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How confidential are my sessions with a Mentor?
Completely confidential. To be of benefit the mentoring will touch on very confidential and sometimes personal issues. It is therefore essential that these aspects are kept between you and the Mentor. Please see our Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.
Will changing the Mentor cost more money?
No, you pay for the number of Mentoring sessions regardless of which Mentors you use. In fact we encourage you to change mentors to ensure you get the best possible help for different areas of your business. The best mentor for you initially may focus on one area of your business, but ultimately assist you in identifying another area where help from a specialist Mentor is best suited. Your Mentor can steer you towards an alternate mentor with the skills needed for any areas identified.
If my original Mentor cannot provide all the assistance I need is another Mentor able to assist?
Yes. Your original Mentor will quickly determine if you need to see another Mentor with different skills to match your particular issues. They will arrange the transfer to another Mentor. In fact we encourage you to change mentors to ensure you get the best possible help for different areas of your business. The best mentor for you initially may focus on one area of your business, but ultimately assist you in identifying another area where help from a specialist Mentor is best suited. Your Mentor can steer you towards an alternate mentor with the skills needed for any areas identified.
Is my Mentor allowed to undertake additional paid work from me in addition to the mentoring sessions?
No. Each Mentor signs a Code of Ethics when joining SBMS with one of the clauses prohibiting a Mentor from gaining any commercial benefit from their mentoring work.
However, Mentors are able to take on additional sessions and in some instances, depending on need, can offer extended mentoring where they assist in doing rather than advising. In these instances the mentor will discuss the scope and limitations of what can be offered with you .
Are there any business tools that can help me?
There are a number of standard business tools such as business and marketing plans that you can download. Go to the Free Resources tab. Keep in mind these resources are designed to be used in conjunction with a mentor and this is the best way to gain the full benefit of any resources and templates on offer. Your Mentor will also provide a range of specific tools, templates and checklists to assist you with your business.
What time of day are Mentors available?
Generally Mentors operate during business hours and not in the evenings or weekends.
How long a gap is there between sessions?
There is no set period. It will depend on several factors and your Mentor will help you assess the ideal date for your next meeting. It may be as short as a week or can be a month or more. It is not however a good idea to let too much time elapse otherwise the momentum can be lost.
Will I have a record of my mentoring sessions?
Yes. After each session your Mentor will write a brief report covering the important issues discussed and list the Action Items to be carried out. This report will be emailed top you and is the starting point for your next meeting.
Who should attend the mentoring sessions from my business?
We strongly recommend all joint owners are present (as a minimum) for the first session at least to ensure the process starts off without any misunderstandings. There is no reason to restrict asking employees to join sessions if this suits the issues under discussion but this should be kept to one or two only otherwise it becomes difficult to remain focused on any key issues at hand.
What sort of activities would Action Items cover?
Action Items are not onerous but will assist you in clarifying issues and gaining more insight into your business. They will relate to the progress needed to build your business or resolve problems and will cover all aspects of any issues being discussed.
What is my involvement in the mentoring process?
Research has shown that learning occurs when people listen, take notes and then are given a task to apply this learning. At the conclusion of each mentoring session you and your Mentor will agree a set of 2-5 actions you will need to carry out as part of the process of building your business and addressing issues. These Action Items will be reviewed and refined during the course of the mentoring process.
What topics are covered during my mentoring sessions?
This depends on your specific problems or challenges. Some clients need immediate advice to remain in business whilst others need more strategic long term support. Our Clients have a wide diversity of questions and issues and our Mentors are chosen for their broad range of skills and ability to apply practical solutions.
How many times do I see the Mentor?
That is up to you. We recommend a minimum of four sessions with each session lasting about 1-1.5 hours. Typically the first session is finding out about your business or proposed business and the remaining sessions are devoted to setting simple action points to work on.
Do I need to do any preparation prior to the first mentoring session?
The more information you can give your Mentor at the first session the better, as this will speed up the time taken to understand your business and issues. Some of the subjects your Mentor will be interested to learn about will include your financial position, your vision and ideas, any challenges and any opportunities you face and an overview of your industry and what your service or product is.
We suggest you download and complete our Pre-Meeting Diagnostic form as this document will give the mentor all the information they need to be able to assist you.
Do I have to have a Business Plan prior to the first mentoring session?
There is no doubt that a Business Plan is helpful but many small businesses don’t have one and this will not be a hindrance in seeing a Mentor. If you have a Business Plan your Mentor should get a copy ideally prior to the first meeting. Downloading our Business Plan template and understanding topics it covers can help your discussions with your Mentor about creating a vision and strategies for your Business Plan.
Does the Mentoring program follow a standard format?
Every Client has differing issues and the role of the Mentor is to work with you to address and help solve those issues. This requires concentrating on the issues not on any pre-determined standard format.
What happens after I have decided to see a Mentor and made the booking?
Assuming payment has been made by credit card, your Mentor should be in contact with you within 3 business days. If paying by Direct Bank Deposit you should allow a further 3 to 4 business days for the deposit to be cleared and the booking to be confirmed so your Mentor can contact you.