You want your business to become established, grow and achieve, at the very minimum, a living wage for you and your family. A Mentor is there to act as a sounding board, to challenge your business ideas, guide you and to seek evidence that your plans for your business are sustainable.
Using their own business experience, a Mentor will question and challenge you to explore all your options thoroughly, help you to seek answers to any questions you may have and support you so you can make informed decisions, agree actions and then implement them.
In helping you achieve the above, a Mentor won’t run the business for you or take any decisions. Any action plan has to be agreed, and will be implemented and completed, by you, your staff or other service providers.
As the business owner, this means you are always in control.
Hopefully, as a result of dialogue with your Mentor, you and your business will benefit from looking at specific situations, opportunities or challenges from a broader, new or different perspective.
Six of the Best – Questions a Mentor might ask you ….
1. Where are you hoping to take the business?
What will it ideally look like in two or three years’ time? Beyond that when do you hope to exit/sell? Do you have any form of Business Plan or Financial Forecast?
2. Where do you add most value to the business?
What aspects of the work is it essential you do versus recruit/contract in additional resources to provide you with more time?
3. Who are your most profitable clients?
Are there any clients where the margin is poor or even non-existent? Are there bids you would be better to decline, or refer, in order to improve your bid/win ratios?
4. Forecasting and Cash Flow
– What revenue/margin do you expect to make next month and over the coming 12 months?
– What loan repayments and/or expenditure will be necessary and when? How might you ensure optimal cash flow?
– Risk Assessment – What do you see as the top 3 risks to the business? (In other words, what keeps you awake at night?).
– What actions can you take to mitigate the risks?
– Who are your main competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Why would I (or a real client) buy from you versus one of your competitors?
– What is your USP (Unique Sales Proposition)?
6. How will you create or increase demand for your product or service?
– Who is your target audience? Where are they, how many are there and how do you know they will be interested in what you have to offer?
– How will they learn about your services?
– What is your plan to reach your target audience?