Mentoring on offer to K' Road businesses
Mentoring can make a huge difference to a business, particularly when going through change such as the impending infrastructure projects along K' Road. We urge business members to make the most of the free mentoring package on offer through the KBA, Business Mentors NZ and Auckland Council.
So far 18 business people from K' Road have taken up the offer and most are finding it very helpful.
An “amazing opportunity" is how Nick Hall describes the free mentoring. Nick has owned Caluzzi Bar & Cabaret with his partner – another Nick – for two years. While neither have formal business qualifications, they both show an entrepreneurial streak, also running events company Sister Event.
Nick says they have the passion, vision and skills to build their brand but could do better with the bookkeeping side. Therefore they wanted a mentor with experience in the business side of hospitality.
“We needed someone who could show us what else we should be doing on the more boring numbers side and inspire us to keep growing. For example should we open more nights? Is it a good idea to take on another bar or restaurant?"
Their mentor Brian Moore is helping them look more closely at their numbers, their profit lines and margins, marketing etc.
“Brian is great. He is very encouraging but also giving us more structure and a stronger grasp of the intricacies of the business by helping us look at things in more depth and refine," says Nick.
The two Nicks have only met Brian a couple of times, but he is always a phone call away and he checks in regularly to see how they are going with tasks he has suggested.
After seven months Nick says Brian's guidance and help is invaluable.
“I'd definitely recommend a mentor. It helps you look at your strengths but also your weaknesses within the business. I thought we had a good handle on it, but it is easy to brush things aside as well. There is nothing to lose and plenty to gain through a mentor."
Daragh Pedergrast Manning of Noir Events has had mentors since he started his own business. Currently he meets every two months with the mentor he has accessed through the KBA and Business Mentor NZ partnership scheme.
“It's going well. The mentor I have been paired with suits me. She has a background in marketing so she assist me with that side."
He'd like to meet his mentor more often, but recognises it is a considerable time commitment for her.
“A mentor helps you avoid making the same mistakes someone else has already made, acts as a sounding board and gives outside observations on projects. They can also provide guidance in areas that are not your strength, such as marketing," explains Daragh.
He does caution people to interview potential mentors to find one who is a good fit, rather than take the first one that turns up.
“I am lucky that my current mentor has been a great fit."
Andrea Gutierrez from Fort Greene took a different approach and had a single one-off meeting with a mentor.
“It was all about budgeting and talking about new risks and cover overheads with the move to a new site. It was a good and very helpful session and all we needed for now."
Business Mentors NZ chief executive Craig Garner says we live in an increasingly information-rich age and sometimes need help to filter out the noise and get a steer in the right direction.
“Mentors have no financial or emotional investment in the business; they are there to help those willing to listen and who are prepared to learn from the mentor's hard-earned experience and skills. In doing so, business owners are challenged to push themselves to achieve goals they may not have thought possible if they continued working in isolation."
Issues mentors can help with include market demand, changes in technology, financial constraints, environmental and social concerns, time demands, personal interruptions, etc.
The opportunity to be mentored is still available through the KBA.
To register for a mentor today, call 0800 209 209
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