At The Capstone Group we have a structured approach to mentoring sessions. In our view a mentor adds value in four ways:
1.A mentor provides a valuable self-discipline tool. Much like a personal trainer a mentor will facilitate and ensure goals are achieved and tasks accomplished. Having to meet with someone on a regular basis is a strong encouragement to action;
2.A mentor should cast a critical eye over the strategic direction of the business. We review the strategic documents and analyse them using methodologies developed over years spent assisting SMEs. If there is no strategic plan we assist in the preparation of one;
3.A sounding board for advice and a good listener. A good mentor knows when to listen and when to talk. Its a trust relationship that has one over-arching purpose the business success of the mentee;
4.Looking at business processes are how they are correlated. The use of a Balanced Scorecard, which started with large companies, is becoming increasingly common with many SMEs. The balanced scorecard looks at the organisation holistically and is discussed in more detail below.
As part our mentoring system we work with you to build a balanced scorecard for your organisation.
The balanced scorecard looks at 4 key perspectives rather than the traditional by profit and loss report by department.
The 4 key perspectives are
1.Financial how does the business look to our shareholders?
2.Customers what value do we need to provide to our customers to achieve financial goals?
3.Internal what internal processes need to be achieved to provide the value to customers?
4.People what skills are required to drive the internal processes to provide the required value to customers?
The scorecard then looks at goals, measures and targets for the 4 perspectives. For example for the financial perspective, the goal may be to improve cash flow. For which the measure may be to reduce average days to collect debtors.
Other areas we look at as part of our Business Mentor program include:
Without a planned program for business development your business simply cannot improve. If business is not improving it follows that it must be in decline. All businesses are dynamic and are either moving north or south. Rarely will a business remain static and just produces the result without the business owners attention and nurturing.
Business development focuses on financial capacity, cash flow, business strategy, financial forecasting and budgets, marketing strategy, staff retention, customer service, quality control, growth, skills recognition & training.
As part of our business mentor program we will conduct a health check. This will assist in diagnosing how well your business is performing, and then enable a sound, practical business plan and business development strategy to be developed.
Business strategy is all about defining how you intend to plane the game. In business and sporting endeavours a great deal of time is spent creating the business strategy. For business and teams is the winning formula that sees the business out perform their competitors and achieve the financial out comes the business is targeting.
This is really fundamental and in so many cases small business owners do not given this any consideration whatsoever. The Capstone Group has considerable knowledge and experience that enables an existing model to be very quickly evaluated as to whether or not it is viable, can be improved, or simply is too time consuming with little or no reward.