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Case study


My mentor went over and above to support my business

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How Johanne Penney’s Be the Business mentor helped her to get time back in her business, so she could focus on delivery and marketing.

CEO and founder of Amp Up Your Voice, Johanne Penney, began working with a Be the Business mentor after becoming disillusioned with other forms of business support available.

“I’ve been on quite a few programmes. Some of them are more onerous than others, and some are a competitive process. This one was very easy to access, and was individualised rather than joining a call to listen to a presentation which is helpful but not always relevant,” Johanne recalled.

“It’s the first time I’ve owned a business, so I really needed support with some of the processes, what I should be concentrating on, how to be effective and efficient. What was good about [Strive] is that a vast range of people could help, and it was categorised into business areas, so I could focus on where I needed help.”

Developing the business model

Johanne explains that her mentor helped to transform Amp Up Your Voice into the slick, professional operation she’d been wanting to build.

“He helped me to share my voice and reach my audience, and to apply for funding, too. I didn’t get any, but my mentor helped me build my business plan for that which I’ve been able to use elsewhere,” she explained.

“He also helped me to create policies, like clarifying my payment terms on invoices, so I was able to implement his help on a very practical level.”

Improving marketing and speeding up admin 

Johanne adds that her mentor’s support helped her to streamline her administrative processes, to build Amp Up Your Voice’s brand in a less time-consuming way.

“I signed up for a CRM system, and I’ve never used one before, but now I use it all the time. So now I send out a newsletter because I can do it on the CRM, and it’s not a whole process to send individual emails and makes us look more professional, too,” she explained. 

The benefits of the new system don’t stop at enhanced marketing, either: 

“The CRM system also does forecasting, so I can see what projects are coming up and their value, and the costs I’ve recovered so far. So it’s hugely helpful, and it means I’ve got time to focus on delivery rather than onerous administrative tasks,” Johanne continued.

An absolutely brilliant resource

Johanne Penney

Johanne expressed that the programme offered more benefits than she ever expected.

“I wasn’t expecting my mentor to become a friend, or to see him in person, but he came to a couple of my events and critiqued how I got my message across. He was really good at building my confidence, and to have constructive feedback from a mentor is so helpful,” she explained.

The fact he went over and above to support me and the business was just amazing

Johanne Penney

Her advice to other entrepreneurs considering the Strive programme is simple: “It’s an absolute win for you as a business owner.”

It’s a free programme and an absolutely brilliant resource to develop your business. There are a lot of programmes out there but I really got tangible benefits from this one. You don’t have to go through hoops, there are no hidden costs. It’s literally, we want to do this for you

Johanne Penney

Could mentoring help you to develop your business? Be the Business’ Strive programme offers support to ethnic minority small business owners – find out more about Strive and apply here.

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