Mentors are crucial to the success of a new business. A business mentor is an experienced business person who already has gained valuable experience navigating through the treacherous waters of opening and maintaining a profitable enterprise.
Their expertise includes everything from soliciting investors to designing advertising campaigns that will go public. Success isn’t only the qualification for an effective mentor. A good business mentor must also have a strong desire to share his/her wisdom for other people to succeed and to give back something to the professional community.
Finding the right mentor is a long process and can be compared to dating. You shouldn’t easily settle for the first six-figured and silver-haired executive that walks through your door. You need to find someone who is experienced, trustworthy and has the passion and time to invest for your success.
For this to happen, both parties need to get something beneficial out of the business mentoring relationship. Business owners get good advice and the mentors get the satisfaction of moulding future entrepreneurs. Here are some of the huge benefits of hiring a business mentor.
- For young entrepreneurs, a mentoring relationship is like having an older brother in the office. Everyone needs a good sounding board, a second opinion, and sometimes emotional support. Get valuable business advice and recommendations from someone who knows the ropes in the industry.
- A good mentor can help you expand your network. Building an efficient professional network is still among the most crucial aspects of a new enterprise, even with social media sites such as LinkedIn. If you are searching for a vendor, investor, or supplier, a good mentor knows the exact person to call. And unlike you, his call will likely be returned promptly. This is something priceless. You also get to meet casual acquaintances from network meetings that will be valuable in the long run.
- Learn many of your mentor’s valuable business do’s and don’ts. If you can establish a mutually beneficial and trusting mentoring relationship, your mentor will not only share his/her Rolodex, but will also impart a long list of ‘lessons learned’. Mistakes are a great way to learn, although costly and time consuming. By analysing the business plan and keeping track of major decisions, a good mentor can help you steer clear of costly blunders.
- Develop a trusted and lasting relationship. A mentor doesn’t have any ulterior motive, not even a service or product to sell you. As relationships grow over time, trust is also stronger. Your time with him becomes more efficient as your mentor is already familiar with you and your company.
A good mentor is someone more professional than a friend, but more friendly than a life coach. Needless to say, quality business mentors do not grow on magic executive trees.
You need to leverage your network and kiss many proverbial frogs in suits before even finding a perfect match. A business mentor is a wise and faithful guide, teacher or advisor. He brings positive energy and an affirming influence to the plight of a vulnerable and isolated business owner, manager or entrepreneur.