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How business mentoring helped EMM Corp's business development manager increase turnover by more than a fifth.

Ropes of different colours

Aberdeen-based EMM Corp is a rigging and lifting business, manufacturing and supplying rope to customers in the marine industry. Duncan Alexander was EMM’s business development manager  when he began being mentored by John Price in September 2012.

Having only been with the business a short time before joining the business mentoring programme, Duncan saw mentoring as an ideal way to begin making some big changes to the organisation.

Duncan’s mentor, John Price, has worked with a diverse range of industries during his 37-year career in business, including roles in the automobile industry and with different charities.

Finding solutions

Duncan says that one of the most significant areas he wanted to develop was the ability to access the necessary contacts in order to “make sales and develop the business”.

“It was nice to have someone like John, who was knowledgeable to speak with, someone who has faced the challenges we faced and found solutions that we could learn from – and we did. It was a very helpful experience.”

“It was a bit like going to speak with your dad about his experiences and trying to pick up on the learning that suits your situation today.”

Overall impact

John is clear that business mentoring contributed to the growth of EMM Corp.

“Turnover increased from £22.3 million to £25 million and is now up to £28.7 million. The doors that were previously closed are now open and we have won significant new business. John’s mentoring definitely helped to create the spike in our business performance.”

The doors that were previously closed are now open and we have won significant new business. John’s mentoring definitely helped to create the spike in our business performance.”

Duncan says that the mentoring experience was particularly helpful in making contacts that could develop the business.

“The information on marketing to networks and contacts and how to overcome barriers was important. We were able to reach the right people with key information which is an approach that works well, especially in many overseas markets.”

“Adrenaline shot”

Duncan believes business mentoring had a positive effect on the business, particularly in regards to decision-making.

“I was never short on confidence but John’s mentoring helped me to think more slowly and consider things more deeply before rushing in. This has enabled me to consider things in a less gung-ho manner and make decisions differently.

“It definitely had an effect on our business. It was a bit like getting an adrenaline shot.”

“I would consider mentoring again in my next role,” Duncan explains. “You get out as much out as you put into it, like any relationship.”

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