Get Mentoring

Posted on by natalieparker

Mark Terrell has been in retail since leaving school and over the course of 28 years he has worked his way up from the shop floor to owning two convenience store franchises together with his older brother. As a member of the Forum of Private Business, Mark is already an advocate for providing support to small enterprises, and it was on their website that he first came across the Get Mentoring scheme. He says,

“It was something that interested me straight away. Get Mentoring’s a great idea because no matter what line of business you go into, it’s always a bonus to have the back up and support of someone else when you are self-employed. It can be quite a lonely feeling and I certainly wish that there had been mentors on hand when we were starting out with our business. In the early days it can be hard to pull all of the information together that you need and distinguish between the things you should take on board and those that you can leave behind.”

With experience across all areas of running a company, from IT to admin and payroll to stock taking, Mark’s believes that the support of a newly trained mentor like himself can help other small businesses to find their feet despite the challenging economic climate:

“Obviously my background lends itself to helping a new business owner in the retail sector, but to a large extent the skills needed to run a company from day to day are transferable and I wouldn’t have a problem working with someone from a different industry. Taking control of your own marketing, developing a management style and handling clients and suppliers are things that established businesses take for granted but they can be daunting to start-ups. For me, mentoring is about having a sounding board and utilising someone who can see a problem or challenge in a different light.”

But Mark doesn’t just see mentoring as a one-way street. He thinks that the mentor can benefit as much from the experience as the mentee:

“To be honest I wouldn’t be as interested in taking part if I didn’t think that the scheme could also offer something to me. I always try to be open to other people’s ideas, so working closely with another individual on their business could teach me a few things in the process. It’s a real opportunity for entrepreneurs such as the members of the FPB to be hands on in their support of small businesses whilst also improving their own skill set.”

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