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How to get the most from the mentoring relationship

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Whether it’s a partner, child, friend or parent; every relationship takes work and time to build trust, respect and strength. This is just as true when you’re working with a business mentor.

The most important part of a mentor-business owner relationship is that you get on well. You need to be able to communicate clearly, discuss what you really want, and have the confidence that together you can work towards developing your goals and growth ambitions.

A business mentor should also be matched with you according to their business background, skills, knowledge and experience, and sector expertise. Our strength is in finding you the right mentor, but all our mentors have one thing in common;

  • Their excellent business background – They are successful business people and want to share the lessons they have learnt.
  • They know what it’s like - They understand the daily challenges you face as a business owner.
  • They keep up to date with what’s happening in industry, technology and the market. We’re not saying they know everything, but they’ll almost certainly know someone who can assist you if they can’t.

Of course the key to a successful relationship is also that at all times you drive the pace of personal and business development and that decisions remain yours alone. You set the agenda for the meeting and each time you meet you will review progress against your growth objectives.

You will celebrate success, be reassured about what you are doing right and always have a sounding board to test out those off the wall ideas that come to you in the shower! Remember; as a volunteer they have chosen to ‘give something back’ and we regularly check the quality of their support to ensure it matches your needs, and if these needs change you can request another mentor at any time.

In a recent survey by Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) of established SMEs, the findings showed that 90 per cent of those surveyed said they wish they had used a mentor when they were getting ready for growth. So what are you waiting for? 

Find out more

Boost Business Lancashire offers a growth mentoring programme matching business owners with experienced entrepreneurs. To apply for a place on the programme, complete our online form or call 0800 488 0057.

Author

Jane Houghton-Fenning, Business Development Director, Community & Business Partners.

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