Each Week I complete business mentoring with new start up small businesses through the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) #ownBossNEA. Thursdays are always the day I look forward to in my diary.
The day starts at 8.30 to be prepared for the first of my eight meetings, and should the day run smoothly I should be finished by 17.00. I am seeing each new entrepreneur in one hour weekly slots over the course of an eight week period, in order to get them prepared for self employment and give them the skills to write a comprehensive business plan and 12 month cash-flow forecast as part of the requirements of the NEA scheme.
I am always surprised to see so many new faces, that are often eager to get started and have a burning ambition to be their own boss and take control of their own destiny.
Small Business Growth
Apart from the requirements of the NEA Scheme I also pay special attention to how they will give their small business growth, how will they deal with sales – that word sales gives so many the feeling of dread – yet without it a business will not survive or grow.
I actively mentor and coach each mentee through an individual sales process, how to define their target client base, how to approach them, and how to deal with asking for the money, and what to do if someone doesn't pay.
I guide them about dealing with too many enquiries at once, and how to make sure you always treat your customers fairly, and of course how to cope with cash flow the main stay of any business.
Types of business
Over the last three years that I have been involved with this scheme I have mentored plenty of builders, plasterers, plumbers, cleaners, sales agents, and e-commerce based businesses. Some of the more interesting cases have been management consultants, furniture makers, upholsterers, clock makers/repairs and even a cigar box guitar manufacturer. However, not all of the individuals I see finish with the same business idea they started with.
The one thing that stands out about them all is the determined nature to succeed no matter what happens next, and I wish them all good luck and prosperity.