An Army Of Mentors Is Required For UK SMEs To Boost Growth

An Army Of Mentors Is Required For UK SMEs To Boost Growth

An Army Of Mentors Is Required For UK SMEs To Boost Growth

Emma Jones speaking
Emma Jones

Enterprise Nation, a supplier of small business networking and business support, was founded and is led by Emma Jones CBE. Small businesses in the UK will require cautious direction as we enter the most difficult macroeconomic situation in decades.

This is Emma Jones CBE phoning. For all the wrong reasons, navigating unthinkable situations has become second nature to the nation’s entrepreneurs.

What has actually happened is that too many founders have frozen their plans, like rabbits in headlights, despite the fact that you may believe political ups and downs produce that elusive trait known as “resilience”.

We must concentrate aggressively on changing this if we want to see growth. A new strategy and business action plan that can withstand whatever the upcoming years may throw at them are urgently needed by small enterprises.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a recent study found that there is now a “pent-up” need for mentoring in the UK.

The nation’s demand for mentoring is growing, according to a study by Mentoring Matters, which was released Monday in honor of National Mentoring Day. Currently, 82% of businesses are considering mentorship.

Younger founders saw fewer hurdles to receiving mentorship than older business owners, according to two-thirds (61%) of the 823 small business founders polled. This finding suggests that mentoring will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future.

Most persons who have had a mentoring relationship can clearly see the advantages of mentorship. According to the survey, 66% of businesses that had received mentorship believed that it had helped them survive, and 76% indicated that it had been essential to business growth.

Despite a ready army of potential mentors waiting in the wings, the report also discovered that too many leaders among the 5.5 million small and medium-sized firms in the country had yet to participate.

Entrepreneurs have been attempting to handle the growing economic demands alone for far too long, but they have been discouraged by time constraints and the notion of an unattainable schedule of lengthy meetings over dusty desks.

Taking time away from your business might be difficult, but those who are working with a mentor tell us they are finding a way to make it work at a frequency and in a style that works for both of you.

After dropping off the kids at school, a quick conversation with a familiar face on Zoom is a terrific way to start the day. Similarly, quick contact with a “been there, done that” person before a crucial meeting may really assist to clarify strategy and reinforce goals.

We need to remove the obstacles standing in the way of more businesses using this resource to get through the challenging times ahead since there is a willing army of mentors ready to be mobilized.

The truth is that, as we enter a new era of political book balancing under Rishi Sunak, the experience and knowledge that mentors can contribute have never been more valuable to our economy.

We need to remove the obstacles standing in the way of more businesses using this resource to get through the challenging times ahead since there is a willing army of mentors ready to be mobilized.

There is little doubt that mentoring may help businesses perform better and flourish. Over the past ten years, I’ve benefited from having a mentor as the founder of a flourishing business. It’s crucial to have a sounding board; someone with expertise who can listen to you out as you traverse the entrepreneurial journey when there are so many questions to answer each day about a product, people, finances, and growth.

Younger business owners perceive fewer obstacles to receiving mentoring. Compared to their older counterparts, those under 40 believe it to be far more attainable. According to the survey, just 38% of businesses started by people under the age of 40 cited cost as a deterrent to seeking a mentor, compared to 58% of people over the age of 40.

Only 40% of those under the age of 40 cited a lack of time as a barrier, compared to 50% of those over 40. At least in part, removing these barriers requires addressing perceptions. Although the majority (70%) of the mentorship that respondents received was truly free, the survey indicated that the financial cost of involvement was more commonly mentioned than any other barrier (51%).

Lack of relevance was another common hurdle (reported by 45% of respondents), although there are platforms that may pair mentees with mentors who have the expertise of their industry and company difficulties, such as the assistance provided to businesses on the Help to Grow: Management course.

In comparison to their white British colleagues, survey respondents from ethnic minorities perceived fewer hurdles to mentoring. Only 39% of respondents cited cost as a deterrent, while 36% claimed that a lack of time prevented them from looking for a mentor. The corresponding percentages for those who identified as white British were 57% and 54%, respectively.

In addition, 38% of respondents who identified as members of ethnic minorities and 48% of respondents who identified as white British respondents said that they believed mentoring was not relevant to their businesses, respectively, suggesting that minority-founded companies are more receptive to this type of support.

The good news is that as need rises, so does interest in serving as a mentor. According to the study, 83% of the company executives surveyed were in favor of it. Now, all we need is for them to sign up and participate.

As part of the government’s Help to Grow: Management Course, a flagship program introduced by Rishi Sunak last year, they could simply do that through Enterprise Nation and receive training from the Association of Business Mentors.

How to get the most out of mentoring

  • You can choose your mentor via an online platform like Enterprise Nation or the      Association of Business Mentors, for instance, by sector or location (or both), and then arrange a call to ensure the chemistry works.
  • Schedule video calls on a regular basis to ensure that they are written into the diary. This can become more adaptable as your relationship grows to accommodate new problems as they arise.
  • Prepare for the meeting by bringing pertinent concerns and questions. What long-term goals do you have?
  • Talk frankly and honestly about your goals and anxieties for your company and present a plan while putting your ego and prejudices aside.
  • Be receptive to recommendations and take them into consideration. To assist you in succeeding, your mentor is there.

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