Business Advice Testimonials

“We really appreciated (the mentor’s) constructive advice and feedback.  He pointed out areas we can improve our marketing strategy and our marketing materials, and some tips on interpreting our financials.It was a very worthwhile session.  He challenged our thinking and suggested succinct actions we can take to improve.”

P. Bettes
Clean Power Cleaning Equipment

“Thank you so much. I can’t express how encouraged and hopeful I felt after our meeting. You have an excellent ability to listen in an authentic way and to offer genuine reflective encouragement and strategic ideas.”

Dr. C. Kavelin
Kavelin Group

“I highly recommend my tutor, whose expertise, practical advice, and overall willingness to help us brought out the most out of our classes.”

A Dressy Affair

“I found (my mentor) to be engaging, helpful and very supportive of helping me to navigate any roadblocks or confusion I might have in the course of developing my business. I personally find mentoring to be a valuable resource in developing, not just the business’, but the proprietor’s skills and confidence, both of which I believe are essential for small business success.”

J. Negrin
JN Marketing

“(my mentor) was enthusiastic, helpful and informative. In the early stages of our business,the mentor helped provide and formulate a step by step process with which to structure our thinking such that we could find a suitable product market fit.”

Kinetic Vision

“(my mentor) is an approachable and caring mentor who listens carefully to his mentee and asks excellent questions to help clarify exactly what problem we are trying to solve. In our sessions, he accessed business tools from his resource library and walked me through them, showed me how to use them and make sure I understood how to apply them. Not only has he made himself available to me at short notice, he has even followed me up with a short email to check how I’m going. I would summarise him as a caring and wise mentor that has made an immeasurable difference in my life and business as evidenced by the fact that 3 years down the track my business is profitable, expanding and I’m completely fulfilled in my work knowing that when I need wise advice or someone to bounce ideas off; he’ll be there.”

J. Rutherford
Organisational Wellbeing

“During these (mentoring sessions) I was given a lot of very useful advice on business and I felt that that I returned with my confidence high after each session with him. (The mentor) went out of the way to find me a social media advertising guru to give a brief one to one specific advice which was very valuable to my business and is always there to help out when required.”

M. Nazeer
Picturesque Framing & Fine Arts

“I received an unsolicited call from (my mentor)who rang to inform me he had put my business forward to another business for my business’s publicity services … something I did prior to opening a new area in my (counselling) business that has been the focus of my mentoring sessions. Despite completing all of our mentoring sessions, he spent a further 30 minutes discussing strategies for my counselling service…… During the mentoring sessions he listened, just like a counsellor should: with empathy, connection and, of course, this leads to the inevitable outcome of care. His ability to listen and reflect allowed me the space to come up with a brilliant and key strategy to generate an important tool for me to be able to tap into (my target market). He was attentive and, despite the layers of detail, gave me unconditional-positive regard. He has given me the boost to remain focused.”

B. Beitzel
Brad Beitzel Counselling

“(Our mentor’s) flexible mentoring approach gave us tremendous support to operate our business. He helped us initially with weekly plans and a performance review…, as we felt we lacked structure in terms of our operations. He also helped us by giving us several useful templates to use straight away….. He helped us by responding flexibly to our range of issues and accommodated us exactly where we were at. He gave us strategies to help us understand the psychology of our clients’ needs and gave us insights we could not easily see in our business ourselves. I felt as if I was getting training in business without taking courses. His sessions have always been interactive because he is very good at questioning us to find what our true needs are…. He has helped us by ensuring we were clear about our vision and whether we needed to re-think our vision. I especially like the way he organized his thoughts … to develop problem/solutions… and used the whiteboard a lot to illustrate our issues. He helped us to better understand which clients showed the attributes we were looking for. I could still easily go back to my notes and use what I learned from these sessions. He helped us with our business communication … and… helped us to gain a more consistent cash flow. The mentorship provided has been crucial to our small business. He has helped us to see the “big picture” which has supported us to see the possibilities of our business rather than the challenges.”

B. Rasmussen
Bridges Multisensory Learning Centre

“What I liked about the mentoring style was that he achieves to convey complex marketing terms in a very simple way. I was a bit overwhelmed by entering a new field I had no real experience in and I perceived mentoring just to be a crutch for my bruised ego.After I had a mentor session, the complexity of the task seemed simpler.I had a plan to come back too. I felt empowered.

I benefited greatly from mentoring sessions with (my mentor). He has the ability to give one a view of the bigger picture, and not getting bogged down in the details. I felt energized to take on my project anew … it is not just the info one takes away but one feels better too!”

E. Pappenreiter

“What we really liked about our meeting with our Box Hill business advisor was the sharing of information and clarifying of our direction. He brought an objective stance – someone from outside, someone with knowledge, sitting with us and providing feedback. The customer psychology he took us through and applied to our business was enormously helpful. We have had two other mentors before, through the Small Business Mentoring Service. They were retired people who had been high up in corporations and did not have so much knowledge about small business. I found their concepts a bit difficult to understand. We got more out of meeting the Box Hill advisor, in the first session than all the times with the other two mentors. We felt so comfortable with him, as he related to us as a small business. It was brilliant and the sessions we have had have been very, very valuable… The biggest benefits we have got from our sessions are firstly direction. We were really floundering before but now we have a clear, concrete direction. We got a reality check. We found out about the traps. We gained more insight into our business, which allowed us to consolidate where we are going and where our target market really was. That is where we were heading in the wrong direction. We were at the point of saying ‘What’s the point of this? Why keep going?’ We could have folded up. We really needed someone who would give us positive feedback and say ‘you are doing OK but let’s just tweak it a bit’. We wanted someone who would walk along with us but who also made sense. Richard made us really look at ourselves and he spoke to us from a small business perspective. It reaffirmed that we are offering a good service and we have a business with prospects. We just needed to redefine some things and look at options – if you don’t do it this way, you can do it another way. The service was magnificent. To me, it was like being thrown a life buoy.”

