Just as a doctor would never offer a course of treatment without carefully assessing the patient's history and needs, so business mentors and trainers need an intimate knowledge of their clients if they are to succeed in helping them. Lorraine Nuccoll, 41, is well aware of this. "The most important part of my training and development work is taking the client brief", she says.
Lorraine launched her Corporate Training and Personal Development business, Rise Above, just over a year ago having previously been Training Manager for Campbells UK and before that, Pearl Assurance. Her corporate clients now include Marks & Spencer, Britvic, Geest and the NHS.
"Much of what I do in the corporate world revolves around relationships, values, and trust," she says. And while corporate clients underpin her revenue, she's becoming more in demand by people who want her to do for their personal lives what she delivers for their business careers.
Lorraine is now facing a major challenge in the growth of her business: there simply aren't enough hours in the day to deliver a personal service to everyone. "Business growth would be easy if I could clone myself", she says.
After a lot of head-scratching, Lorraine has recognised that her training programme could in fact be delivered by clones - well, electronic ones at least. Perhaps via educational DVDs. Or by tailored packages of downloads available from her website coupled to online webcasts. Lorraine is right to think like a doctor; her most valuable skill lies in making the diagnosis and defining the treatment, not necessarily delivering the medicine in person.