Business mentoring – mentorsme.co.uk

13 07 2012

horsesmouth are thrilled to be partnering with mentorsme.co.uk, a collaborative online resource for UK small and medium-sized enterprises seeking mentoring.

The aim of mentorsme.co.uk is to provide those seeking business mentoring easy access to all existing mentoring organisations and networks under one umbrella. The site is free to use and offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain. The goal is to help businesses find a mentoring organisation to suit their needs in a fast and easy way.

For the huge stable (sorry!) of horsesmouth business and enterprise mentors, it’s a great fit.

The site also allows business professionals to get involved, and offer their services as a business mentor via the mentoring organisations listed. Aspiring mentors may want to work in a particular area of Britain and have a particular area of expertise to offer. The site has a directory which allows them to locate mentoring organisations that are the closest match to their profile.

mentorsme.co.uk also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of business mentoring through its library of online resources, which includes articles about mentoring and case studies of successful business mentoring relationships.

Have a look at this mentorsme.co.uk clip showing how having access to an experienced mentor in the early days of a business can be the key to success for a new company.

Find a mentor on mentorsme.co.uk here.

Sign up to become a mentorsme.co.uk mentor here.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mentor Mondays.

16 04 2012

As we regularly do on Mentor Mondays, we’d like to share some of our newest mentors who have signed up. These are just a few of the people who have signed up to volunteer their time to mentor with us in the last couple of weeks; great new mentors that we’d like to get out there so the good work can begin! Why not get in there today and drop them a line?

First up, StartUpBuddy – a web entrepreneur with a successful online business, he is experienced in e-commerce, SEO and pay per click. He describes himself as, ‘a little obsessed with entrepreneurship and can’t wait to start a new business’. Maybe he could advise you on how to turn your business idea into reality, or help push your existing business to the next  level?

Seagull54 has 35 years or varied business experience, from senior menagement in multinationals through to directorships of medium sized companies. (£50-100m turnover.) Not only that, but he is a qualified practitioner coach and a Master Practitioner of NLP, Hypnotherapy and timeline therapy. His reason for mentoring? ‘At the age of 57 it is important for me to help people and to make a positive contribution to society.’

mentorBrove is someone we could all use from time to time – the IT guy! With 22 years of experience working in IT with public sector clients, he could be a great mentor to advise on your charity or social enterprise IT requirements. He says, ‘I have enjoyed helping many different clients get the best out of their IT services by ensuring that they understand and meet their business needs.’
And finally, DanniLou95 – a new young mentor, she describes herself as, ‘just your normal 16 year old girl who has been through the typical problems you face through your teenage years!’ She’s offering to share her experience and advise on essential teenaged issues such as friends, school life, exams and young love. Who didn’t need someone to talk to when they were a teenager?
Sign up to become a horsesmouth mentor today! It’s free, anonymous, easy and safe. Let someone else benefit from the lessons you’ve learned and share your wisdom.




Mentor Mondays.

2 04 2012

For today’s Mentor Monday, we want to share three exceptional new mentor profiles, all of whom have all signed up within the last week. Their common message is that they want to use the experience they’ve gained to help someone else: basically the central mission of horsesmouth!

First up: Edge is a successful entrepreneur in the financial sector, with top level experience at The Ford Motor Company, as well as being a published author of both business guides and novels. Impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree!

Of mentoring he says, ‘If I had known the things I know now when I was starting out my life would have been a lot easier and more profitable. We all learn by experience and in truth there is no shortcut. However, I believe that having an experienced person who can advise you and guide you as you go along is invaluable. In my career I have had many triumphs and I have also made my fair share of mistakes, some of which have been costly. As an experienced entrepreneur I should like to try and help others who are starting out avoid some of the business pitfalls that await them. ‘

Fiend85 is 26, and has an abundance of experience, both professional and personal. An engineer, she wants to mentor more women and young people to enter the field, saying, ‘I feel like because I had to work so hard to enter a career in engineering after almost failing my A-levels I could offer a lot of advice and support.’

Bereaved of her mother at a young age, she also wants to mentor others going through the same. ‘Grief and bereavement don’t have rules, they’re frightening and confusing for young people. They don’t know that as well as being sad or angry, they can experience panic attacks, paranoia, nightmares. They could be plunged into serious depressions and feel like self harming or ending their own lives. I want to be there to help them find their way through. Remind them that if they keep going they’ll be ok.’

She also dealt with realising she was gay in her teens, and says, ‘I’d like to help people understand that they were born the way they are, that it’s not their fault, and they don’t need curing.’ A wealth of useful experience just waiting to be tapped into.

