The Value in a Mentor, And How To Find One

The Value in a Mentor, And How To Find One

For most people, their first mentor comes in the form of a parent, caregiver or teacher. While these early mentors are often remembered with fondness and gratitude, this also often makes the concept of finding a mentor forever associated with youth.

However, finding a mentor can become even more valuable as you grow up. Educational mentors can help you choose a major field of study and even network your way into a job. And when you decide to launch your own small business, what better way to ensure success than by finding a mentor who can help guide your steps!

In this article, learn more about the timeless value of finding a mentor and where to look for a small business mentor of your own.

The Value of a Mentor in Business

An estimated 627,000 small businesses launch annually. However, at the same time excited entrepreneurs are opening their doors for the very first time, an estimated 595,000 small businesses will be closing their doors.

Those are some pretty steep survival odds! To make matters worse, Forbes states that most of the small businesses that don’t survive won’t even make it 18 months before closing up shop.

Clearly, you are determined to ensure your business is one of the two out of every 10 that survives and continues to thrive decades later. So how do you find out what to do and what not to do to give your startup its best chance to survive and thrive?

Enter the small business mentor, that individual who is uniquely equipped to offer you irreplaceable benefits:

Benefit 1: A “do this, don’t do that” roadmap.

Since you are traveling down the startup path for the first time, there may be roadblocks or obstacles right in front of you that you don’t see coming. But with a business mentor to guide you, you have a seasoned traveler who can give you a roadmap to follow to success.

Benefit 2: Networking connections.

Every year that you are in business brings more valuable connections. Whether you need a new supplier or want to hire a social media manager, your mentor can introduce you to a trusted network of real pros who won’t waste your money or your time.

Benefit 3: Free advice that is actually worth paying money for.

You have probably heard the advice, “you get what you pay for.” This holds true in many ways, but one big exception is with mentoring. This is because your mentor gets something from the connection too – the chance for their wisdom and expertise to live on in you.

Benefit 4: A trustworthy advisor to brainstorm with.

When you hit a snag or are faced with two equally valid-seeming choices, you need someone you trust to talk through options with. Who better than your mentor, who not only has experience dealing with the stress this process can cause but has also made good choices time and time again.

Benefit 5: Skills-building plus outsourcing guidance.

It is no secret that every entrepreneur has to get good at wearing lots of hats. Some of these hats you may wear for the duration and others you will need to hand off in short order if your business is to survive. Your mentor can help you figure out which is which.

How to Locate a Business Mentor

If you have never sought out a mentor specifically for business reasons before now, you may at first find yourself drawing a blank on the how-tos.

For instance, who should you ask? Where should you look? Why would a business pro want to mentor you? These, in fact, are the three essential questions that will ensure you find the right fit in a business mentor.

Step 1: Prepare your “ask.”

A mentor will want to know why you sought them out and why you think you need a mentor. So think about this before approaching a mentor.

Step 2: Look in the right places.

Local networking associations, SBA local chapters, non-profit groups (SCORE is an example) and colleges are all great places to seek out a mentor.

Step 3: Ask the right person.

Find a person you admire – someone who inspires you to keep trying no matter what. Chances are good this is the person you should ask for mentoring!

By understanding the value of having a business mentor and knowing how to use local resources to find your mentor, you give your business its best start in life.

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SMB Reviews
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SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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