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 experienced businesswoman and Boost mentor, Lorraine Birch.
Why did you choose to become a mentor?
As with most of my career, by accident!
After the sale of my business which I had started and managed for 18 years, I wanted a different challenge. I wanted a way to share this experience, as starting up and expanding can be a very lonely place. I was presented the opportunity to mentor via the Boost Growth Mentoring Program.
How do you make a real difference to Lancashire businesses?
I’m not one for fluff; to add context, here is a couple of feedback quotes:
“What can I say. I wanted a mentor that would challenge me although be authentic and empathetic to my challenges and I could not have found a better one. Lorraine is amazeballs!”
“Had the most amazing support from Lorraine over the last two years. We’ve worked through business and total life changes, and I wouldn’t work with anybody else. She has tremendous business knowledge and a brilliant straight-talking approach that absolutely suits me”
What is your area of expertise and why is it an important area to for business leaders to address?
I am not specific in my expertise, if you own a business, you must have a broad knowledge in many aspects. I would say my personal skills are optimism, a ‘can-do’ attitude, a drive for improvement. Having a focus on teamwork, sharing the journey with your team is vital “the team makes the dream”. I have an absolute love of using processes to improve efficiency. These are a few of the key aspects that any business owner should have an eye on.
What has been your most inspirational moment as a mentor?
Wow, a few! One that always jumps into my thoughts is a client that was a bit lost in life and work. They knew they had to make change but just could not see how. They had a great business, homegrown, professional, respected, but something was not right. The turnaround over a couple of years was immense and I experienced this change with them. The emotional reward for me was huge, but for my client it was a total life changer & they did it themselves!
What are the key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?
Having clarity on the way forward; the pandemic has instigated a total rethink on business, and life in general. Do you want to go back to normal, or have the changes forced a new plan, a new way of thinking, working and living & what is the impact?
As a mentor, what are your three business growth tips?
1. If you are considering substantial growth, are your team ready for this? Sometimes a leader can have a growth plan but not consider how this will impact the team.
2. Are you operating efficiently? Taking time to review how you operate on a regular basis is vital for good business health & increased profits.
3. Always review – is the plan working, if not why? Identifying blockers to achievement can save you considerable time and money, always take time to look at your business health & is it aligned with your plan?
Lorraine is an experienced businesswoman with a keen eye on improving client’s productivity and profitability. She likes to work with small/medium organisations to help improve their performance for growth and expansion, or indeed get ready for sale