Starting a business is anything but easy – especially in these uncertain economic times.
Help is at hand however, and it comes from an unlikely source; the banks.
While they seem reluctant to lend financial support at the moment (see previous blog posts on the number of loan applications being rejected out of hand), Britain’s banks have joined forces to provide a mentoring scheme for new small business owners.
Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, Santander and RBS – the five biggest banking names on the British high street – are operating the scheme which will see current and former employees volunteer as mentors.
These mentors will provide support for small businesses right across the board, offering advice on everything from marketing and PR to recruitment.
Of course, many small businesses (probably all) would prefer financial support. More specifically they would rather get a loan to help now.
So the mentoring scheme is unlikely to help you pay the bills directly but the bank’s advice could assist you to secure a loan in the future.
For those familiar with our blog, you will already be aware of our views on loans and banks, but unaware of our views on mentoring.
Just to remind you however in our opinion business owners should avoid taking loans (if at all possible) and instead should implement entrepreneurial goal setting* within their business and get all members of staff to buy into this. It is often possible to raise finance without resorting to bank lending – investigate all possibilities.
Mentoring is probably the most successful route for any business owner to grow a business but why would you want to be “mentored” by advisers favoured by the bank. Seek out experienced business people who have proven success in business. You may be surprised at the extent of the help and know how you may be given by very successful business leaders.
*Entrepreneurial Goal Setting is different from normal business planning, it is carried out by the business owners and related to their personal and business and corporate goals. It should be the main “driver” for growth for the business.