Business Mentors

FREE Business Mentoring

Mentoring research shows that:

  • 82% of businesses that received mentoring survived their first two years in business, while only 69% of businesses that did not receive mentoring survive their first two years in business.
  • The businesses that received mentoring also increased their revenue by an average of 106% while the businesses that did not receive mentoring averaged a 14% increase in revenue.

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Mentors

 WWCF Business Mentoring Program

Welcome to our Business Mentoring Program.
This is an amazing opportunity for successful business people and growing businesses to get together and empower each other.

As a Business Owner you will have a great competitive advantage through the assistance of your successful, professional, business mentor.

The more committed you are to the process the more you will enjoy it and benefit from it

WWCFDC Business Mentorship Program

Mentoring is designed to enable others and create opportunities.  Our business mentors care about the development of our rural businesses.  Mentoring helps us to think and see things differently.  We become more open minded, effective and successful in our businesses.  The business owner must be open to change and willing to learn in order to create an exchange of ideas that will empower the business and inspire innovation.

Mentoring Program Goals

  • We strive to assist small business owners with developing their talents and skills to succeed in today’s competitive environment
  • We provide guidance and support to nurture growth and foster innovation
  • We assist with strategic planning, identifying areas of challenge and finding solutions
  • We encourage the entrepreneurial spirit through motivation and inspiration
  • We believe in the learning partnership – that mentor and business owner will both learn and grow through this process

Our Mentors will possess two key abilities:  the ability to actively listen, and the ability to counsel…to help someone see a situation from all sides, consider options and decide for themselves the best direction.  Our Mentors possess the qualities of empathy, flexibility, humour, openness and solution-based thinking. 

Our Business Owners will be people looking to grow their business, improve themselves and their knowledge base to achieve success on their own terms. Business owners will possess an attitude of lifelong learning, with a willingness and eagerness to learn, ready to grow and stretch, identify their goals, and implement the things necessary to reach those goals.  They will become more innovative, effective, efficient, creative, competitive and profitable as a result of their involvement in a Mentoring partnership.

Guiding Principles

  • Both partners (Business Owner and Mentor) are equally committed to the success of the relationship and learning outcomes.
  • Both partners will gain and grow from the experience.  Each has something to teach, and something to learn, from the other.
  • The Business Owner will be “in the driver’s seat” in terms of driving the content.  The topics for the one-on-one sessions are to be initiated by the Business Owner, based on his/her business needs, challenges and learning requirements.  It is the Business Owner’s initiative that will drive the success of the relationship and outcomes, and it is the Business Owner, not the Mentor, who is responsible and accountable for that success.

What is the Role of a Mentor?

  • A mentor is a guide or teacher
  • Mentors have several years of practical experience and business success
  • They work with a business owner to assist them in growing and developing their business
  • The mentor provides support by drawing on their own knowledge and expertise
  • They have a strong desire to make a difference and give back to the local community
  • They want to pass along some ‘lessons learned’.
  • Mentors empower and encourage other business owners in a supportive and non-judgmental way
  • Mentors are willing to donate their time, talent and abilities to help strengthen our business community
  • Mentors have a desire to learn and grow in their ability to relate and communicate with others

 

How Does Mentoring Work?

  • A business mentor facilitates the development of you and your business by sharing known resources, expertise, skills, values and proficiencies. 
  • A mentor can bring an objective perspective to business issues and aid in the decision-making process.
  • Mentoring is completely confidential and dedicated to supporting and growing your business.
  • When meeting with your mentor, have an open mind, and see how new ideas can help move your business forward.
  • Plan on meeting with your mentor on a regular basis, not just when you hit a crisis.
  • The business owner takes responsibility to initiate meetings and follow through on the ideas generated.

Who Would Benefit From A Mentor?

  • Business owners, who have a strong desire to build their business, realize goals and be successful.
  • People who are open to exploring ideas on managing challenges, optimizing their business, and planning for growth

 WWCF Mentoring Program Process:

Our business mentoring program is designed to be flexible and enjoyable for both parties.  The process to get involved is very simple:

  • A business expresses interest, and reviews our potential mentors.
  • The business owner discusses their needs and interests with the program coordinator.
  • The program coordinator finds them a mentor that seems to match their needs.
  • The selected mentor contacts the business owner to set up the initial meeting.
  • The business owner and the mentor begin to develop their relationship and work towards transforming the business.

