Whether you start a big or small business plan, having a mentor by your side who guides you and inspires you can turn the tables in your favor.
It has been reported by Kabbage that 92% of small business owners find it crucial to seek help from a mentor after starting up in 2021. While 22% of them already have an experienced mentor before they step into the business market.
Learning first-hand from the mentor and gaining practical experience can speed up the path to success for a mentee. From avid business growth to lucrative business contracts, a mentor-mentee relationship can help you achieve greater insight into your business decisions with more sales conversions.
We have carefully crafted this content to help you acknowledge why a mentor is important for a small business.
What Is A Small Business Mentor- Things You Should Know?
Simply put, a small business mentor is someone who has ample experience with entrepreneurship and ensures proper business growth and success. They can be your family, friend, casual acquaintances, or even online gurus that can help you achieve your business goals while shortening the curve of mistakes and failures.
Business mentoring can be leveraged at all stages of a business lifecycle, and it should be especially if you cannot handle the business management alone.
Even the most successful and ruling entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk have sought mentorship. According to a survey, more than 70% of the small businesses that received mentorship for five years or so had better survival rates and revenue growth than the non-mentored businesses.
Setting up a business is overwhelming and can keep you on your toes, especially when you have zero knowledge about tackling complex challenges. What would you do if you are stuck with your business license or the financing plan is not coming along?
To save yourself from situations that can be bad for business and money, get guidance from a person who has been in your shoes and knows how to turn your passion into a lucrative business.
Reasons Every Small Business Needs a Mentor
As they say, success is not served; it is earned. So, you need someone to teach you the art of "earning success."
If you are still not convinced or your business partner is hesitant to trust a mentor with their life-long savings, here are all the reasons that indicate now is the right time to seek mentorship.
With mentors comes great experience and a new perspective
Mentors have seen it all that you are about to experience, and this is why they can see your business problems from a lens that you do not have. From joint ventures to strategic planning, mentors can deduce and evaluate the challenges waiting for you.
Often, your mentor will give you views that you have not thought of. Of course, it will solve your problems, but it will provide you with a fresh perspective.
Moreover, with their experience handling things differently, your mentor will allow you to learn and grow instead of making easy-to-avoid mistakes. Avoiding costly mistakes is a perfect reason why a mentor is important for a small business.
Mentors provide opportunities to grow your network
Regardless of the size and type of your business, if you do not have a strong network, your survival rates are low. Without a mentor, building connections and expanding your networks will take ages to acclaim profitable business opportunities.
However, you can easily link up to CFOs, CEOs, and other key business professionals in a stellar network when you have a mentor because your mentor has been in the industry for years and is already part of the business community hub with a strong social network.
Build a profitable business culture with your mentor
A well-composed organizational culture is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your business. Moreover, it promotes a great work environment by keeping the employees committed and motivated.
A mentor can help you include elements like trust and compliance in your company. In addition, a good business culture helps you build a long-standing reputation amongst the big names with an efficient work environment.
As a result, your small business can easily leverage many lucrative opportunities.
Mentors help you make informed business decisions
As a business owner, frequently, you will find yourself in difficult situations where you will have to make instant decisions. But how would you do that? What if you get stuck or make a bad decision that will result in huge losses?
That is exactly why you need a mentor; their knowledge and experience will enable you to make the right decisions at the right time without the fear of failure.
Improve your management skills with your mentor
Even if you start a business successfully, you will need to work hard to upkeep its success and move it forward. Setting up a business is one thing, but running it requires many skills such as avid planning, excellent communication, on-time problem solving, and management.
You can learn these skills by making many mistakes or simply getting help from a good mentor. The choice is yours.
If you have already started and faced many problems due to a lack of guidance, it is still not late to get a mentor. They can help you rectify your mistakes and revive your business in no time.
How Can A Small Business Mentor Help You?
With time, small business owners realize the need for mentorship, especially after the disastrous outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world's economy.
A business mentor can help and benefit you in many ways, including:
Advice and answers on the go
With a mentor at your side, you will always have answers to your queries and expert advice on the go. So, instead of going to your family, friends, or fellow young entrepreneurs who may give good advice at times, but not always, it would be best to consult a professional - a mentor.
Your mentor will always have a solution for you, or they will find a way to resolve even the most complicated issues in a hassle-free manner.
You can vent whenever you want
Running a business is no child's play. It is draining, frustrating, and exhausting, especially when you are a newbie and competition is high. However, you cannot allow your feelings to bottle up, and neither can you vent to your business partners or employees as it may demotivate them.
So, whether you want to vent out or need a shoulder to cry on, you can rely on your mentor.
