The most significant benefit of having a business mentor is having someone you can ask questions and get advice. As a new business owner, you are likely to get more advice than you ask for from people like family members, friends, and the people who own the store next door. While some of their advice may be sound, your mentor can help you sort out which you should follow while advising you on more complicated business matters that your friends or family would not know how to solve..
Business mentors can help you look at problems and situations from perspectives that you would not have thought of on your own. For example, as a new business owner, you may have trouble looking at your business through the eyes of a customer, potential investor, or government official. Your business mentor, who has dealt with these people often, can help you understand how your business will look to these individuals.
Mentors are not like advisers and consultants, who care only about the business venture. Instead, business mentors help you develop your business skills. For example, suppose your employees are constantly complaining that they don't understand project directions. In that case, your business mentor can work with you to help you improve how you communicate with your staff. This way, you will have a better understanding of how to communicate with your staff both now and in the future.
Owning a business can be stressful and frustrating. As a business owner, you'll often need to vent with someone you trust. Business owners cannot vent to their partners, employees, or customers without causing instability in the business structure. However, once you vent to a mentor, you can often start the process of working with the mentor to solve the cause of your frustration. For example, suppose lazy employees are plaguing your business. In that case, you may need to vent to your mentor before you can think positively enough about the employees to develop a plan to motivate them.
Business mentors can put you in touch with contacts who can help you make your business more successful. The more networking you do, the more people you meet. And the more people you meet, the greater the odds are that you will have someone in your database to help you solve business problems. For example, your business mentor may introduce you to another of his mentees, an award-winning recent college grad who is looking for an entry-level position in web design. Perhaps you are looking for someone to help you design your new company's website. Thanks to the mentor's contact, your search for a valuable asset may have just become more accessible.
In addition to simply giving advice and helping improve your business skills, business mentors can prepare you with a library of methods and strategies that you can pull from throughout your career as a business owner. They can not only tell you, from experience, how important it is to create a positive environment and boost morale, but they can also give you strategies for doing so. For example, mentors can help you learn techniques for observing employees, see if they are happy at work, dealing with angry customers, or handling financial problems.
Although some mentor-mentee relationships may be short-lived, if you hit it off with your mentor, you can foster a long-lasting relationship through which you and your mentor can continue to collaborate for the rest of your career. This will give you the consistency and resources you need to maintain a successful business.
Knowing that you have a credible mentor to turn to can give you confidence when facing difficult business situations. Similarly, good mentors will praise you when you have made good decisions. Praise can enable you to see yourself as a wise and experienced business person. Seeing yourself confidently this way will help you stand your ground when defending or standing by your business decisions.
Starting a business is complex, and many business owners face challenges early in the process. However, many business owners go through the same types of struggles. Hearing first-hand from your mentor about his experiences will help you realise that the effort you are going through now will prepare you to be a better business person in the future.