Finally, Passioncoach is 53, a mother, accomplished in business strategy and development across global markets, including emerging markets. Of her achievements she says, ‘Early on I discovered that the only limit we have is the one we fix for ourself. I decided that my playing field will have no boundaries.’

So what are you waiting for, get them while they’re hot! These mentors have all signed up within the last week; why not make contact today? You could start the ball rolling on a great mentoring relationship…





Mentor Mondays.

20 02 2012

For today’s mentor mondays, I wanted to introduce you to some of the most active mentors on horsesmouth. We have a system called the m-factor, where mentors get rated for their response, on factors such as timeliness, speediness and usefulness. 

A mentor’s m-factor is also a good way of showing whether a mentor is really active.

Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story, and it’s certainly not a competition, but I thought you might be interested to meet just a few of our high-scoring m-factor scoring mentors. They come from a great range of backgrounds, experience and specialisms.

Jason is one of our Business & Enterprise mentors, and has an m-factor of 1353.  ‘I’m a Northerner living in the South of England, currently the CEO of a UK based Internet business and used to the Managing Director of a global company. I have a degree in Philosophy, and I started working properly at 26 after having travelled widely (scholarship to the US, Kibbutz, worked at Disney World in Florida and even as a Holiday rep in Greece). I am passionate about the potential of the web to connect people, fuel debate, generate ideas and make us feel bigger rather than smaller.’

Diamond is also a Business & Enterprise mentor.  She is 45 and has an m-factor of 1815. ‘I’ve done most things the wrong way round! Left school at 16 to dance & set up my own ventures – a business, a social enterprise & a charity. I am a serial entrepreneur myself having established 5 businesses and helped others with theirs. I mentor start ups, small businesses and artists and specialise in issues such as self employment/freelancing, being creative & innovative, moving from being a one-person-band to taking on staff, not-for-profits & charitable aims and objectives, enjoying your work and achieving your dreams.’

DramMan is 63, and both a fifty forward and Business & Enterprise mentor. His m-factor is 1757. ‘Father of two grown up children, having spent 30 years travelling internationally marketing scotch whisky and other products, now semi retired and pursuing various interests, including paid consultancy and voluntary assignments. I hope that Horsesmouth may be another means of sharing my life experience, while still learning from others’ expertise.’

Antoinetta is also a Business & Enterprise mentor. (They’re an industrious lot!) She’s 49, and has an m-factor of 6135. ‘Married for 24 years with a 23 year old daughter who’s been through uni and now in her first job, and a 20 year old son who’s just finished A’Levels and hopefully about to go to university. Co-founder of our business, I’ve had a variety of roles from administration to interior decorating, working with children and really most importantly raising my own two fantastic kids. I’ve held a variety of business roles for over twenty years. For the last thirteen I have been joint director of a successful Managed Learning Services Provider. We provide large corporates, smaller companies and individuals with first class advice on specific training requirements.’ As well as business, Antoinetta mentors on relationships, parenting, bereavement, self-esteem and confidence.

Alan is both a fifty forward and a Business & Enterprise mentor. He’s 62 and has an m-factor of 2565. ‘I am 61-years-old & feel 35! I was educated to PhD level (I will finish it one day) & have spent the past 25 years in senior management positions internationally – USA, Australia, Bahrain, Russia, Dubai, India – in banking software. I now have my own company based in Dubai & India, specialising in developing cost-effective solutions for European SME’s. I have a wife & 18-year-old son who returned to the UK three years ago so that my son could pursue his dream of becoming a footballer (he’s promised me 50% of his salary!). I have had a great life & it is getting better all the time as I continue to grow as an individual. One of my passions is personal growth in people. We have set up a mentoring process in my business & I love to see people rise to challenges & become ‘bigger’ characters.’

Artemis mentors via our partnership with Women’s. Aid. She is 49, and has an m-factor of 2950. ‘I am a working, divorced mother of three and have just qualified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. My eldest child was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic several years ago. I have experience in the issues this raises and can empathise greatly with anyone either suffering from this condition or with relatives trying to deal with it. My family background growing up was difficult and in my teens I suffered from anorexia. I recovered fully, but understand also the issues surrounding eating disorders. My first marriage ended due to my ex-husband’s violence and control, and I received assistance from Womens Aid in escaping this marriage. Therefore, domestic violence is an area I feel able to offer support and practical advice on, as well as relationships, anxiety, building self-esteem, life-coaching and family related issues.’

blankcanvas is a business and enterprise mentor. He is 39, and has an m-factor of 2049. ‘I am passionate about helping people and in my career to date I have helped many people excel in their goals at work and in their personal life. I am a qualified Life Coach with my own business in coaching. I want to help more small businesses in 2012 with start up questions, people management issues and process improvement requests. I have worked within the recruitment and selection environments as a Recruiting Manager so can give help and advice on CV content, interview skills and techniques and how to improve your chances in your next career move.’

