When it comes to franchise success, often, the most difficult part of the business journey is growing the business and implementing a good team to support you. You have the concept and the proven success of the parent company, but scaling the business and putting the right people in the right place can prove to be trickier.
This is where business mentoring comes in. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have benefitted from mentoring in one form or another. One of the world’s wealthiest businesspeople, Bill Gates, credits his success, in part, to his mentor Warren Buffet.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg looked to Steve Jobs as a source of inspiration and advice. While prior to that Steve Jobs benefitted from the guidance and mentorship of one of Apple’s earliest angel investors, Mike Markkula.
Why business mentoring?
It doesn’t matter if the business mentoring relationship is formal or informal, direct or indirect. What does matter, is that you connect with someone who encourages you and challenges you to approach potential problems from a different perspective and think bigger.
They don’t teach subjects like entrepreneurship and investment in schools yet. Business owners must carve their own path of learning. Gaining access to insider knowledge shared by a mentor increases the chances of securing sustainable business development and success.
Personal and business growth
I was first introduced to Genius Group and its founder, Roger James Hamilton, in 2009 but it wasn’t until six years later that I gave his ideas a serious go and joined the Genius Group network.
During the years that I have been part of Genius Group, I have joined the Crystal Circle, an invitation-only global mentoring group, on two occasions. This group delivers the guidance tools and resources to maximize business outcomes in a 12-month exclusive program.
Prior to Roger, my business was turning over NZ$1.1m, net worth was NZ$1.6m, and cash flow from alternative investments was negative.
Six years on my business turnover is NZ$3.6m, net worth is NZ$4m, and cash flow from alternative investments match my business-related income. These figures show, quite simply, how much I have benefitted from my business mentor, and I would encourage others to use this route to grow their business.
A senior management team
When businesses get to a certain size, scaling becomes necessary but for many business owners who have invested so much time, energy and money, it can be hard to let go and hand over responsibility to others. But it is so important that this is done. Businesses can become too reliant on the owner, and this can stunt growth.
Implementing a senior management team, who can assist in areas the business owner is not so great at, helps to streamline processes, allows the business owner to realign their goals, and re-focus their attention on areas that they have a natural flair for.
Through my mentoring, I learned about talent dynamics profiling, and it helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, when my team members did the profile test too, we were then able to look at ways to improve our teamwork and increase productivity. This was a game-changer and enabled me to have the right mix of people and talent in the team.
Finding a successful entrepreneur network
One of the other benefits of joining a business mentoring community, such as Genius Group, is the ability to network with other like-minded people who can offer invaluable advice, support and comradeship. It can be lonely at the top and finding a support system, that knows and understands the challenges and hurdles you face, is invaluable.
The range of businesses that are part of Genius Group is so varied that I have experts in pretty much any field, at my fingertips, who I can message at any time for expertise in marketing, PR, social media, HR, finances, investments and even the more behind the scenes aspects of running a business, which is just as important; such as cash flow, staff retention, and company culture.
Pre-pandemic, Genius Group hosted events around the world, in places such as Bali, South Africa, China, Japan, India, Nepal and Tibet. Visiting these events allowed me to take time out of the general day-to-day running of the business, work on the overall strategy and strengthen relationships with other business owners.
Whether on a game safari in South Africa, walking the Great Wall of China, visiting the Taj Mahal in India, flying to Everest base camp, or experiencing the chanting monks in Tibetan monasteries – the experiences and learnings have been incredible.
How business mentoring could work for you
The first step to connecting with a suitable mentor is to identify a person who possesses the attributes, skills and experience that you respect and feel inspired by. Start by looking at your existing network and industry sector. You can also look sideways to other sectors – there can be lots to learn from adapting successful paths or processes and translating them to your market.
Consider investing in specialists – seeking out more structured coaching and courses takes the principles of business mentoring to the next level.
Looking at the World Economic Forum’s global goals; every business has a responsibility to give something back and pitch in to make the world better for future generations.
Whether that be through sustainability pledges, educating others or charitable work for the less fortunate, we as business owners need to be looking at the bigger picture and align our purpose to leave the world a better place.
Mentoring is a great place to start in this collaborative future – sharing visions, goals and strategies with another who has already made their way in the business world will then see the mentee become the mentor who can in turn pass on what they have learned.
The idea that we can help others along the way will lead to a more open, inclusive and compassionate world, which can be no bad thing.
Max Telford is the founder and CTO of Maxtel Software, an Auckland business primarily providing back-office solutions for McDonald’s in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands since 1986