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A minute with a Boost mentor: John Townsend

A minute with a mentor Jonn Townsend a

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 John Townsend, a mentoring veteran with a strong network of contacts.

Why did you choose to become a mentor?

Many years ago, I read the autobiography of Sir John Harvey-Jones and how he helped turn around the fortunes of ICI. When he retired he started to mentor business owners of UK based companies to help them reach their potential.

So, when I sold my business while in my late 50’s, I decided I was in the fortunate position to be able to become an adviser/mentor and hopefully give something back and make a positive difference by passing on my business experience and knowledge that I have gained from running my own business.

How do you make a real difference to Lancashire businesses?

I have two ears and one mouth and if I use them in that proportion, I can listen to clients and sometimes pick up on the things that they feel but don’t actually say. In this way, I can work with them to put plans and strategies in place that can have a positive effect on them personally and their business model. Then by agreeing a set of KPIs we can monitor the progress as the business moves forward.

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

I look at the overall business model and then help clients to focus on the important elements of their business. It is always the bottom line that counts and if you don’t get the basic building blocks in place; namely people, finance, systems, and marketing, then you don’t get the sales.

What has been your most inspirational moment as a mentor?

When a client has grown their business and created high value jobs in the local area and is then recognised by their fellow professionals by winning awards or becoming a leader in their chosen field and is honoured for their achievements.

On a more personal level I was invited to be a non-executive director of The Small Business Academy (TSBA) this year. I started mentoring Nikki Hesford on a previous Boost mentoring program, she then became a private client and now her business, TSBA, is responsible for running Boost's current Growth Mentoring program.

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

Always remember you cannot change yesterday but your actions can affect tomorrow. In my business career I went through two recessions and my business came out stronger as I adapted to the circumstances.

Now that businesses are beginning to recover from the effects of lockdown there is a lot of assistance out there so don’t be afraid to ask for help because there is a good chance that somebody can help.

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

  1. Ensure that you have the right work/life balance because you will never get that time back again.
  2. People may say you were lucky, but I maintain the harder and smarter you work the luckier you become.
  3. Cashflow, cashflow, cashflow and remember turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.


John Townsend Growth Mentor

John started a print brokerage business in his back bedroom and with the help of his brilliant, dedicated staff, it expanded to become an approved supplier to many blue chip and multinational companies over the subsequent 27 years.

It was awarded numerous accreditations to allow the company to supply specialised items to clients in the UK and abroad. He turned to mentoring after selling the business and enjoys sharing his knowledge with the next generation of business owners. 


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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