The right mentor can save your business. If you need to grow your business, a mentor can be the most valuable person in your corner.
Mentoring is a commonly overlooked but critical tool for business owners. Where one lacks experience, the right mentor can provide invaluable advice, insight and assistance to you and your business. Here we look at six of the best reasons to have a business mentor.
1: Finding the nuggets
An emerging entrepreneur is often a flurry of creativity, and sometimes good ideas can get lost in the blur of fresh thoughts. A good mentor can filter through this by honing in on the key ideas and bringing them to life.
While a problem may be new for you, an experienced mentor has probably encountered it before. Advice from someone who has run into a similar roadblock before can save time, money and reduce stress.
Inexperience can cause hesitation and indecision, which in turn can lead to missed opportunities. Expert advice can boost the decision-making process leading to faster, better outcomes.
Formulating a business plan can be one of the trickier tasks for a new company owner. Instructions from an expert can prove helpful and can make all the difference when it comes to raising money or investment.
READ MORE: What not to put in your business plan.
5: Cultivating new skills
Whether it’s developing leadership skills or improving your communication technique with employees, having a mentor to help you cultivate these skills can be invaluable.
6: Building your network
A good mentor will have a vast network of professional contacts developed over a long career. Access to this system could give you access to a range of contacts, skills and prospective clients and partners that could prove vital to the success of your business.
Where to find a mentor?
Your Local Enterprise Office
You may not need to look too far to find a suitable mentor. Contact your LEO and they should be able to match your business with an experienced business person in your area.
A free project where small business owners are linked with a good advisor from a large pool of experienced business people.
READ MORE: What makes a good business strategy.
Blab.im is a new website that allows four people to ‘video chat’ while an audience watches, creating tremendous potential for the sharing of advice and ideas for business people online. Go online to blab.im or download the iOS app and login with your Twitter account, and use the search or filter functions to find a discussion that interests you.
When you need an immediate injection of expertise and don’t have time to wait, paid consultancy may be right for you. Mentors.ie may be a good place to start.
Your personal network
Before you start looking externally for a mentor, why not consider someone from your existing pool of contacts? Someone you already have a relationship with is always going to be easier to get a time commitment from than a stranger. At the very least, an existing contact may be able to make an introduction to someone suitable.
Search your industry
Your local chamber of commerce, the trade publications you read, and your business contacts could all be useful in finding a suitable mentor. Don’t forget LinkedIn, this platform is geared towards professional development, mentoring and finding the right people.
Images are courtesy of WarnerBros.com from the film Creed.