04 October 2010 – It’s not every day that a growing business can call on the services of one of the Navy’s most experienced retired officers, but that is what south east communications company, Frontline Telephone Answering Ltd has experienced through the Mentor-net programme.
The Mentor-net scheme, provided by Southern Enterprise Alliance (SEA) matches experienced organisational leaders as mentors with business owners. The aim of Mentor-net is to support the owners of SMEs, so that they can develop the skills and knowledge needed to help their businesses survive, grow and prosper, through a low cost scheme.
Frontline Telephone Answering based in Whiteley, Fareham employs 80 telephone operatives to look after their 300 clients, which include big names such as DHL, the NHS, and Barclays Capital. David Jones took over the business three years ago after a family crisis. David’s initial focus was on keeping the business ticking over, but as the economy suffered, he realised he needed to concentrate on his own leadership to ensure that he could steer the company forward and not just keep it stable.
David was introduced to John Sephton, an ex Royal Naval Commander and Workforce Development Specialist, who volunteered to become David’s Mentor in March 2010, through the part funded Mentor-net scheme.
“My experience of having a mentor has been fantastic”, said David. My Financial Director is over the moon, because we have seen such tangible benefits to the business as we are implementing our new ways of working, profits are up and so is my confidence. I would recommend the Mentor-net programme to anyone who is at a cross-roads in their business”.
Mentor-net Programme Manager, Rachel Cheetham said, “Business mentoring is often likened to ‘having a friend in business, someone who has been there, done that’, and now wants to help others learn from their own experiences. Our knowledgeable mentors encourage the mentees to develop the skills they need to help their businesses survive, grow and prosper.”