Mentor-net | Growth Case Study
Mentor-net helps new business startup on the right foot
Caroline Beardsley is a qualified foot health practitioner offering mobile foot treatment services to people in their own homes, or care setting, in the Portsmouth area.
After qualifying in 2016 from the Stonebridge College in Bude (with the support of a good friend), Caroline used her own funds to purchase the equipment she needed to start her own mobile foot treatment business, Foot Soother.
Alongside running Foot Soother, Caroline continues to work as a health care support worker.
From her experience of working in the care industry for 20 years, Caroline has excellent people skills which enable her to put people at ease and tailor her services to meet the diverse needs of a wide range of customers, including the elderly, those with mental health issues and those affected by diabetes.
She takes time to talk to her customers and provide a caring, comforting and professional service.
In the dark
However, having never run a business before, Caroline was aware that entrepreneurs like herself often feel ‘in the dark a bit’.
When she saw the Business Support Bank advertised in the Portsmouth City Council’s Flagship magazine, she thought it would be great if she could be put in touch with an understanding business person who could be a business friend and also give her some advice.
So Caroline contacted Shaping Portsmouth and said she was interested in applying for a mentor through the Business Support Bank.
The Support Bank is run by WSX Enterprise’s Mentor-net, who introduced Caroline to one of their mentors, Jay Wood.
First of all, Caroline and Jay spoke over the phone, before meeting up.
Since then, Jay has helped Caroline with advice on marketing her business, securing new customers and winning repeat business.
Jay and her colleague, Amy, have also helped with advice on developing her brand, running promotions, setting up a blog, placing adverts in the right places and positioning her business in the right place in the market.
But most of all, Caroline says Jay has helped her to build her confidence by simply believing in her and her business plans, and being genuinely interested and keen to help.
Caroline found the process to access the Business Support Bank ‘easy and very straightforward’.
Jay was described by Caroline as: ‘Fantastic! One of the best people I have met’.
She commented further that: ’My mentor is very approachable and happy to help me in any way she can.
I would recommend other businesses to use the Portsmouth Business Support Bank & Mentor-net’.
Our team of volunteer business mentors, who between them have a vast range of knowledge and experience in business, or mentoring services to help business owners and directors support their own development and that of their business.
With benefits ranging from better-managed businesses to increasingly confident leadership, mentoring is a very valuable and cost-effective way to develop business skills, and to address day-to-day and longer-term challenges.
Mentoring is available from WSX Enterprise through the Mentor-Net programme in Hampshire, surrounding counties and the Isle of Wight.
The service is confidential and the mentors are all volunteers keen to share their specialist business knowledge and skills.