AC Gold Energy is an electrical engineering company that has expanded into related markets including renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions since it began trading in Stirling in 2004.
Owner Alasdair Campbell is an entrepreneur who has gathered a wide range of business experience through business start-up, business growth and handling the challenges of consolidation.
Alasdair came to Business Mentoring Scotland looking for a different type of support for his business. Previous experience led Alasdair to seek a form of support where a relationship could develop, providing support in a subtle and deeper way as opposed to getting traditional business advice or hiring a consultant. Between 2012 and 2013 Alasdair met with his mentor, John Martin, in person at least once a month. John’s background is in sales and marketing, with over 26 years experience in business, working all over the globe. John also attended the business’ executive team meetings and held weekly telephone conversations with Alasdair.
Areas of identified improvement included in innovation; responsible risk taking; management methods, processes and structures, and general improvement in business attitude and confidence. Annual sales turnover for AC Gold Energy is now forecast to increase from £3m to £10m by 2015 and Alasdair attributes much of this growth to his experience with John on the Business Mentoring Scotland programme:
Why did you approach Business Mentoring Scotland?
“We had a number of issues, some seemingly small, some big and many fundamental. I knew we needed to address these to move forward successfully. The question was how to do this and business mentoring provided the perfect solution for us to change things ourselves.”
How did the mentoring relationship work?
“It took time for myself and John to find the right relationship and get in the groove together. When that happens, it is brilliant and things began to develop fast.”
What was the impact of mentoring?
“The impact of John’s mentoring on me and the business has been huge, massive. So much would not have happened without the mentoring experience.”
What other forms of assistance aided the business?
“We did not have assistance from other agencies or government. When we found the mentoring relationship working we had no reason to look further. We would like to continue with a mentor.”
Would you recommend the Business Mentoring Scotland programme to other businesses?
“I would give mentoring 10 out of 10. When the match is right, it works really well. It has changed our business thinking and released so much positive energy that is now channelled into our growth. We are confident of achieving even bigger things now.”