACTION.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to have a Business mentor. I thoroughly enjoyed the coaching sessions - Bill was a very approachable and knowledgeable coach and the course helped me to come to terms with/make a couple of important decisions that I was struggling with."Dot Riley, Passing Place Driver Training
2. How can Business Mentoring help me to grow my Business?
Your Business Mentor has no agenda apart from your own success. This allows your Mentor to give unbiased independent support to help your business grow and develop.
Our Business Mentors and Coaches are high calibre professionals who, as well as their own careers, also have experience of growing their own business and helping many other Business Owners focus on business growth and personal success. All of our programmes are bespoke so focus on YOU and your needs and that is how we help you achieve fast and specific results in your Business.
The consistent support will ensure you take regular action towards your goals and make better decisions through the discussion processes we engage in.
3. What are the Benefits of using a Business Mentor?
- Your Business Mentor will help you step back from your business - A business mentor can help you look at the “big picture”, and help you identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you may have overlooked.
- Your Business Mentor can offer guidance and share ideas during a growth phase - A successful, growing business brings new challenges such as hiring new staff, raising new capital and entering new markets. A business mentor can offer specific support, share best practice from other industries and sectors, caution against potential pitfalls and instil confidence in your plans.
- Your Business Mentor will be a sounding board - A key role of a business mentor is to listen, stimulate and challenge your thinking. This will help you develop your own ideas and arrive at your own solutions to your business challenges at a much faster rate than doing this by yourself. This alone should lead to better decision making.
- Your Business Mentor will encourage you to leverage your business networks - Your business mentor will help you develop your business network and customers within your industry, as well as other professionals. Business Mentors are coaches, not consultants, and do not take the place of accountants, lawyers or bank managers.
- Your Business Mentor will hold you accountable - Having a business mentor won’t automatically fix all your business challenges. You will still have to do the work and invest the time and effort to implement changes. A mentor will help you set goals and milestones as well make you accountable for delivering on them.
- Your Business Mentor will keep you focused on your goals - It is very easy to get side tracked when you run a business, your business mentor will make sure you do the high value work you should be doing and don’t get sidetracked!
- Your Business Mentor will challenge you - Sometimes when we run a business we can get a little stale and start settling for things. Your Business Mentor will challenge you to go that extra mile to improve standards and to go from good to outstanding! They will help you develop your skills, increase your motivation and be there to celebrate your successes.
4. Why do I need a Business Mentor?
You need a Business Mentor and Coach if you want to be better tomorrow than you are today. Quite simply if you continue to do the same things you will continue get the same results!
Having a Business Mentor will stimulate some new thinking and give you support in trying some new ideas out. They will encourage, no, insist, on constant action and all of this can only be good for you and your business.
"Talking through business problems and successes with other people who are in the same position is of great benefit. In fact all but one of the participants are still meeting to support and mentor each other. The other participant is working with me in my business as a technical advisor one day per week."Sandra Hale, C H Material LTD
5. Are Business Mentors professionals?
Your business mentor will act ethically at all times and handle your emotions and confidential business issues without personal involvement. The mentor will manage situations and seek to influence the behaviour of others, whilst at the same time show respect to the feelings of people.
All our Business Mentors are highly trained professionals and all sign up to professional bodies ethical and business standards. If you would like any more information on these please contact us and we can explain it in more detail.
We will also provide past and current clients as referees if you would like to talk with someone who has experienced your mentors’ services.
6. What is the difference between Business Coaching and Mentoring?
This is a very good question. A Business Mentor will have specific business knowledge that they will share with you as a way of helping inform you whereas a Business Coach will use questioning techniques to unlock your knowledge and help you find new ways to apply it whilst motivating you.
At Notion we have combined these two powerful ideas. Our Business Coaches have been selected on the strength of their own business experiences both personally as well as through the constant interaction with our work with other Business Owners.
We are therefore in a privileged position to use advanced coaching methods as well as share best practices from other businesses and from our own knowledge and personal experience. So we help you develop your own thinking and action plans as well as sharing ideas and information to add to the pot! With Notion, you get the very best aspects of both business mentoring and incisive business coaching to ensure that you and your business benefit fully.
7. How do I find and choose a Business Mentor?
It is extremely important that you get on with and enjoy working with your Business Mentor and Coach and vice-versa. The first step is to ensure that any potential mentor is happy and willing to meet you for an initial “chemistry” meeting. We do this as standard and do not charge for our time or expenses for this first meeting.
You also need to be confident that the potential Business Mentor has the right experience for you. This does NOT need to be industry specific… you are the expert in your industry. However you need to be confident that your Business Mentor has great knowledge and can relate to and understand your specific challenges.
If you prefer face-to-face meetings, then location is also important; you need to be able to get together easily. If you are equally happy to work on the telephone, then this is less of an issue.
On our find a mentor page we have all our Business Coaches and Mentors shown geographically. Their full biographies are also downloadable so you can select the one that appeals to you the most. If you are flexible on location then you have the choice of all of them!
8. What should I do to get the most out of my Business Mentoring relationship?
To derive full value from Business Coaching and Mentoring you need to be open to change, prepared to be challenged and take daily ACTION towards your success.
You have to make time in your week to meet with your coach and time to focus on delivering the action plan you have agreed. We guarantee if you take consistent action towards your goals you will be more successful than you are today!
"I have worked with Cathy since 2004. During that time I have held a number or roles within two government departments and worked for an NGO overseas. Cathy's support has been invaluable in helping me to clarify my ambitions and prioritise my time. She has helped me to identify my strengths, address my weaknesses and ensure that I achieve greater balance in my life. Cathy has also provided practical support on specific work issues and in developing my CV, preparing for interviews and putting frameworks around my goals outside of the workplace, as well as putting me in touch with other contacts who have been able to provide input on specific issues. Cathy also facilitated a successful team building event for me at the Ministry of Justice. I have found my sessions with Cathy enjoyable as well as productive and she is a trusted confidant and mentor."Senior Civil Servant, Cabinet Office
9. Are their any risks to Business Mentoring?
There are no real risks to Business Mentoring and Coaching. You are in full control of the decisions you are making. No one is going to tell you what to do or how to run your business – your Business Mentor is just going to help YOU find better ways of running it!
You are also not held into any long-term arrangements. The relationship is entirely results focused. If you don’t believe you are getting outstanding value from your interactions with your Business Coach and Mentor than you can stop the relationship at any time.
10. Can you give me some examples of Business Mentoring and Coaching Success Stories?
Every page of our website has testimonials from our Clients who are delighted with the tangible results they have received from working with one of our Outstanding Business Coaches.
All of our Business Coaches and Mentors are also able to supply references and many of our existing or previous clients are willing to receive calls from potential clients should you wish to speak to someone about their experiences.
We also have some more detailed success stories of some of our Coaching and Mentoring programmes on our Business Mentoring Case Studies page. Do please check these out too.
We hope that this has answered some of your questions about Business Mentoring. If you have any other questions please contact us via telephone on 0845 456 8217 or through our Contact Us page and we will arrange a good time to speak with you in more detail.
Don’t forget the real secret is to FOCUS and TAKE ACTION! So do something NOW to move you closer to your goals…what have you got to lose?
Call us on 0845 456 8217 or request a free Business Mentoring consultation and we'll arrange a mutually convenient time to chat
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"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
“A major benefit of coaching is having someone who helps you see your strengths and weaknesses and uses them to accomplish your goals.”