When you are starting your business, having a mentor can be incredibly helpful. Let’s quickly go over what a business mentor is. A business mentor is someone who has been where you are at (getting a new business started) and they are willing to counsel you.
You may be asking yourself, “do I really need a business mentor?” We cannot say what you do or don't need, but many successful business owners have had one when they were starting out.
So how do you find a business mentor? What should you look for in one?
Start by asking yourself what you want in a mentor...
- Do you want someone who will help you with networking?
- Or someone who is an expert in your industry?
- Someone who is a successful entrepreneur?
But once you decide you want a business mentor and what you want in one, how to go about finding one?
- Check with the network you already have, you may already be connected to someone who would be a good fit.
- Is there a trade association for your business? If so, you might be able to find a mentor through them. Network a little.
- The Small Business Association sponsors a mentor program called SCORE.
Okay, so you figured out what you want in a mentor and you found one, now it is time to work with your mentor. A few things to keep in mind working with your mentor:
- Set-up a regular meeting with your mentor.
- Clarify what you want out of the relationship.
- Think outside the box. What activities and experiences will be the most fruitful for you and your mentor to engage in together?
- Do not limit yourself. Come up with short- and long-term action plans to guide your relationship with your mentor.
- Make sure the mentor is a good fit for you.
- There is nothing wrong with realizing you needing a different mentor. Don’t wait your time or their’s.
- Maximize your relationship with your mentor.
- Carefully consider what attributes and successes your mentor has that you would want to mimic.
Having a mentor can provide you with a huge amount of insider knowledge that can make getting your business started and successful easier. There are many people out there that want to give back to newbies. You can find your perfect mentor match.
Good Luck and Good Sales.