Get Mentoring

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Alex Dodgshon from Northwich in Cheshire first became aware of Get Mentoring through two networking groups she was involved with, the Forward Ladies Group and the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Alex was conscious of the role that mentors could play in supporting small businesses, but she says,

“I began to take more notice when I heard about it through organisations like the FPB as it has a focus on providing practical support to its members and encouraging members to learn through shared experiences too.

"I thought that Get Mentoring seemed like a really good way for businesses to support each other. I liked the fact that the Get Mentoring training helps to set a benchmark for the quality of mentoring, which can only be beneficial for entrepreneurs.”

As part of her job facilitating the buying and selling of businesses at The Business Partnership, Alex has developed an understanding of a broad range of industries, which she thinks will stand her in good stead as she takes up her role as a mentor:

“I don’t really have a preference for the sectors I get involved with. Over the last 8 years in The Business Partnership I’ve come across everything from internet retailers to beekeeping companies and high street shops to huge industrial operations. I’d like to think that I can get to grips with most enterprises and add value there.”

And as a parent Alex also thinks that there’s something to be said for being a friendly ear when work is becoming all consuming and having an impact on the rest of your life:

“Often entrepreneurs are 100% focused on their business 24/7 because they’ve invested their time and money in it. If they have a family depending on them then this can increase the pressure even more. Obviously it depends very much on the individual’s situation – what the family setup is like, whether there is help with childcare, how old the children are – but as someone who knows what it is like to juggle kids, these are things I think it is important to be able to empathise with. Being part of that support network is a great thing to do, even if it’s just reminding business owners that sometimes they need to find time for their personal life to make it all worthwhile.”

Prior to her current role, Alex worked at Barclays for 15 years before taking time off to have her two children. She says that there were two individuals in particular who had a significant impact on her career during this period, mentoring her when she felt that she needed a friendly ear:

“At Barclays I had a colleague who steered me towards finding the right ideas when I needed them and was useful in helping me see things from another perspective. Whilst working for a publishing company from home when the kids were small, I got a great deal of support and guidance from a lady named Ros. She was always on the end of the phone when I needed a sounding board and she was full of down-to-earth advice.”

While it is early days for Alex, having only recently completed the training, she is looking forward to the challenge of mentoring new and growing small businesses. But she has already begun to see the benefits of the Get Mentoring training in her own company:

“We’ve just taken on a member of staff for the first time. It was our intention to hire a younger employee, one we could give a chance to and nurture into a successful business person in their own right. The training has helped me understand the best way to pass on guidance and how to inform people while still allowing them to think, problem solve and find answers themselves.”

Posted on by getadmin | Posted in Case Studies, Get Mentoring Monthly