Speed Mentor Central - Frequently Asked QuestionsWe've put together some answers to the most frequently asked questions here. If you want to know more about the site in general, who it is aimed at, and the main features, please visit our About Us page.
Many of the questions and answers here relate to the service of finding a professional business coach or mentor for short-term support, however if your question is not answered here, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost to register with Speed Mentor Central™?
There is no charge to register as a user on the website. Much of our content and resources are free but we do ask that you register if you wish to arrange an initial free discussion or ask a question to the professional business coaches and mentors.
Why do I need to register?
Why should I use Speed Mentor Central™ to find a professional business mentor or coach?
Trying to find a business coach or mentor that matches your requirements in terms of your business, the challenges you’re facing, and which doesn’t break the bank is not an easy task. A Google search in December 2012 for “business mentor or coach” brings in around 3.92 million results. Take in to account the time you then need to visit individual websites trying to find more detailed information about them and the likely costs involved, it’s no wonder many people in business don’t get much further than the initial search.
Other difficulties you may have faced in your search for a professional mentor or coach may have included:
- Finding someone with the right industry experience, knowledge of business life cycle, and experience of particular business issues/challenges you may be facing
- Requirement to make a long-term contractual commitment e.g. 3-6 months when a shorter term solution is required
- Varying degrees of financial investment required which many small businesses and individuals simply cannot afford
Speed Mentor Central™ addresses and overcomes these difficulties saving you valuable time in your search for a business mentor or coach by providing a platform that gives you to access short-term (speed) mentoring/coaching enabling you to quickly and easily evaluate the benefits of mentoring or coaching for you and your business and deal with any immediate issues.
How do I find a professional business mentor or coach?
To locate a mentor or coach, first use the search facility with any of the criteria such as industry specific expertise, business stage, gender, price per session. Next, browse through the detailed results. If you see someone who meets your requirements you can arrange for a free initial discussion, otherwise select up to 3 mentors or coaches you would like to send a question to. If you are not already a registered user or logged in at this stage we will ask you to register or log in.
Why do I have to complete a profile?
We ask you to provide a profile which includes information about you and your business (if appropriate) as this will be sent to your selected mentors/coaches when you ask a question or when you arrange a free initial discussion. It will provide them with information about you before they answer your question or have a discussion so please make sure your profile is up-to-date. You can edit your profile at any time from your online personal dashboard.
When will I receive a response to my question?
All coaches and mentors have agreed to try to reply to questions within 3 days of receipt. Responses will be posted to your online personal dashboard and we will notify you by email when you have a response. Depending on the replies you receive, you can then select your chosen mentor/coach by using the ‘select’ button. If you are still waiting for a reply after 3 days we will endeavor to contact the mentor/coach to secure a response for you. If you have requested a free initial discussion they will contact you directly to make arrangements.
Can I send more than one question to different mentors/coaches?
We hope that our service will help you find the right mentor or coach first time, but understand that you may want to connect with more than one if you have a number of different issues you want to address that may need for example different industry experience. For that reason each registered user is permitted to ask up to 2 questions during any 3 month period (commencing at the time the first question is sent) and up to 2 initial free discussions during the same period. This will be carefully monitored and tracked online to ensure the system is not being abused.
How much does the mentoring/coaching cost?
There is no charge to use the Speed Mentor Central™ site and search for a professional business mentor or coach. All the mentors and coaches featured on the site state the cost of their average fee per session. The majority offer a free initial discussion - the arrangements for which may vary from online only or a meeting face to face. Fees payable may be negotiable and you will need to agree the actual fees payable directly with them. We believe that the majority of fees are set very competitively for short-term mentoring/coaching making this some of the most affordable professional business mentoring and coaching available.
If through the short-term sessions you find the coach or mentor is someone you wish to establish a longer-term relationship with, you will need to agree fees for this directly with them.
How are coaches and mentors vetted for suitability?
When registering on Speed Mentor Central™ all coaches and mentors are asked to agree to a set of Terms and Conditions which includes a code of practice. We collect and verify personal information and ask for confirmation that they have appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance in place.
What kind of issues can be supported by professional short term mentoring or coaching?
There are a huge number of issues that short-term professional mentoring or coaching can provide support with. If you are in paid employment or unemployed and thinking about starting a business, professional mentoring or coaching can help you with confidence issues, developing a business idea, understanding your strengths and challenging areas as an potential entrepreneur, and identifying what needs to be in place to give your new business a better chance of success.
As an established business you may benefit from working with a coach or mentor who has experience in the industry you operate in, or for example when thinking about expanding your client base, moving into international markets or securing external investment. If you feel your business is stuck in a bit of a rut and lacking direction, this is also something they can help with.
As an Executive Manager you will have key responsibilities in the areas of organisational performance and rely on highly effective leadership, decision making, and staff management skills to name but a few. Executive coaching and mentoring can support you in sharpening those skills for immediate impact as well as focusing on future goals and the necessary skills, strategies, and learning to achieve them.
These are just a few examples of how professional coaching or mentoring can help you. Whatever stage you are at, whatever the issue you are facing right now, whether as an individual, company, or executive manager, all mentors and coaches featured on this site are experienced business people and professional business mentors or coaches with a wealth of knowledge and expertise they can share with you. Together, you can improve both your own and your company’s performance and achieve your goals.
What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?
This is a question often asked and increasingly the terms are used interchangeably. You can find lost of different definitions but at the end of the day it's what works for you and your business that really matters rather than the label. If we had to identify a few differences between the two then this is how we would do it:
Coaching generally focuses on professional and personal development. It is highly practical with an emphasis on setting and achieving specific objectives and/or goals. A coach doesn’t necessarily have experience in your particular business industry, but will have a broad range of knowledge and expertise which can be used to enhance your individual skills and business performance.
Mentoring is also focused on assisting individuals and businesses achieve their goals, but the mentor is generally acknowledged as someone more experienced, and who ultimately becomes your ‘trusted advisor’ (ref. Maister, Green, Galford). Clearly this is indicative of a longer-term relationship, however short-term business mentoring can be equally effective where a short intervention from an experienced business person, perhaps with a relevant industry background, is all that is required to get things back on track. Because of their broad business experience, mentors can often help entrepreneurs and businesses look beyond the immediate and focus on wider issues that may impact further down the line.
These are fairly general definitions and the most important thing is that you find the right person to work with, whether that is a mentor or coach or indeed combination of the two, and that they give you the support you need. The search facility on Speed Mentor Central™ enables you to quickly and easily identify potential coaches or mentors based on your current needs, all of whom provide short-term coaching or mentoring solutions.
How can I register as a professional business coach or mentor?
We welcome requests to register from any professional business coaches or mentor. We ask all registrants to read and agree to a set of Terms and Conditions which also include a code of practice. To find out more, please view our Registration area.
What else is on offer on the Speed Mentor Central™ website?
We’re glad you asked that! There's plenty here to help you from interactive guides and videos to top tips and online assessments, including:
- Free downloadable guides to support you in your business, from '10 things to think about before starting a business' to 'Becoming an Employer' and 'Raising Equity Finance'.
- How a small or new business can benefit from appointing a Non-Executive Director or Investing NED for funding and skills, with successful case studies and support in finding someone suitable for your business.
- Resources to help you develop your business pitch
- A range of business tools and resources to help improve personal and business performance
- Finding skills and funding for your business, including free interactive guides to help in the decision making process
How can I contact you to make suggestions or ask a question?
If you have any suggestions for improvements to the site, such as content you might find helpful, or have questions not answered here, please do not hesitate to email us email@example.com