FAQs – Is it for You?

Would a Dormen Business Mentor be right for you and your business?

To find out more about what it's like to work with a mentor, please see some of our video case studies and also this guidance document 'Working with a Dormen mentor'.

There are also a number of questions you can ask yourself about your business and issues concerning its development that will help you to decide whether a Dormen business mentor would be the right type of support for you and your business.

Business Needs

Q. Are you are planning or just starting a new business (less than 6 months trading)?

A. It may be a little early to start working with a mentor, who can usually add most value when a business is already up and trading. If you are looking for business start-up training, two-day courses are available in Dorset provided by WSX Enterprise (www.wsxenterprise.co.uk/new-in-business or 01202 607541). However, it may be that you are developing a new strand to an existing business, one that requires new skills and knowledge. Please get in touch and we can clarify when would be the best time to request a mentor. 

Q. Do you have a problem that needs advice or information, including specialist help or an area of regulation or contact details for organisations?

A. The best solution is an organisation providing professional business advice, such as a business adviser or consultant. For our existing clients their mentors will help to highlight when specialist help is required. An example might be where an HR professional or a Solicitor in respect of a point of law should be consulted.

Q. Do you have a problem that needs urgent support?

A. Mentoring is rarely appropriate in such cases as it is a medium to long-term exercise, not a quick fix. Again the best option is probably to contact a professional business adviser.

Q. Are you struggling with questions over the direction and future of your business and could do with a high quality sounding board?

A. Mentoring is likely to be the solution for you.

Q. Are you facing difficult decisions in connection with your business and could do with someone knowledgeable and experienced to talk them through with?

A. Mentoring could be the solution for you.

Your Needs

Q. Would you be happy to work closely with another person on the detail of your business?

A. If the answer is yes, then mentoring might be the right support for you and your business needs.

Q. Are you looking for quick solutions?

A. By its very nature, mentoring tends to be a medium to long-term exercise, not a quick fix. You would probably be better off with a paid consultant.

Q. Are you prepared to make the time for meetings with a mentor?

A. Typically, most clients and mentors meet for about one and a half to two hours every four weeks – perhaps even more frequently to start with, depending on the needs of your business. If you cannot commit the time to this, it's probably best not to start in the first place. However, it is worth bearing in mind that your mentor can assist with time management, breaking things down to be achievable, and that you will find that by making the time you will reap the benefits.

Q. Can you cope with things you may not want to hear? Because they are impartial, mentors may help you to discover things about your business that are unexpected or challenging e.g. perhaps your favourite product or service is not profitable?

A. Although a mentor would help you prepare a plan to address such issues, if you would rather not discover them in the first place then probably mentoring is not right for you. However, it is worth remembering that your mentor is there to support and enable you, not embarass you. In fact they are there to help you flourish, and with an open mind you can grow.

Q. Are you capable of forming an action plan with someone and sticking to your side of it?

A. If the answer is yes, then mentoring might be for you.

Q. How much does Dormen mentoring cost?

A. Clients are asked to pay a one-off, non-refundable, admin charge of £200 for being linked to a mentor for up to 12 months. This is a contribution to the cost of running the Dormen service. However, we will not ask you to pay until you have met your mentor and are happy to proceed. Many clients renew their mentoring arrangement at the end of the first, and subsequent, years on payment of another £200 per year.

Further Questions

If you have further questions, please contact us via www.dormen.org.uk/contact-us/.

Next: Request a Mentor