One of the founders of Business Mentors New Zealand, the only national, volunteer business mentoring organisation, told its 21st anniversary AGM that the owners of most small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country were simply not ‘match fit’.
Dr Grahame Craig, chairman of trustees, Business Mentors New Zealand told the milestone AGM, hosted by ASB Bank at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland, last night (16th October): `You can’t get up close and personal with tens of thousands of SME’s and their owners, plus generate hundreds of case study write-ups, without gaining a very powerful and unique insight into them.
‘The essence of that insight is that the vast majority of SME owners do not have Business 1.01. Worse still, they don’t even see the need for it. Even worse again, for 80% of them, their stated problems are not their real problems, or at best, only a small subset of them.’
Business Mentors New Zealand helps around 250 businesses every month and has assisted more than 60,000 small to medium-size enterprise owners in New Zealand over the last 21 years.
Dr Craig told the meeting: `Over the 21 years of our history I believe we have clearly shown that business mentoring has a significant role to play in the health of any economy. New Zealanders make very good mentors. Friendliness and the values of “putting something back”, fairness and giving someone a hand up, resonate well with most of us. We have accumulated significant “grassroots” knowledge of small businesses and their owners –what their strengths, weaknesses and needs really are (as opposed to what they say they are).’
Dr Craig added: ‘We have found that effective mentoring inevitably requires the mentor to address the owner as well as the business. Any business is only as good as its owner. This means addressing the business owner’s mindset and skillset. Business is a rough and tumble game. You can get hurt playing it as we know. Yet we find, over and over again, that far too many business owners are not only not match fit – they don’t even consider it as relevant to them.’
Through the work of over 1,864 independent volunteer business mentors BMNZ enables people with recognised skills and success to put something back into their own communities. Business Mentors New Zealand provides access to a wide variety of volunteer mentors (who give their experience, skill and knowledge free of charge). The focus of the organisation is on developing capability, profitability, and employment generation. Business Mentors New Zealand is funded largely by patrons from the private sector, with additional support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. It provides a mentoring service to any businesses that are trading with evidence of accounts.
There is no limit on the number of mentoring sessions. The $150 registration fee allows mentoring for up to two years. The term of the relationship with a mentor depends on the objectives and goals both client and mentor jointly agrees upon. They can also contact their co-ordinator at any point for further assistance.
For more information about Business Mentors New Zealand please visit www.businessmentors.org.nz
Dr Grahame Craig, Business Mentors- 0275 108 646 or 07 866 8628