What Mentoring Means to Me
by Chief Happy, Karen Lambert
With over 30 years’ experience in marketing and more than 15 in starting and running a small business, Karen and The Happies have helped hundreds of businesses improve their marketing. Now she’s happily doing it for Boost’s Growth Mentoring Programme.
Our Chief Happy Karen Lambert has been mentoring Lancashire businesses through boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub Mentoring programme since 2019. Having had a long and fulfilling career in marketing Karen wanted to give something back and share her knowledge with others to help them in whatever way she can. This is particularly poignant now, at a time when things are really tough for small businesses.
Why did you choose to become a mentor?
I am lucky to have had a long and fulfilling career in marketing, and equally lucky to have experienced the highs and lows of running a small business. I wanted to give back and share that knowledge with other Lancashire businesses to help them in whatever way I can.
That I run a successful business means that I am seen as a peer, someone who they can share the unique experience running a business brings.
How do you make a real difference to Lancashire businesses?
By listening. When I’m mentoring, I assume nothing, I ask questions and really listen to what’s being said. And what isn’t. That way we get to the heart of any issues, challenges and opportunities, and we work together from there. As an extra experienced ‘head’, I am able to offer a different perspective, independent views, and honest advice.
What is your area of expertise and why is it an important area for business leaders to address?
My areas of expertise are marketing, branding and running a business. Many small businesses need a helping hand with their marketing. Understanding the most effective way to meet their goals – whether that’s to acquire or retain customers, raise awareness or generate enquiries – really helps a business grow.
What has been your most inspirational moment as a mentor?
Inspirational moments come from the leaders themselves. It’s definitely a two-way relationship. In every mentoring relationship I’ve had, I’ve been inspired, whether that’s with their story, the challenges they have overcome, their passion for making the world a better place, or sharing their incredible skills.
What are the key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?
I speak to many companies, and one of the challenges that comes up again and again is customer acquisition. Plot that against an ever changing landscape and that presents both challenge and opportunity.
In the last 12 months there has been an exponential shift to online / digital marketing and feeling confident to market their business on this channel is where many companies are asking for help.
As a mentor, what are your three business growth tips?
- People – hiring and retaining the right people who believe in your company’s purpose
- People – acquiring and retaining the right kind of customer
- People – surrounding yourself with good people, the right supporters, supply partners, cheerleaders and critical friends
In my opinion, it’s relationships with people that are everything to successful growth.
You can see the original interview here
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