Are you a small business owner feeling overwhelmed from the challenging weeks of lockdowns and uncertainty?
Would you benefit from industry expertise, entrepreneurial advice, or just general support?
We are here to help.
In response to the unbelievably difficult time small businesses have been facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we here at IOEE in collaboration with UK Finance and Lloyds Banking Group, have created a free mentor support service. We understand how hard it’s been and how hard it is to plan the future of your business when life is so uncertain at the minute. So, with our mentor program you will be assigned your own personal trained mentor and be able to decide on a schedule that works best for the both of you. In addition to this, by joining the programme you will also be able to join our virtual network and have access to lots of our online resources including out COVID-19 Toolkit.
We have been able to help so many small businesses and hope to help lots more. One business owner who has joined our mentor programme is Sian Humphreys from Dogs Holidays UK. Sian’s ever-growing businesses was actually started during the pandemic in November 2020 after struggling to plan a holiday with her dog Ralph. After much difficulty trying to find accommodation that would accept dogs and then the subsequent complications of finding dog friendly beaches and pubs, Sian saw an opening in the market for a company which handled this all for you. Since starting her company in November, Sian has now got a huge following of over 5800 people on her social medias and a new website which is reeling in the clicks. From talking with Sian, she stated that over the course of her career she has been offered a plethora of mentors from different companies, but a lot of them seemed uninterested or not suited to her needs.
Upon joining the IOEE mentor programme, Sian was paired with one of our Lloyds mentors Suraj Sridhar. Suraj has been associated with IOEE for roughly a year now and in this short period of time has already helped three businesses during the pandemic. When asked why he decided to get involved in the program, Suraj stated that
“I have always wanted to use my knowledge and experience to help businesses and people directly. Although I currently do this in my role, this opportunity has allowed me to constructively influence the strategy and performance of a different segment (smaller enterprises) on a much closer level. Given that COVID-19 has adversely impacted businesses of all sizes, the chance to help during a time of need really resonated with me.”
It’s truly inspiring to see someone so committed and genuinely excited to help others with their business. Suraj expressed how he was looking forward to seeing how his advice could meaningfully impact businesses and see how his suggestions came to life.
Suraj and Sian both expressed how much they’ve enjoyed their sessions together, although there has only been four so far, they have used this time to create an extremely beneficial mentor-mentee relationship. Sian stated,
“In the grand scheme of things, we’ve only had a few conversations, but those have been enjoyable, they have been meaningful, and they have made a difference”
Through spending time learning about each other’s background and why they were in the program meant that their conversations could be tailored to the needs of Sian’s business. It can be so unbelievably useful to have someone to talk about any problems or questions you might be having in your business. Even just to have a friendly face to chat to or someone to bounce ideas off can make all the difference. You can never have enough help when running a business and Sian now says that she considers Suraj to be one of her main confidants when it comes to making big business decisions.
If you are a small business owner and think you could benefit from some extra support go to our website at http://ioee.uk/free-mentor-support/ and sign up today, we’d love to have you!
For extra information on Sian’s business find her online at @dogholidaysuk or https://dogholidaysuk.co.uk