Is Business Mentoring enough or is more help needed?

On the 27th October every year, my company, along with many other mentoring firms across the UK and now internationally, celebrate "National Mentoring Day." A day that celebrates all the wonderful things mentors are doing in business, schools, the armed forces, ex-offenders and minority groups.

Recently we hosted a number of the UKs top mentoring firms at our office at the Shard to discuss synergies, how we can do more etc... I am yet to confirm whether my comments to the group were listened to positively or went down like a lead balloon when I said "mentoring businesses is great - but to really achieve the business goals and growth of the clients you are working with - you need to do SO much more than just mentor them."

This isn't the first time I have said this - in fact I have said it on numerous podcasts and TV interviews recently.

I do know a thing or two about mentoring businesses and achieving businesses goals; - as well as mentoring clients, seeing them get frustrated and not achieving their business goals!

My company - the Rockstar Group has over 100 highly reputable mentors from around the world (but predominantly the UK) and we have mentored over 8500 businesses to date since 2007.

We have had a number of positive and exciting case studies. However, when we compared the percentage of how many great success stories we received from our clients versus how many had invested in the service, there was a disparity. - We realised we had to find out why the number was so low and fix the problem.

In short, those who achieved success just through mentoring did so because they had the capability and in house resources to take the advice and contacts given and be able to IMPLEMENT them. We took that for granted for so many years.

We vet our mentors very rigorously and I assure you they know how to build up a successful business and sell it on for vast sums - because they have all done so. Indeed, if they are sitting opposite a client and "lifting the bonnet" up on the business (or even the idea at the early stage), they will all deliver huge value in the form of advice, contacts and the "how to" steps to implement in order to set a financial goal and work with the business to achieve it.

However, if the client is told they need to invest x into this form of marketing but doesn't have the funds, or is introduced to a perfect customer but isn't a natural sales person, or the mentor is giving them tasks to achieve every month which requires time and energy but the client is "too busy" to actually implement the advice, then the whole exercise can be a useless one.

We charge for our mentors’ time so we are more inclined than anyone to make sure our clients see a return on that investment.

So a few years ago, we studied the results and realised the best way to ensure clients were getting the results they need is to not just provide the advice as to what the solutions are, but to own the solutions and be able to provide them cost effectively.

Firstly - around the mentoring itself - we built Rockstar Business World - an interactive and international mentoring platform that lets users all over the world get free advice from mentors relevant to their sector, then it's up to them if they wish to engage in 121 time with them.

We realised the systems that our clients were using weren't making it easy for clients to track their sales leads and where they were in their "sales funnel" so we built a platform called "Digital 1" that cost effectively allows them to do so.

But there is no point having a sales focused CRM platform if you don't have relevant sales leads coming into the top of the filter; so we acquired a business data business that lets us build the ideal list of perfect customers for our clients, along with a direct partnership with google which means they can manage clients PPC directly without charging any retainers. ( No middle man). We also have our own SEO content Optimisation platform - just like this platform called Rockstar Business Club where clients can write original blogs like this one and have it picked up by google and put onto page 1 across a number of key word and phrase searches.

We realised that many clients simply hate selling and aren't the best to do it for their businesses. So we began renting out our sales team to clients who would follow up and engage with all cold and warm leads coming into the top of the digital 1 filter.

All of the above are designed to turn the advice and theory from the mentors into tangible results that help achieve the goals of the business - which is growth in sales and profits.

We quickly started seeing a massive increase in results for client businesses.

Running a business is hard work, especially at the early stages, so now being able to say "here it all is for you - by all means go for it yourself, or would you like us to do it for you?" - you would be surprised how many choose the latter option! It's bigger than you think...

Recent additions to the Rockstar group has been an app development company where we provide cost effective app builds, our own Rockstar crowd fund platform to help clients raise funds on the platform and our own law firm to reduce the legal costs of our clients, our investors and of course our own business.

The best thing also about having all these resources in-house is that, when we invest in companies we never need to start from scratch - we are utilising our team straight away to grow the businesses we have backed.

This blog is not at all meant to be a plug for Rockstar. It's the story of a business that wants to always do well by its clients and has always evolved and adapted over the years by identifying the problems and creating solutions to cater for its market. Something I encourage all professional services businesses to continue to do.

Mentoring is a brilliant and fulfilling service and we are 100% behind the team who brought us National Mentoring Day - who continue to show its benefits.

There is however a saying we use a lot at Rockstar and that is "the only truth is the result" and in our experience - results come with great advice, a unique and high margin product / service to sell and then the right systems and marketing channels in place.

To your success!

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