Mentorship and external advice is something advice businesses can sometimes overlook, but according to one business owner, it can be extremely valuable for growth, knowledge and customer engagement.
Camilla Gribble, founder of KiwiSaver and insurance advice firm IKONIK says having a mentor is vital for every business, no matter its size, and says her firm would not have gotten to where it is today had it not been for the external expertise it received along the way.
“Regardless of whether you are a one-man band or a medium-large adviser business, I think everyone needs to have a mentor,” Gribble said.
“If you are a one-man band you need to have at least one mentor, and the bigger your business is, the more mentors you’ll need.”
“Mentors are the people that should be keeping you accountable, and helping you with the growth, development and structure of your business,” she explained. “They’re the people who are not living, breathing and working in your business every day, so they’ll come with a new perspective and new ideas.”
Gribble says seeking consumer feedback is also important, as well as asking external experts to review your documentation and processes. She says seeking this advice may not always be an attractive option for a busy one-person firm, but encourages those with limited time or resources to seek help from an entity that can help conduct regular reviews of their business.
“Consumer feedback is really important – everyone who attends our KiwiSaver workshops completes feedback surveys, and that gives you an insight into the experience on the other side,” Gribble said.
“For us, it’s also about having the reassurance of an external party checking through our advice documents, and we have annual reviews around our processes, systems and what we’re doing as a business.”
“The best thing we did was complete an analysis with an external expert,” she continued.
“That was such a good exercise for us, as we identified the things that we weren’t doing that we really needed to think about.
“If you’re thinking that you don’t have the time, energy money or resources to go down that path, then I would really encourage you to look at aligning yourself with an entity that can help you. We certainly wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t seek expert advice.”