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 Rainey, a former group managing director with over 30 years’ high level business experience.
Why did you choose to become a mentor?
Amongst other duties, my previous post entailed simultaneously managing and mentoring 12 SME MD’s throughout Europe. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to continue this type of work with the Boost Growth Mentoring team in Lancashire.
How do you make a real difference to Lancashire businesses?
I often tell my mentees that the hardest job they will ever have as a business manager is to . . . think!
For busy people dealing with the pressures of day-to-day business, finding precious thinking time is difficult.
Having been a mentor with Boost for seven years, I like to imagine that I am now responsible for a sizeable share of the thinking power going on in Lancashire at any particular moment!
What is your area of expertise and why is it an important area for business leaders to address?
I have been a strategist and tactician most of my working life; often involved in business restructuring and turn-arounds. Better understanding of the markets in which you operate can be crucial.
Try to find time to get out and talk to your clients, customers and yes, even your competitors . . . surprisingly, they often share the same problems!
What has been your most inspirational moment as a mentor?
Mentoring is always rewarding. Arming a mentee with a full array of business management tools is rewarding, yes; but seeing a mentee utilising them fully and reaping the rewards is most definitely inspirational!
What are the key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?
It is extremely difficult to generalise however now, more than ever, all Lancashire business owners and managers need to have a crystal clear vision for their enterprise.
It should include: where are we now; where are we aiming to go and is this realistic; how are we going to get there; are there any potential foreseeable obstacles in our way and what is our timeframe?
Identifying and visualising these key steps are all essential for achieving success.
As a mentor, what are your three business growth tips?
1. Plan well. There can be no excuses for not planning.
2. Seek buy-in (to your plans) from both your co-workers and customers. You’ll need them both to succeed.
3. Regularly monitor and review progress against budgets and targets; take remedial action quickly.
John is a former group managing director with over 30 years’ experience. He has worked for a multi-faceted Swedish PLC engaged in manufacturing, contracting, sales and service delivery throughout Europe and beyond. His specialisms include: strategic reviews, growth acceleration plans, revisiting business models, personnel reorganisation, diversification and exit strategies.