How does mentoring work

There are many common fundamentals to developing and growing a successful business. However, every enterprise is unique – you and your cofounders have a one-of-a-kind blend of personality, experience and ambition.

So the approach I take in mentoring is simple. There is no ‘treadmill program’ that leads to success. Mentoring is a relationship to guide you over every obstacle and help you go as far as your drive will take you.

How does the business mentor relationship work in practice?

At the first meeting we’ll discuss three key viewpoints:

  1. Your motivation and personal drivers
    What do you personally want to achieve through being in business? Equally, what do you want to avoid? This is a broad conversation about attitudes to risk, control, work-life balance, innovation, recognition, enjoyment, money matters, freedom and more. The inner drive of successful businesspeople is paramount, and motivations vary to a surprising degree. That’s why this discussion comes before any of the detail of your business.
  2. Your vision for the business
    Where do you want the business to be in one, two or five years’ time? How will the business differ from how it is today? In the context of this business, what would success look like to you?
  3. The situation on the ground
    What are the circumstances the business faces today? We’ll examine the main elements – people, products and services, your business model, the marketplace, competitors, financials and commercials, infrastructure, processes and management.

From there, we agree a schedule for working together to take the business toward where you want it to be, following the framework of your own definition of success.

Our mentoring relationship is typically based on a monthly meeting in person – setting priorities, tracking progress and supporting you through challenges and key decisions. In between, it’s flexible: there may be advice and accountability over email, phone and Skype sessions.

Fees – how much does mentoring cost?

I work on a fixed monthly retainer. The fee varies depending on location, and to some extent the stage of business development.

The reason for this as opposed to an hourly rate is so that you don’t have to feel like the “meter is running” when we talk. Sometimes you need more contact, at other times less. I would always prefer you felt free to contact me to discuss an important decision rather than help you deal with the fallout from a decision you regret.

Ultimately, an agreed monthly retainer provides you with as much contact as you need. The monthly in-person session is par for the course, and when your needs intensify my availability can increase.

Get in touch and we’ll discuss setting up an initial meeting.