ADVOCATE COLUMN 2nd WEEK MAY 2014
Northland is blessed with its fair share of successful businesses. Many of these are well established and have operated for many years in what have often been difficult economic times. The fact that they are still here and operating is testament to the owner’s passion for what they are doing and the skills and knowledge these people possess. I think it is sometimes easy for these owners to underestimate the knowledge and skills that their long-time experience in the business world has provided them.
This is a valuable resource that if shared can benefit other businesses, build business growth and in turn provide a better business environment for their own business. Also if these people are approaching the end of their own business life, sharing their skills can help provide others the same opportunities they were fortunate enough experience.
One way to share this knowledge is through becoming a business mentor with Business Mentors New Zealand (www.businessmentors.org.nz) which provides a mentoring service to businesses that have been operating for at least six months and is the owner’s main source of income. There is a range of support and resources provided to assist mentors and some reimbursement is made in relation to any travel costs incur while mentoring.
When businesses succeed and grow the economic benefits trickle down through whole community. Every year Northland mentors help over 80 of our regions businesses. These businesses range from start up businesses requiring general assistance to well-established looking to grow and export. In typical Northland fashion many people are very self-deprecating when it come to the knowledge they have acquired through their business experience. The truth is that many of those who are seeking help through the BMNZ services just require some good commonsense support based on the mentor’s own practical business experience.
Once registered as a mentor there is no compulsion to take on any client and as the service is voluntary it is up to the mentor to decide what sort of work load the are comfortable with. We are currently seeking people Northland’s business community who would like to use their experience and skills to help others succeed with their enterprises. If you think this is something that would appeal to you then we would love the opportunity to tell you more about how you can help grow Northland’s economy.