Impeccable business strategies and methods
As a business owner, you would always require methods and strategies to deal with unforeseen circumstances. With their expertise in your areas of interest, your mentor will help you prepare for such situations beforehand.
And, even if a complex situation arises before you have learned anything, you will have a problem-solving, walking, and talking library of flexible strategies with you in the form of your mentor. Moreover, your mentor's experience will also help you boost your employee's morale and upkeep a motivating work environment.
Usually, your relationship with the mentor would be a short one because once you learn the art of running the business and enhancing professional growth, your journey with the mentor will end.
However, frequently, you will need to collaborate with your mentor for a long-term relationship with a mutual agreement to maintain the success and integrity of your business.
Constant boost of motivation
Most young entrepreneurs give up as soon as they start their small businesses. The pressure of success and survival becomes too intense to handle and manage.
While you are on the verge of giving up on your dream venture, a little boost of motivation or a nudge by your mentor can help reinstate your confidence, especially when you hear the story of failures and struggles experienced first-hand by your mentor.
Apart from all of these benefits, you can also learn the fundamentals of financial assistance, administrative assistance, developmental assistance, and even some prospects of technical training from your mentor. Because with years of experience, they become a pro at multi-tasking and can help you become one.
Different Ways To Find A Business Mentor
Now that you are certain that your business needs to move forward with a mentor, you must find the right one.
Save yourself from the scams, and find the right small business mentor at reliable leads, including:
- SCORE: it is a nonprofit organization that has partnered with the United States Small Business Association. It enables small business owners to connect with experienced and "expert in their niche" mentors. These mentors are usually volunteers who are active or retired entrepreneurs and executives. SCORE allows you to find mentors across 62 industries with 300 branches in the entire country. You can meet with the mentors in person or set up an on-call, video or email connection.
- Small Business Development Centers- SBDC: it provides free business consultations and training sessions to young entrepreneurs and small businesses. SBDC networks are located throughout the U.S and can help you find the right mentor to accelerate your business success.
- Events held for Local Networking: if you are starting or have already set up a small business, the best thing you could do to yourself is to indulge in events and conferences related to your niche. This will help you connect with a larger network, which will help you find the right mentor and enable you to learn the art of business growth and success.
- Women's Business Centers: female entrepreneurs are setting new records for success and competition in every industry. To help women feel more confident and grow rapidly, This association provides mentoring, training, tactics for business development, and opportunities for financial assistance for women.
- Minority Business Development Agency- MBDA Business Centers: This agency provides the best mentors across the country for minority-owned businesses (like black business owners).
- Veterans Business Outreach Center-VBOC: if you are a veteran or any other transitioning service member or even a military spouse struggling with their small start-ups, you can connect with this association to get the best mentor.
- Social media: you can be tempted by the list of achievements on display by the "online gurus," do not get lured into scams. However, networking on professional social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can easily connect you with highly-qualified and professional mentors.
- Family and friends: if you are planning to join your family business or start something similar, you would already have mentors in your home- and mostly, you would not need them because you have learned a lot growing in an entrepreneurial environment. Similarly, you can also seek help from your friends and peers who started from scratch and became successful.
- Google It: Look for a business mentor in Google. If you Google "Ronald Osborne" you will see Ronald Osborne an international business coach that mentors small business owners. Using Google, you'll be able to find a business mentor near you.
In the U.S, around 587,00 small businesses emerge every year, and only half of them survive for even five years, while a majority chunk of that existing half vanishes in 10 years. Why- because they think they know it all and do not need guidance.
A small business mentor is always there to help, guide, educate, advise and provide assistance with start-up launch. In addition, it helps you in various business aspects where you lack experience and expertise.
Therefore, before you start your journey, get yourself a mentor who will help you acknowledge your failures and learn from your mistakes. Remember that there is no shortcut to success, and even the best mentor in the world cannot fix all your business-related issues, but they can help you find ways to handle complicated situations. Understanding why a mentor is important for a small business was the focus of this article and if you need a business mentor, research Ronald Osborne.
Are Business Mentors Worth It?
Business mentors are worth it because they can shorten the path to success. With a business mentor you will have someone guiding you along your business journey. Showing you all the shortcuts.
Who Is The Best Business Mentor?
There are many famous business mentors that could be classified as the "best business mentor." However, it is important you find a business mentor that works tirelessly for you and helps you achieve your goals.
What To Expect From A Business Mentor?
You can expect a business mentor to be very similar to a business coach. They will help guide you throughout your business journey. They will be your soundboard. Business mentors will not get hands on with your business. They will discuss solutions and possible strategies your business could utilize to help you improve.
How Much Does A Business Mentor Cost?
Typically, a business mentor will cost between $75 to $250 an hour. Mentors will usually charge by the hour or they will offer mentoring packages.