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A minute with a Boost mentor: Louise Owen

A minute with a mentor Louise Owen

Through the fully funded Boost Growth Mentoring programme, business owners and managers can access a wide variety of professional experts to help them develop and grow their business.

We highlight some of the mentors working with Lancashire businesses behind the scenes. So take a break and read about Louise Owen, the ‘go to’ person for food, drink and hospitality businesses.

Why did you choose to become a mentor?

The main reason I became a mentor is because I am passionate about making a difference to people and seeing their businesses grow. Although I have been a business adviser for over 20 years, in 2011, I started my mentoring journey by becoming ILM Level 7 qualified in Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring.

I have been a mentor for Boost for many years now. I work with a wide variety of businesses, and consider it a privilege and hugely rewarding to be able to help support them.

How do you make a real difference to Lancashire businesses?

I help business leaders achieve their goals, find strategic direction and create meaningful plans while keeping them focused and on track. I am an advocate for mental health in the workplace and provide a calm space for business owners to offload their business and personal challenges.

During the 12 hours that we have together as part of Boost's Growth Mentoring programme, working on a one-to-one basis I am able to challenge and encourage business leaders to overcome their barriers to growth and help them achieve their business ambitions.

After each mentoring session the mentee has an action plan to work on before the next session and many find that this accountability empowers them to take action. Leaders frequently feedback that the mentoring has given them focus and direction and in many cases increased their confidence.

What is your area of expertise and why is it an important area to for business leaders to address?

I work with a huge variety of businesses across many sectors. I have a finance background and specialist sector experience in mentoring food and drink businesses across the whole supply chain over many years.

As a mentor, providing space to enable a business leader to take a step back is really important. I’m giving them this window of time away from the business to think and generate ideas that they didn’t think were possible. I often find that I’m able to help them grow in confidence too.

What has been your most inspirational moment as a mentor?

The most inspirational and rewarding moment for me is when my clients have a lightbulb moment. Often this can be simply them acknowledging that they need to spend more time leading the business.

It can also be when they come up with ideas for new products or services. It’s so rewarding during my mentoring sessions to see a mentees levels of motivation increase. I feel I can literally see their lightbulb shine brighter!

Also, I find it extremely rewarding when they feedback that our mentoring session has been valuable to them and they had started on their action plan directly after our session!

What are the key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?

It’s incredibly tough for businesses in all sectors at the moment. The number one challenge is recruitment of staff. This is a barrier to growth and means that service levels can suffer and existing staff are put under increased pressure.

Some of these staff leave, which exacerbates the situation further.  In addition, all businesses are seeing their energy costs double and in some cases triple. Many businesses have reported a significant downturn in turnover particularly the retail businesses we help support.

This together with increases in costs of materials results in a negative impact on profitability. However, it’s at times like these when working with a business mentor can be hugely beneficial in facilitating the exploration of new opportunities.

As a mentor, what are your three business growth tips?

  1. Have clear business growth goals in mind.
  2. Always put yourself in your customers’ shoes and maximise the customer experience.
  3. Ensure your staff are well looked after, feel valued, share your vision and are encouraged to share their ideas. This will help retain staff and reward loyalty.

 Louise Owen Growth Mentor 2022 For over 30 years Louise has been helping businesses develop and grow. As a ‘go to’ person for food, drink and hospitality, it helps that she’s a self-confessed foodie. Her specialist sector expertise and years of experience have benefited hundreds of businesses.

As a qualified business mentor, Louise is happiest when helping to make a difference. 

 

Would you like to see your business grow? So would we. To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.

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