R. Smith
NewPHASE Consultancy

Testimonials for NEIS Program

“There was a lot of support, through the mentoring and the trainers, and it was not purely academic but practical…. The Box Hill NEIS program turned out to be really great. It was very thorough, with great training and mentoring. The program was effective and practical…. The way they run the program is amazing – so professional. I wouldn’t want to do it anywhere else.”

J. Sciola
Jonno’s Car Wash

“To me, the support after the course is more important than the course itself. They really want you to succeed…. Confidence in my business is one of the biggest things I have got out of the Box Hill program. I knew I could do the job itself but the general running of the business I was not confident about. As a result my business has grown. It is an actual, solid business. I have had an offer to buy me out, so I must be making a dint. The other big plus I have got out of it is freedom…. I have recommended the Box Hill NEIS program to a few guys and told them ‘You need it. You need something behind you. It is too hard without it.”

G. Scott
Not Just Windscreens

“Before starting NEIS, I thought it would be all too hard. I had never written a business plan before and I felt overwhelmed. In the end, I found it was all relatively easy, working through the business planning process step-by-step, with people there to help me and with the support of my fellow classmates…. Unlike the other NEIS providers at their Open Days, the Box Hill people were friendly, enthusiastic and excited about what they were doing. They told me about the successes of similar businesses. They really wanted to help me and see me do well.”

A. Mallis
The Radical Grocery Store

“Before I started the Box Hill NEIS program, I was concerned that I was not good at English. I can speak OK but writing is not so good. But people were very helpful and not concerned about the English. We learned, step by step, thinking about what we have to do and putting it together bit by bit to see the whole picture. We looked at procedures, the right target and right way to do this and that…. What I got out of it was that I was more confident to narrow down what the business would do and how to do it. A bit of money was involved to set up the restaurant and the NEIS allowance really helped a lot to keep me going. Getting to know a lot of people was really important too, with Box Hill’s Network Nights, my mentor and having others at Box Hill NEIS to ring for advice.”

S. Chaochalakorn
Ratee Thai

“I learned all the basics from the running of the business side. All the teachers and mentors were extremely friendly, most helpful and encouraging. The facilities were top notch. Everything was well planned and organised. There was no trouble at all…. When I think back, there are good memories and good feelings about the whole experience.”

Images for Life Video Productions

“What I particularly liked about the Box Hill NEIS program was the fact that we were asked to put together a business plan and it had to be done within a 6 week timeframe. It forced us to get it done….. Getting a business plan was the biggest benefit for me. I wrote my goals down and I then owed it to myself to meet them. I refer back to the plan still and it gives me a wonderful sense of achievement… The Box Hill NEIS program was a big eye-opener ….. The program is excellent…. .

I learned that I was worth the money I was asking and learned to be completely up front about money. The NEIS course taught me that. ….If your business is not really viable, you need to find that out now rather than later and this is what the program makes you work through. You can be skilled at something but not have the business skills to run the business well.”

L. Vercoe
Spiral PR and Kozen Coaching

“After a year on the NEIS program, I had transferred my mindset from people who need a job to a person who think like a business owner. I had a fear to be rejected and I read motivational books. Having someone to talk to in the program was so nice. I would not get help without this program in place. The major benefits for me were ….. the education – I could not get there without it; and the mentoring – knowing that there is someone who can hold your hand during the journey and seek solutions from, if I cannot get answers.”

T. Cao
Green & Grow Coaching

Various Feedback Comments from Business Advisory Sessions – What they liked best

  • Bouncing ideas off someone and getting new ideas
  • Creating a story
  • Perceptive, interesting and logical approach
  • Made a complex issue of what people want into a very interesting and informative session
  • Helped to see the business in a new way
  • Consultant was extremely helpful in most avenues that I was concerned about
  • Direction and skills that were provided
  • Very informative
  • Consultant thought about my particular issues and gave me lots of techniques to help. I was pleased and impressed.
  • Talking to someone about my marketing issues.
  • Being provided with strategies and guidance in a clear and concise manner that was specific to my industry
  • Guiding
  • Helped me clear my mind and understand what to focus on.
  • One-on-one – can ask about a range of issues and problems
  • Having someone to discuss ideas
  • Talking about possible problems and expectations
  • The consultant listened well, gave advice, gave personal examples and suggested things. Exactly what I wanted.
  • The consultant could quickly see where I was coming from and what I wanted from the session.
  • Valuable information and insight
  • Gave me confidence I am on the right track.
  • The consultant seemed genuinely interested in my business concept; was very supportive and even rang back with further information the following day
  • Experience of the consultant and advice specific to me.
  • Opportunity to get a fresh, informed perspective.
  • Encouraging the beginners.
  • The one-on-one mentoring – the mentor can focus on your business.

Case Study

Sometimes starting a business is not the answer

A man came to us looking to start a business. He had a background in accounting and finance in management positions but had suffered a heart attack ten years ago and did not want a job that would be full time and put him under too much stress. He had little money and had been separated from his family.

The Advisor, having listened and asked a lot of questions, recommended that starting a small business from a standing start in his field would not be good for his long term health. Considering the client’s background, needs and objectives, it was suggested that he consider teaching on a casual basis in the vocational education field. The client gained the necessary teaching qualification and the Advisor assisted in making his resume more powerful. Using his contacts, the Advisor helped him through the difficult and long process of trying to find work.

The client was offered a 3 week contract to teach some business subjects, in English, in China. This contract was unusual in that people sent overseas by this organisation are required to have teaching experience. As a result of his performance, the client was offered more overseas work and, later, local work as well.