Questions

How do I find a small business mentor?

I am in my first year of a small digital marketing business.  I feel it may be useful to have a... read more

Asked by:
Brad LyonsOwner at SMS Fusion
I would say don't hire a mentor, hire a consultant. Banks and other large companies hire consultants all the time to introduce you processes and technology into their business.Talk to sales reps. If you want to improve different areas of your business, speak to sales from the service providers. They will help you get an understanding of how their product can help. Speak to enough sales reps and you will get a better understanding of the industry and ways you can improve your current processes. You could hire a consultant and I would recommend that. However not until you talk to sales reps first and do some industry recon first. Research your industry, know more about the tech that is available, then look at a consultant. Then you can get value for money out of them. I have companies call asking for help however they don't really know their industry. They don't research and they don't want to change anything. They just want someone to talk to and let off steam. I have no interest in that and nor to most consultants I know. A consultant should be able to walk in. Identify issues and put forward solutions. If your not willing or can't afford to make changes, your not in a position to hire a consultant. Prior to hiring a consultant you should have a basic understanding of what your pains are. Are your processes taking too long. Is your spend too high vs return. Do you want to automate more. Just speaking with a consultant over the phone prior to hiring them, they should be able to tell you. Yes or No, around how much to actually make changes in your business. If the consultant can't give you a basic understanding of what you should expect and how much to impliment change. Then call someone else.
Hi Mentoring involues more of give overrall guidance and coordinate in taking appropriate business decisions.This needs experience in the particular field of business or someone who is good in strategy and number of years of experience in running similar business or maanegement experience where he can be approached whenever the business needs support in key decisions and ongoing development of the business.One of the ways to find a mentor is by identifying a person engaged in business advisosory and focussing on small business .
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Questions

Have you considered engaging an Advisory Board member or a Corporate Mentor?

Advisory Board Members or Corporate Mentors are increasingly used in startups and/or growth... read more

Asked by:
Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Kirsty FoxPrincipal at Spitfire Solutions
I think it is a good idea. I think every business can benefit from an "Advisory Board". Probably the bigger question is who to have on your board. A mentor is an excellent starting point, and you need an "outsider" who can look at the business dispassionately.
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Questions

Do you see the value in AMAs?

Otherwise known as "Ask Me Anything"s. For those unfamiliar, experts or other prominent individuals... read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think Steven has a good point about live Q&A sessions at the end of a panel discussion or presentation. However, I would argue that AMA's online are very successful and even celebrated. Everyone from celebrities to presidential candidates and others have done them on the online community Reddit.I think if the person is presenting a unique perspective or is someone that has lots of following it can be a very interesting thing to participate in either actively or passively.I really enjoyed being part of the SavvySME AMA's the last time they happened. I also enjoyed participating in the AMAs of others.
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
This is popular at traditional business events when you have a panel of experts in front of the audience. I feel the value of this is stronger with a captive audience in the traditional world rather than online.
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Questions

Have you worked with a mentor?

If you have worked with a mentor, great! But I want details. Was working with a mentor a successful... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
HUNTER LEONARDFOUNDER AND CEO at BLUE FROG MARKETING PTY LTD
Yes, I've worked with a mentor on a couple of occasions. Once many years ago I asked a colleague to be my presentation mentor and he would attend my seminars and presentations and then give me feedback at the end of each one. This was a fantastic experience as he was able to pinpoint some key positives and negatives about my style and delivery and I improved as a result.More recently, I asked one of my clients to put on a different hat and mentor me on preparation of investment documents for a new business I'm working on. This was also a great experience, and one of his comments led to a focussing of our business idea to the point where I'm now far more passionate about the idea because I found a really nice social enterprise angle to the business that I hadn't expected and wouldn't have found if he had mentioned that one thing.In summary, definitely recommend having a mentor, particularly if there is a very defined outcome you're looking for.
Felicity LawOwner at FelicityLaw.com.au
Hi Jef, I too have worked with and as a mentor.Unlike a traditional Business Coach, the mentors that I have worked with cut through the 'guided-self-sourced-solutions framework', and speak frankly about the reality of the business world, life, and everything in between. Honesty is at the core of an effective mentor / mentee relationship and like most intimate relationships where fears, dreams, and personal thoughts are disclosed, it may take time to find the right fit.Some of the best mentors I have worked with are professionals I respect, admire, and lead by example. The mentoring happens organically as a result of their leadership, approachability, and authenticity. As a result of my own experiences with being mentored and providing mentoring, I am a strong advocate.Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions I can help with.
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Assembling mentors, advisors and board members

Women outnumber men on LaunchVic advisory board

Diversity in business is not a pc issue, it will contribute to the levels of innovation amongst...read more

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Questions

Who would be the best person/s to connect with to help start up a community service based business?

I'm looking to start up a business running courses teaching basic life skills as well as a few... read more

Hi Allison, A really good organisation in Aus is the BEC, business enterprise centres. They run all kinds of mentoring and support programs for people who are in the early startup stages of business. They are in all kinds of places... go to their website to find out more: https://www.becaustralia.org.au/ good luck with it cheers roland
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Allison,That definitely sounds like a noble pursuit. Are you planning it as a for-profit business or a not-for-profit business (charity)? There is a possibility that you may be able to get government grants if you are a non-profit business.Also, who is your target audience? Is it a specific age group, income bracket, geographic location, something else or a combination? This will help you determine how you are positioning the marketing and lead generation for your venture.Are you planning to setup a business learning environment where clients come into an office/classroom type setting? Are you planning on going to the location of your client (such as a mobile tutor). Are you planning on only offering in-person courses or will you use live streaming video or pre-recorded video sessions?Will you be charging per class (a la carte) and/or charging for a topic that includes multiple classes about a related topic? Will you be giving clients that meet a specific standard certificates of completion or something similar?Are you planning to limit class sizes so you can ensure each client gets 1-on-1 attention or are aiming for large class sizes?
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Assembling mentors, advisors and board members

Entrepreneurship, Not Socialism, Is the Answer to Economic Problems

Rolling Stone thinks collectivism and guaranteed outcomes are the key to U.S. economic success....read more

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Assembling mentors, advisors and board members

How to Score an Advisor When Your Startup Has No Money

Getting the right advisor early-on can be the difference between scoring investors and losing...read more

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Assembling mentors, advisors and board members

What Every Mentor Should Know

Interested in being a mentor? Make sure you have the right approach and expectations. read more

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Assembling mentors, advisors and board members

My Best Mentor

I saw a post on this topic today.  It caused me to pause and reflect.  I’ve been...read more

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