What happens when budding entrepreneurs take a drive in a Spark electric vehicle with Dr Michelle Dickinson (AKA Nano Girl), Sir Ray Avery, and Wendy Thompson (founder of Socialites), picking their brains about anything and everything business-related?
The answer? Carpool Coaching, Spark Lab’s latest social campaign which brings its business mentoring aspect to life.
Michelle Sokolich, a content creator looking to get an edge on her competition, was one of two people to win out of nearly 80 entries to take a drive with the entrepreneurial gurus.
“The carpool coaching experience was amazing,” she says. “When else do you have the chance to get three incredible entrepreneurs in a room or tiny car and ask them all the questions you want?”
Her praise doesn’t end there. “The insight I got from them was invaluable. I was able to pick their brains on finding my ideal clients, and the insight I got from them was everything from getting larger businesses on a retainer, holding live webinars, and the idea of specialising in making videos for social entrepreneurs.
I would absolutely do it again. It was a great experience and gave me some brilliant ideas that I think will really make a difference in my business.
The other winner who received mentorship was Havelock North-based Rick Toner. Developing a mobile app designed for large businesses who employ casual staff, Toner describes himself as a digital entrepreneur “with delusions of grandeur”.
The Carpool Coaching certainly helped make those delusions more real, he says. “It was genuine coaching. It was quite an intense conversation. It’s not every day a small businessman from a small town in New Zealand gets an opportunity like this.”
Toner says his biggest questions had to do with scalability and growing his business globally – something the mentors were more than happy to offer advice on. “I came away fizzing at the bung,” he says. “It helped provide me with the nerve [to take things further] a little bit, too. For an industry like digital in New Zealand, there’s a ton of great minds out there.”
Even better, Toner says, is the fact that he’s still in touch with the mentors, and that they took a genuine interest in what he was doing. “It’s incredibly valuable. You can’t put a price on it.”
The numbers behind the social media campaign suggest that people have been finding it useful, too. A video of the coaching received more than 50,000 views in the first three days it debuted, with 85 percent of people watched the entire five-minute, 25-second video – a far higher percentage than normal when people see a video online.
Richard Sandford, Spark’s head of business customer and marketing, says initiatives like Carpool Coaching are all about finding fun and engaging ways to connect with businesses and businesspeople. “We wanted to bring the coaching aspect of Spark Lab to life,” he says. “Spark Lab gives businesses the chance to learn from business people who have real world experiences, and Carpool Coaching gave us the ability to solve common problems using our experts in a fun and engaging way.”
Spark Lab is your place to access truly useful resources and learn from inspirational people who know what it takes to achieve real world business results. Find out more at sparklab.co.nz.