Client : Jill Gordon
Name of Business: MindSafe at Work (Jill originally applied as JG Coaching but during the course of the mentoring she refocussed her business and the mentor proposed the brand name MindSafe at Work which she then adopted)
Describe your business/what you seek to deliver/the market you are targeting/serving
MindSafe at Work is unique due to the use of health and safety systems to support mental well-being in the workplace. I primarily serve employers and organisations in Northern Ireland but would like to reach further across the UK.
Current services include facilitating a Mental Well-being Risk Assessment for the workplace followed by a comprehensive report on its findings. I also support employers and senior management with developing and implementing a Mental Health Strategy. I have designed and deliver online training for managers and employees relating to mental well-being at work as well as webinars such as Managing and Controlling Stress in the Workplace.
What made you register for the NMD Business Growth programme?
I registered for the NMD Business Growth programme as I felt I was going around in circles trying to make money! I had ideas, plenty of knowledge and experience but needed guidance and direction. I also knew what I wanted to achieve but couldn’t see a way forward as there seemed to be so many obstacles in my path.
Has the programme been beneficial to your business? What aspect(s) helped you most/propelled you into action
The program has undoubtedly been beneficial to my business in many ways. Firstly the belief that what I wanted to achieve, was possible. I got so much reassurance from my mentor Linda, that there may be a real market for the service I wanted to provide. At our first meeting, she helped me put everything into perspective and create a plan.
Linda was always very honest and pragmatic in her approach which I was grateful for and exactly what I needed. I knew any suggestions she put to me came from a genuine place and I did everything we discussed to make the most of the time between sessions.
Once I had a plan laid out, Linda kept me motivated and provided constructive advice to help me move forward.
Upon reflection, I think clear direction was the aspect that helped me most. Direction from an experienced business person who had been where I was before and knew what worked.
What are the key learnings that you have taken from the programme?
I have taken a number of key learnings from the programme, some are detailed below:
- A clear plan is vital. This is something Linda helped me develop. I used to see the big picture first and pay less attention to detail. Now I take my time and consider everything before making a decision.
- It is essential when marketing services to have a good website to showcase what is on offer and who is behind it. This was an area I didn’t know enough about and wasn’t sure where to start. A few months on from finishing the programme, I have a brilliant website up and running which I can update and manage myself. Potential customers can clearly see what I offer and how it will benefit them.
- To have more belief in my own ability. I kept coming up with problems as to why I couldn’t do things, yet Linda believed in me and reminded me there is always a solution to be found. This is an element I regularly remind myself of, as without my skills and experience the business wouldn’t exist.
Has your business launched, grown or identified new areas for growth through the programme?
I launched about two months after I finished the programme, once I had all the essentials in place.
Initially I felt quite limited to what I had to offer, but was able to bounce ideas off Linda to gauge her opinion. This was particularly useful. Together we were able to identify new areas to research and develop, all of which I have taken forward. Without the programme, I most definitely wouldn’t be in the position I am now, with a business up and running. I feel applying for the programme and having Linda as my mentor gave me the right motivation, clarity and direction I needed. I just didn’t have the skills or confidence at that time to make the move I needed to.
Would you recommend the programme to other businesses?
I have already recommended the programme to other businesses. There is no doubt it helped me grow my ideas, begin to establish myself and achieve what I have so far! Linda’s support and guidance has been invaluable.
When recommending the programme I explain how useful it is to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at what you are doing. How helpful it is for someone else to take a step back and point out things you may miss because you are so involved with every aspect. I also explain why accountability, even if only for a number of weeks motivates you to get on with it. On the whole, I feel in my circumstances, the programme was successful in its purpose.