If I’ve missed you out and you’d like to be featured on the blog, comment below with your screen-name!





Mentor Mondays – Social Media Week 2012.

13 02 2012

It’s Social Media Week. Love it or hate it, social media has changed how we communicate. It’s now essential for businesses and organisations to have a social media presence: not only to listen to what people are saying about them, but as an invaluable way of communicating first-hand with target customers or audience.

Of course, it’s not quite as easy as sending out a few sales tweets, or keeping your Facebook page updated. For social media to really make a difference to your business, it needs to be managed correctly, with strategy aligned to business objectives. And, once you’ve got your social media channels working effectively, you then need to know how to develop the online community you’ve built.

Luckily for you, we have a wealth of social media experts on horsesmouth who are looking to share their knowledge and skills – from bloggers to strategists, ecampaigners to community managers.

First of all, meet our mentor Toppage. She defined and implemented social media policy and strategy for Channel 4. If you work in the creative industries, her experience could be valuable in learning how to shape your social media strategy.

Next up is MediaGeek. This mentor is a web entrepreneur and founder of a well-known blog publishing network. As she says, ‘It’s easy when you know how! But not everyone has spent as much time staring at the internet as me, which is why I’ve spent many years offering training, help and advice wherever and whenever I can.’

NedLudd was an early pioneer in using the web for social change. He created an award winning website and is now working on an online space for young people to make their ideas a reality. Of social networking he says, ‘One of the greatest potentials opened up by digital communications is collaboration, peer production and sharing. The long tail of mentoring is a key part of this.’

IanM is a blogger and could advise you on any blogging platform issues. Another blogger is DaveBriggs, a social media expert also experienced in putting together online communities: bringing people together to learn from each other and communicate better. Another mentor experienced in community management and moderation is Becnavich, who says, ‘If you’re thinking of starting up an online community, I may be able to help you out with tips for engaging people, good moderation practices, etc.’

Last but not least, meet Madam_J, a mentor via our partnership with 4Talent and a consultant and lecturer in social media strategy.

Of course, with 27,000 fully registered mentors on horsesmouth, these are just a selection of those specialising in social networking and media. Search using specific terms on our hompage to find filtered results to match exactly what you’re looking for. Also, follow hashtag #SMW12 on Twitter, to keep up to date with the latest Social Media Week news from around the world as the week progresses.





Mentor Mondays.

23 01 2012

As you might expect from an online social networking space, we have some  seriously switched on social media mentors and leaders in the digital field among our 27,000 registered mentors. So, for today’s Mentor Mondays, we’d like to introduce you to a couple of them. Today’s featured have got some serious digital and entrepreneurial experience behind them.

Meet MediaGeek, a newly registered mentor. (A good time to approach, if you are looking to forge a mentor relationship!) In her own words:

‘I am a journalist, blogger, geek and web entrepreneur. I am currently director of Miramus, a digital media company that helps brands to win at the internet.’

‘I’m probably best known as the founder of Shiny Media, the UK’s biggest and most successful blog network. The company took £1m investment in 2005 when I was 26. As editorial director, I launched more than 30 blogs in the fashion, technology, games, lifestyle and sport sectors. Back in 2008 I was voted one of London’s 1000 most influential people by the Evening Standard.’

‘As a tech journalist, I have written for all the broadsheets and most of the tabloids as well as countless lifestyle and tech magazines.’

‘Often it’s just a change of mindset that can give you the right balance for running a business and having a happy home life. It’s not about having it all – it’s about working out what you want to have (and then creating steps to get there).’

Start ups, entrepreneurs and funding

‘I’ve been through quite a lot when it comes to setting up businesses, working with investors and thinking of myself as an ‘entrepreneur’. There have been many lessons along the way that I’d happily share!’

Social media, blogging and the internet

‘It’s easy when you know how! But not everyone has spent as much time staring at the internet as me, which is why I’ve spent many years offering training, help and advice wherever and whenever I can.’

Why mentor on horsesmouth?

‘Having had the benefit of many brilliant mentors over the years, I know how important a friendly ear and some good advice can be. Everyone should have at least one mentor!’

