The purpose of any mentor is having someone to guide you through the unknowns and uncertainties in specific situations. When it comes to business mentors, the can become the key to success.
A trusted business mentor will provide advice and access to knowledge that come only with years of experience in your industry – and they’ll support you along the way. What better way to navigate the uncertain seas of small business than with a captain who’s been there and done that? While there are countless benefits of getting on board with a business mentor, here are five:
Good Advice. No one is born an expert. Like any type of adviser, a business mentor often has years (or decades) of experience in a particular area or industry and is in a unique position to share that learned knowledge. Whether you have questions about sales, customer service, product trends or managerial practices, you can bet your mentor has asked those same questions. The difference is, he or she also has most of the answers.
Valuable Experience. As you know, owning a small business comes with its daily issues and challenges. One of the best things about a mentor is his or her ability to offer a different perspective to your problems. Chances are they’ve dealt with the same situations as you, they’ll be able to share their experience, offer solutions and ultimately save you time (and possibly money!).
Networking Opportunities. When it comes to owning a business, networking is key. A business mentor can help make introductions and put you in touch with valuable contacts in your industry. If your mentor has been at it for a long time, he or she will also be able to point you in the right direction towards potential clients, new customers and possible partnerships with other small business owners in the community.
Another perspective. With all the day to day operations of running a small business, you can sometimes lose sight of the big picture. One of the biggest benefits of having a business mentor is their objective perspective and honest opinions. Sometimes the best way to move forward is by asking difficult questions, and who better to ask than an industry expert you know and trust? While it can be hard to hear the truth, look at your mentor’s recommendations as opportunities instead of failures. You’ll be grateful that you figured them out sooner than later.
Support. Perhaps the biggest benefit of having a mentor is that you’ll always have a cheerleader on the sidelines. Whether you need encouragement, reassurance or motivation, business mentors can be your most important source of support. They understand as well (if not better) than you do that owning a small business is no easy feat. And they know firsthand that no one should have to go it alone. By developing a positive relationship with a credible mentor, you will become not only a better business owner, but a better person as well.