Any successful business owner gets assistance from outside their business, including training, books, workshops, networking events and professional expertise. But one of the most effective, if not the most effective, is via the use of a business mentor.
A business mentoring relationship offers many benefits for the business owner, here are our top 7!
1. You can ask them questions You can ask a business mentor questions. As a business owner, you probably get more advice than you actually want from others but a business mentor can help sort through all that advice and work out which is most relevant for your business
2. They offer an outside perspective Business mentors can help you look at your business and the challenges that are in place from a perspective other than your own. As a business owner, you may have trouble looking at your business through the eyes of a customer or client. Your business mentor can offer insight on how you may be perceived by others.
3. They help improve your business skills Mentors differ from advisers and consultants, who focus on the actual issue that have been contracted to work on, in that they look at your business as a whole and help you develop your business skills. In addition to simply giving advice and helping improve your personal business skills, business mentors can prepare you with methodologies and strategies that can help you make decisions and improve your skills as a business owner.
4. They can be an outlet for your frustrations Owning a business can be stressful and frustrating. You may need to vent with someone you trust. Business owners cannot do this with their customers, but a mentor is there for you, and it can be the first step toward finding the source of that frustration. The mentor offers a non-judgmental and independent perspective.
5. They expand your contacts Mentors can put you in touch with contacts and refer you to those who can help you make your business more successful. The more people you know, the greater the odds that you will have someone in your database who can help solve that problem.
6. They build confidence Knowing that you have a credible mentor to turn to can give you confidence when facing difficult business situations. A good mentor will praise you when you have made good decisions but also criticise when you made a poor decision. This helps increase your confidence when making business decisions.
7. They offer a gentle push Starting and operating a business is difficult, and many business owners face challenges. Many business owners go through the same types of struggles and hearing first-hand from your mentor about their experiences will help you realize to continue when the going gets a tough.
There are a number of institutions that offer mentoring for business including the City of Casey which offers a free Mentor Matching service to grow, empower and support local businesses.