When Helen Griffiths, owner of Rumpus Room wanted some independent fresh thinking to help her operate and develop her business successfully, she applied for a business mentor through the Business Mentors New Zealand programme run by Venture Taranaki.

Rumpus Room is Taranaki’s largest indoor play and party venue, and launched in 2012 with the mission of creating an asset for the community to use and enjoy.

“We wanted to give back to the region that had warmly welcomed us from the UK ten years ago. Its purpose is to create fun times and special memories for all who engage with the business,” Helen says. 

Helen quickly discovered the challenges of working in a hands-on 7-day a week business.

“I had no work-life balance, and my outlook on the business was initially very subjective and emotional. In the early days of business, I existed day-by-day and was close to exhaustion at times,” Helen says.

“In 2015 I entered the TSB Business Excellence awards to expose my business to audit, which was incredibly revealing yet reassuring. We walked away with a Highly Commended award in Service Industry and Brand Design, Marketing and Technology. From there I sought assistance from the Business Mentoring Programme to assist to addressing the areas identified by the Awards process.”

Helen was teamed up with an experienced mentor who was able to help her look at the bigger picture, and focus on the important and not just the urgent issues.

“My mentor helped me through making some tough choices. She had empathy and objectivity, listened and even passed the tissues on occasion. She understood the challenges and what I was going through,” says Helen.

“She gave me strength and helped me to believe in myself a bit more. Now I understand the importance of objectivity, giving myself distance from my business to allowing time to analyse what’s going on, understanding why and being more strategic and purposeful.”

“I value the time we spend together – it’s only an hour every 6 weeks.”

With her mentor’s help, Helen has been able to take control of the decisions about her business, strengthen the links between ideas and income, and better understand the business numbers, ensuring the Rumpus Room remains a fixture in Taranaki’s business community for many years to come.

Mentors are available for small to medium sized businesses, start-up businesses and community organisations. If your organisation could do with some fresh thinking, or an independent view, contact Kayleen Schoeman at Venture Taranaki to talk about a business mentor today – kayleen@venture.org.nz or call 759 5163.