Everyone needs a mentor

As well as in other walks of life, many small business owners are now using a business mentor. The evidence is that businesses that do use a mentor are much more likely to survive and are growing faster. I attended the Association of Business Mentors (ABM) Annual conference at the British Library. This was another excellent event, really demonstrating how business mentoring is helping SMEs across the country.

Looking for a mentor in business

A mentor is an expert who has broad, lengthy business experience. A mentor is a wise and trusted guide and advisor. The mentor is the teacher that shares their experience.

A mentor will be an experienced professional who will help business owners by drawing upon their own knowledge and experience. One of their roles is to provide a neutral sounding board whilst offering advice, direction and support based upon their own practical experience.

The role of the mentor is not to be hands on, nor to teach particular skills, but rather to listen and to understand the issues. They will then be able to guide the business owner to make his or her own decisions and implement a plan – but only after they have explored a range of alternatives or “scenarios”, drawing on the mentor’s experience.

A mentor also may share his or her networks and facilitate an introduction to someone who could assist the owner to learn more about a particular direction, job function or industry.

Business mentor services

Business Mentoring is a relationship between the Business Owner, and someone with business experience. Your mentor can guide you through making the difficult decisions. They can also point out ways of improving your business. In addition your business mentor will ask you the tough questions and motivate you to want to achieve higher levels of performance. All of this will be within the bounds of a trusted relationship.

You should see a Business Mentor as a partner in the process, someone who really knows the ropes. As a result working with a business mentor will help you gain fresh insights into problems and decision making. This will be due to the impartial, objective discussion and feedback.

What people say of a small business mentor

When I talk to business owners they tell me of many reasons why they value business mentoring. Some of these might be:

  • My mentor is someone from outside the business. They therefore have no particular axe to grind;
  • I have no-one else I can talk to about my business;
  • They come with a lot of experience, across many different areas, This means I get a fresh approach to ideas or problems;
  • My mentor has knowledge of and contacts across other businesses;
  • They help me to see the wood for the trees;
  • They keep me focussed on what matters;
  • My mentor is my “conscience”;
  • My business mentor can also give me good sound advice;
  • Sometimes I go off at tangents, my mentor keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Whatever your own particular thoughts are about having a mentor, it is hard to argue with these comments.

This was an inspiring message from THE ABM’s Patron Sean Gallagher.

If you think that having a business mentor could be right for you, please call or email and we can talk it through.