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What I love and learn from working with young entrepreneurs

For the last two years I have had the privilege of being involved in a programme supporting young entrepreneurs across Scotland.

My role throughout the programme was a Business Enabler.  An appropriate title as my responsibility was exactly that – to empower these ambitious business owners to grow their business through specialist guidance or connecting them with the right person to help.

I describe this role as a mixture of being a ‘Mum’ and a ‘Coach’.  Why?

Running or starting a business by yourself can be very challenging and often lonely.  I know this from my own experience. Sometimes you need a someone to offer direct advice or guide you to someone who can – a ‘Coach’.  But sometimes you just need a virtual hug, some reassurance or someone to listen – a ‘Mum’.

For the last two years I worked with 30 different business owners and covered a variety of sectors including Health & Beauty, Food & Drink, Jewellery Design, Accountancy, Trades and Retail.

What I loved…

  • Variety – working with and learning about a wide range of sectors
  • Passion – watching business owners ‘light up’ when they spoke about their business and where they wanted to take it
  • Pride – supporting business owners to step outside their comfort zone to make something happen are proud moments (the ‘Mum’ reference again!)
  • Journey – being part of the first 12-months in a new business and seeing the results achieved in a short period of time

What I learned…

  • Getting the right balance – it is a balancing act, and it can be difficult for business owners to recognise what they can do themselves and what they should pay someone else to do. If you do everything yourself, you have no time to build the business, and this holds you back.  However, if you buy in every service, you will quickly run out of money
  • Delegation will help – this is one of the most difficult areas for many. New business owners want control and don’t believe anyone else can deliver as they would want. This is linked to getting the balance right as you may not want to delegate to someone else or feel that you are losing control. Even if you do want to delegate, it can be hard to find the right staff or supplier
  • Commercial nous is vital – it is the passion that drives many business owners, not the financials of a business. People avoid numbers and don’t understand the value they can bring. My background is numbers and so explaining the income, costs and profitability of different products or income streams is what I do best.  Once in place, it is like a light going on. It will bring real clarity to what is going on and will support effective decision making.   

Working with a business coach on a regular basis can help you understand and improve many facets of the business but where my expertise lies in particular is around the profitability of your business.  This in turn helps you understand the balancing act and what to delegate which in turn helps you achieve success.

If you want to learn more about how I could support you on a regular basis please get in touch.