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Opinion: Make like an action hero – find your mentor

“Think of your favourite action hero. Chances are, they learnt their tricks from a guru, right?

If you have some growing to do – and want to defeat evil/cobras/robots on the side – all the films agree that you need to find a stern but benevolent, significantly-more-experienced-than-you individual to take you by the hand and lead you into the future.
This is also applies to anyone running a business.

The early days of any business are fairly forgiving. Winging it is perfectly natural. Expect to make many mistakes. As long as you learn from them, it’s all good.

You should be able to see what you did wrong and make the appropriate changes to the business so it doesn’t happen again.
After this process happens a few times, you’ll have a business that is on its way to becoming stable, with patterns in the business, and smooth sailing.

This is where the real problems can set in, though. Now that you have stopped reacting to minor disasters, you need to start thinking about strategy, planning for the future, growing, and taking on staff. Scary stuff!”

James Crawley is Project Manager for the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme is a consortium of North West based partners set up to deliver business growth activities across priority sectors from 2016-2021.

With a £3.85m investment of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) matched by investment by the three partner Institutions, this innovative programme brings together three key business support providers across Cheshire and Warrington to offer businesses access to a variety of services.

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