5 reasons why you should have a business mentor
Whether you’re starting your own business or managing an established one, finding a business mentor is always a good idea. With a business mentor, you can learn from someone who has been through similar challenges to the ones you may be facing.
Business coaching and business mentoring have much in common, but the main difference is the longevity of the relationship.
Business coaches help you improve your business skills, tackle issues by developing an action plan, and learn how to respond to them yourself in the future. Coaching could take place on a weekly or monthly basis until you feel confident enough to move on alone.
Having a business mentor is more of an ongoing relationship involving the development of long-term business plans and strategies – and responding to an ever-evolving business landscape. Depending on the relationship, you may meet once a month or every 6 months. Whatever works best for both parties.
Typically, a mentor has more experience in a given area than their mentee, and can therefore offer knowledge and insights based on their own business dealings. The mentor benefits by giving back to their business community, and the mentee (you) benefits from the wisdom and lessons learned, which you can consider applying to your business.
Here are 5 specific reasons why you might consider choosing a business mentor.
Imagine what someone with 20 years’ experience in your industry knows. If you face a challenge, you can be almost certain someone with that much know-how and knowledge will be worth listening to, as you decide what to do.
A good mentor will know hundreds of people in your industry and can make warm introductions for you. Whether you are just starting out, or are a few years into your business, an introduction from someone with an existing relationship can make all the difference.
Your mentor should have your best interests at heart, giving you the confidence you need to take that extra step outside your comfort zone. You can run new ideas by your mentor as a sounding board, and flesh out concepts until you feel ready to share them with others.
When someone knows you well, and they have a lot of experience, they can tell you what is easy and what might be a stretch for you. They may suggest exploring other personal or business growth areas to ensure you have a solid foundation of experience for the future
If you go up for business funding or put forward an innovation to an investor, you can run your pitch by your mentor and help ensure you’re on the money. They can give you constructive feedback on how you can improve your communication skills, body language and presentation content.
There are a few avenues you could explore to help find your business mentor. They include:
Once you’ve identified a mentor who you feel has the ideas, knowledge and experience to help take your business to the next level, be confident and clear when you first approach them. This will make a great start to the relationship.
Look out for more inspiration and tips in the Starting a business section of our Help for your business pages.
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.