Next up, meet DigitalExpat, who has got a wealth of digital and online experience under his belt.

‘I’ve had a career that spans 22 years with over 15 years of successful digital industry innovation and delivery. I am a successful entrepreneur and experienced senior digital industry leader. I have worked with the UK Government, digital agencies in the U.S. and U.K. and numerous major brands and award-winning teams.’

‘I have managed several hundred digital projects across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Australia.’

‘Having worked with clients like Directgov, BBC Worldwide, Microsoft, HP, Lonely Planet, Lloyds TSB, Lovefilm and others, and with Channel 4 to develop the award-winning video-on-demand player, 4oD, I have a long history of working at the vanguard of technical and digital innovation.’ I’m currently a Director at Cimex Media in London.’

Digital

‘I have worked in digital for over 15 years, starting from the very beginning when basic HTML tags provided the sum total of defining the experience. I’ve worked with SME and Enterprise clients across a range of sectors that includes Automotive, Education, FMCG, Financial services, Government, Healthcare, Media & Entertainment, Technology, and Travel.’

‘I’ve provided strategic and operational consulting to clients and have an excellent understanding of the roles of design and technology in the digital space. I have managed hundreds of digital projects and teams with an exemplary success rate in delivery.’

‘Throughout my career I have worked with many award winning teams on projects across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Australia. I have developed digital and marketing strategy, operational plans and process, managed cross-functional teams and been responsible for the P&L. I’m experienced in business development and developing customer-focussed strategies.’

Customer insight & product design

‘Starting 15 years ago I worked with clients to understand requirements and develop functional designs to address their digital needs. I developed excellent experience over that time in defining customer driven strategies to developing digital products.’

‘For five years I ran one of the top customer experience agencies in London. I worked with the team in developing an integrated practice that included research and design that was flexible enough to meet the needs of our very successful client base.’

‘I have continued to pioneer the use of customer insight and good user-centred design practices within digital product design for a range of customers – including recent time spent working for the UK Government.’

Entrepreneur

‘Throughout my long career – 22 years in both telecoms and digital – I have had an entrepreneurial streak. Whether it was working for start-ups or starting my own agency, I’ve developed a track record of participating in interesting ventures.’

‘I think my experience is best focussed in the set-up and early days of a venture, where there is a tremendous amount of energy around having an idea and building something around it. This energy and experience has resulted in starting and running two successful agencies and joining others as a senior level member of the team.’

‘The idea is not enough. Entrepreneurs need to be good at developing relationships, building paths to market, developing an excellent product and do something that they are passionate about. I think that without that passion it can be very difficult to get through the hard moments that will inevitably occur in any start-up operation.’

Why mentor on horsesmouth?

‘I’m passionate about the things that I do. Passion drives me to learn things that I need to know and to develop relationships that not only help me to find success but that are genuine and lasting. In my youth I learned a strong work ethic where I was encouraged to try new things and allowed the space to succeed or fail. I have always tried to apply a strong set of ethics to everything that I attempt. While I find success motivating, I find solving challenges and learning new things the real motivation that drives me forward. I believe you have to allow for the possibility of failure – and the subsequent learning – in order to appreciate any success you achieve.’





Mentor Mondays

16 01 2012

Following on from last week’s post about getting inspired and starting a business, now seems a good time to introduce some of the highly accomplished and experienced business mentors currently active on the site.

First of all, meet Jackmanian, a mentor with ‘entrepreneurial business experience extending over 30 years on three continents’. He is offering to contribute ‘innovative thought and creative services delivery to help businesses continue to thrive and grow’ and ‘help other business leaders find the inner strength, skills and determination to meet the challenges of business leadership’. If you are planning the next steps to move your business forward, he could be the perfect mentor to help your business reach the next level of growth.

Is there anything more invaluable than learning from others’ mistakes? Meet toastedbun. He has experience at director and manager level in several SMEs as well as starting several businesses up from scratch. Especially good with company registrations, VAT, accounting, sales and marketing, he mentors ‘in order to help others avoid the pain and cost of making the same mistakes I made, but also to help show people where the right processes and procedures can make life easier for a start up business’. A generous offer, and one it would be foolish not to take!

Last but certainly not least — this buzzy new mentor has a real entrepreneurial spirit, excelling at setting up small businesses, from starting a hypnotherapy centre to producing a show at The London Palladium. Her positivity and can-do attitude positively leap from her profile. Read more about Lizzyp44 here.

As always, get in quick with your requests to these mentors – they may not always be available to respond to your request, butone of or 27,000 registered mentors is sure to be. Happy Mentor Monday!