A business mentor is someone who can help push your business in the right direction by helping you grow as a person, as well as grow as a business. There may be an area that you aren’t completely confident with, and a business mentor can provide you with advice, knowledge and guidance that can help you.
While this benefits the business mentor through more business for them and satisfaction of helping the community, the benefits to you as a mentee are much better:
- A source of support and advice. As an entrepreneur, you no longer have a boss to turn to when you’re struggling. A business mentor is there to help provide you with the knowledge and guidance you may need. This can be formally through a meeting, or informally over a coffee. Either way, you will have someone there to ask questions when you’re unsure what to do.
- Grow your social network. The likelihood is that your business mentor has worked with other business and individuals who may be of use to you. This can be someone who is looking to work with a business like yours, or even someone senior who could also help by providing you with advice.
- Setting realistic goals. A business mentor can help you with setting goals that are realistic and achievable. They can then help you put in place a business plan on how you are going to reach that goal. This may seem like something you can do yourself, but sometimes we set goals that are unreachable and, if we fail to reach our goals in the time we set, it can make you feel like giving up.
- Their advice is based on first-hand experience. Remember, business mentors would have been through some if not all of the troubles you are going through and, therefore, their advice is based on experiences they have had. Mentors will attempt to guide you through the problems you’re facing in your business, as well as steer you away from making other mistakes that they have made before.
- They’ll be a sounding board for ideas. When you come up with new ideas for your business, you can discuss these ideas with your business mentor and they will provide honest feedback and advice. It may be that they have tried to do it themselves and it didn’t work, or it could be that they know a way to make it happen. Having someone to discuss ideas with will help you gain the advice and feedback you need to progress.
There are many more benefits to having a business mentor, but it’s a two way relationship between the mentor and mentee and arrangements have to be made. It is best to discuss how much involvement you want the mentor to have, as well as allowing them to provide you with advice as and when they need to. It may be constructive criticism, but it is important to remember that they will provide you with this advice as they want their hindsight to be your foresight.