Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 141
MENTORING & COACHING
our dedication, enthusiasm and
brilliant ideas will help your
business to achieve success - but you
could still beneﬁt from the help of
someone who's been there and done
it before. So how do you ﬁnd the right
kind of person to provide the right
kind of assistance? Here's how.
PHOTOGRAPHY: WILL IRELAND, GETTY IMAGES
In business, a mentor is someone
who has extensive experience or is
knowledgeable in a particular business
area, such as ﬁnance or marketing,
and can use that to help you make the
best decisions for your own business.
A mentor can provide the right
strategy for your business - especially
if you're an entrepreneur. Research by
the Federation of Small Businesses has
shown that 70% of small businesses
that receive mentoring survive for
ﬁve years or more - double the rate
of non-mentored entrepreneurs -
and that mentored businesses are
more likely to experience growth.
Mentoring is not something that can
be done in a single meeting. It requires
time so both parties can learn about
each other and build trust. This helps
to create an environment in which
the mentee feels secure in sharing
the issues aﬀecting their business.
Successful mentoring relationships
last for at least nine months but can
be longer. The purpose is to develop
the individual for the future, not just
for the current job they're doing.
Even Sir Richard Branson had help
at the beginning of his career. "It's
good to have a helping hand at the
start," he has said. "I wouldn't have
70% of small
survive for ﬁve
years or more
WHAT A MENTOR WILL DO
■ Provide an outside perspective on both
you and your business.
■ Provide contacts and networks to aid
personal and business development.
■ Confidentially listen to what's worrying
you about your business.
■ Help you by sharing their experience of
both success and failure.
■ Give honest, constructive feedback
informed by their experience.
■ Act as a sounding board for ideas,
suggestion and plans.
■ Help with decision-making and offer
alternative ideas based on experience.
got anywhere in the airline industry
without the mentorship of Sir Freddie
Laker [founder of Laker Airways]."
Finding the right mentor can be
key to your success. When you're
struggling to cope with the lack of
rest, the isolation and the rejection
that comes with starting your own
business, your mentor will be on hand
to guide you and keep you motivated.
WHEN YOU NEED A MENTOR
There are speciﬁc times when a mentor
is particularly valuable. They can be
of most help when you want to...
■ Advance your leaders or talent pool,
as part of your succession plan
■ Develop the diversity of employees to
YOUR MENTOR IS NOT THERE TO...
■ Provide you with a counselling or
■ Give specific technical business advice,
which would normally come via an
expert business adviser.
■ Offer a coaching service.
■ Take responsibility for the success of
your business away from you.
remove barriers that hinder success
your employees to progress in
ways that go beyond the acquisition
of speciﬁc skills and competencies
■ Create a workforce that balances
the professional and the personal
It is common for people to assume
that coaching and mentoring are
similar or even the same - but they
aren't. Both are great initiatives for
business, and help in everything
from developing new techniques to
enhancing skills, but you will use
them to achieve distinct goals.
Coaching is what you turn to when
looking to focus on performance