The Meetings

  • Set well thought out goals and realistic expectations of the mentoring partnership
  • The program is flexible and works to meet the scheduling needs of the owner and the mentor.  Regular meetings, particularly in the beginning, will solidify the mentoring relationship and the growth of the business.
  • The business owner must take control of the process and be empowered to take responsibility for the business growth. 
  • The mentor may need to encourage the process as business owners often get caught in crisis management and don’t set aside time to plan and redirect.
  • The mentor asks questions, makes suggestions and redirects if necessary but the business owner will always make the final decision.
  • Listen carefully and actively and then ask good probing questions.
  • Be punctual, stay on time and commit 100% to every meeting
  • Demonstrate mutual respect and be tactfully honest
  • Recognize and acknowledge improvements, no matter how small
  • Be genuinely attentive, caring and interested
  • Be patient, success takes time.
  • Be open minded –   No attitudes of “my mind’s made up, don’t bother me with facts”.
  • Don’t try to force your values, attitudes or beliefs on each other.
  • Realize that there is more than just one answer.
  • Don’t allow sessions to be “gripe” sessions: be solution, not problem, focused.
  • Take notes you will not remember everything.
  • Realize that relationships take time, and there is a logical period of time required to adjust to each other’s styles, expectations, manner and preferred working style.  Take the time to get to know each other.

Business Owner Tips

  • Ask for help.  Don’t be shy.  Your Mentor has already said they want to help you.

  • “Be there”.  Be “in the moment”.  Turn off your cell phone and avoid interruptions.  Be completely focused on the meeting, and don’t let your thoughts wander.
  • Write down any questions, issues, challenges or perplexing problems as they come to you, to bring to your mentoring session.  Remember, “writing makes it real”, and forgetting happens fast!
  • Evaluate everything you do.

Business Mentors have all signed confidentiality agreements and respect the privacy of shared information discussed during the mentoring process.

Mentoring Partnership Goal Sheet

It is very important that the Business Owner set goals.  Clearly defined goals allow the Business Owner and the Mentor to carve out a realistic plan to achieve those goals.

It is important for you, as the Business owner, to establish some goals for you and your business to achieve as a result of the Mentoring partnership.

Your goals should should include how you will become more innovative as a result of the mentoring partnership.

 

Eligible businesses must be located in the following area(s) to apply for this mentoring program:

  • Wellington County: Puslinch Township, Town of Erin, Guelph/Eramosa Township, Centre Wellington Township, Mapleton Township
  • Waterloo Region: Wellesley Township, Woolwich Township, North Dumfries Township, Wilmot Township

Request to Get Set Up with A Mentor

Request for Mentor

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Meet our Mentors

We have a great group of experienced and successful business mentors that are interested in helping your small business thrive.  Designed to meet the time constraints of busy entrepreneurs, you can make arrangements that are beneficial and easy for both of you to work with.

Carolyn Skimson

A former CEO of Groves Hospital, Carolyn has incredible skills in organization, planning and sound business practices. She enjoys helping small businesses with their strategic planning and organization.

Ross Shantz

Ross has an extensive background in farming. He assisted his family farming operation to grow into a turkey research and breeding company which eventually encompassed 14 farms, two hatcheries and had affiliate operations in the USA, Brazil, Hungary and Ireland.  Ross then went on to co-found the Mercedes Corp. which was involved with the development of Farmers markets, Outlet malls, and long-term health care facilities. He is well versed in business development and strategic planning.

Julien R. Den Tandt PAg. (retired)

Julien held a number of senior management positions in firms that marketed products around the world.  He specialized in helping firms identify key areas that required change.  Once shortcomings were identified, action plans were then designed and implemented.  Julien enjoys sharing his management knowledge and experience with organizations that enjoy the challenge of change management.

Nick Harris

Nick is a seasoned business professional with a background in manufacturing and the service industry.  He has a diverse range of experience including business and financial analysis, strategic and tactical planning, small business development, supply chain management, business environment and competitor analysis, technical sales and management of joint venture operations and agreements.

Hopeton D’Aguilar 

Hopeton’s passion is to see businesses and individuals grow and prosper.  He has held many executive positions with larger companies as well as owning and operating two of his own local businesses: a metal processing and distribution company as well as a business consulting group focused on startup, takeover, continuous improvement and turn around.  His background includes business development, financial  management,  and accounting.

 

Areas Served: Aberfoyle, Alma, Arkell, Ariss, Ayr, Baden, Belwood, Bloomingdale, Brisbane, Breslau, Conestogo, Drayton, Eden Mills, Elmira, Elora, Ennotville, Erin, Everton, Fergus, Floradale, Glen Allen, Hawkesville, Heidelberg, Hillsburgh, Inverhaugh, Linwood, Mannheim, Marden, Maryhill, Moorefield, Morriston, New Hamburg, North Dumfries, Orton, Ospringe, Petersburg, Philipsburg, Ponsonby, Rockwood, Rothsay, Salem, St. Agatha, St. Clements, St. Jacobs, Teviotdale, Wallenstein, Wellesley, West Montrose, Wilmot and Winterbourne, Ontario Canada