If you are thinking of starting a business, be it a startup or a micro business. The best investment you can make is to spend time finding at least one business mentor. And you already created it and you’re thinking about how to grow your business, too!
Mathematics does not fail 70% of businesses that have a mentor survive twice as long as those that do not have a mentor. Incubators and accelerators have mentors for a good reason.
And if it’s so important, why is not it easy to find a mentor for every entrepreneur? Haha, that would want to know me!
In fact, the business plan rarely contemplates leaving a budget item to hire mentors and, nevertheless, it should be something almost mandatory to increase the chances of success of your business.
As they say, white and in a bottle … Let’s see, if having a mentor is one of the ingredients of success, I say that it will be necessary to facilitate that the greatest number of entrepreneurs can benefit from a mentor.
Normally the entrepreneur is provided with the forms and address of the Treasury to pay taxes. But rarely does someone ask you if you have validated your idea, if you have a business model, if you are clear about how you are going to make money, much less send it to the street to find your first 3 clients before you start moving papers, create the page web and business cards.
- Having someone more expert on your side who has already navigated the same waters that your ship can accelerate your results exponentially avoiding numerous headaches.
- You can make serious mistakes because of inexperience and making wrong decisions can ruin your life. You can sign an erroneous partner agreement, you can end up in debt or lose all your capital while staying with no chance to bounce and get ahead.
- Managing a business both at the beginning and in the growth phases is a very lonely and misunderstood task that can affect your relationship as a couple, family or friends. Having a mentor by your side keeps you sane and motivated to have clarity and focus on what is truly important.
I am convinced that in a while, especially at the beginning of a business, having a mentor will be as natural as having a mobile phone.
The only problem many times is that, outside of incubator programs, accelerators, etc. It is not obvious to find a business mentor who has real experience in the area you need and who has the appropriate personal skills.
In spite of this, you can find your ideal mentor if you know how to look for it. Of course, you should not take the process lightly. It’s a matter of common sense:
- Define in advance what you need and what you are looking for
- Be clear about what to ask your mentor
- Choose the most suitable mentor for you with whom you really connect.
- Be clear about the objectives and expectations.
- Remember that your agenda is complex and your time is limited
- Do not get upset if they say no since not everyone will be able to help you.
Once you have this clear, it will be easier to put “the radar” and be aware of possible ideal mentors. Continue reading: 7 Tips to reduce expenses in entrepreneurship
Below, I give you 7 ideas to find your ideal business mentor:
1. ANALYZE YOUR CLOSEST CIRCLE
In many occasions, you can find excellent mentors within your family or close friends, people who may have more experience than you or know more about a particular sector or situation because they have already gone through it. Similarly, you can send a message to your network of contacts proposing the idea and see. If you connect with an appropriate person for you and your needs.
2. USE SOCIAL NETWORKS
You can use social networks like Twitter or LinkedIn to find your ideal mentor.
Idea: get in touch with other professionals and business people you admire and ask them for advice, normally nobody takes it badly but quite the opposite.
3. READ BLOGS AND SPECIALIZED PUBLICATIONS
Read specialized publications and select the professionals with whom you better connect or learn the most. Not only do you learn with them when reading, seeing or listening to them – which is an indirect “mentoring”. But sometimes you can contact them and depending on the professional you can discover that they will be happy to dedicate a few hours of their time.
4. GO OUTSIDE
You do not always have a potential mentor nearby so go out and open up to new possibilities.
Contact your City Council, Entrepreneurs Center or Chamber of Commerce. Do the same with initiatives related to your sector.
Analyze businesses at the local level in order to identify potential mentors. Once you have a selection contact each one, start the contact by getting interested in one of your own projects or interests and asking if you could ask him some questions by phone, Skype, email or even invite him to have a coffee or to eat.
5. SEARCH IN YOUR OWN SECTOR
Sometimes, you yourself sector can be your ally. For example, you might consider contacting the head of a company larger than yours, in which case you are not usually perceived as a competitor, and suggest exchanging experiences, ideas or simply asking for advice.
The key is to not be ashamed to call or send an email to the person that interests us.
6. CREATE A “MASTERMIND” GROUP
Create a group (face-to-face or online) with other entrepreneurs in your same phase of development. And even inviting more experienced entrepreneurs can give you valuable experiences and avoid making mistakes.
It can be as simple as having a coffee with another entrepreneur etc. It actually helps me and I believe that openly sharing challenges, problems and solutions is positive because we help each other and learn.
7. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS MENTOR
Hiring a professional business mentor is probably one of the best investments you can make. It will help you accelerate your results and achieve your goals sooner. At the beginning, we all think we can learn by ourselves and we hear messages that undertaking is easy or that getting ahead on the internet is a matter of magic tricks. Investing in a professional business mentor will help you accelerate learning and move faster by making fewer mistakes.
The moral of this story is that, over time, I realized that cheap is expensive and unconscious ignorance has no limits. How to expect an online store to work in a month without investing in advertising, SEO, etc. Only with the passage of time do we realize the barbarities we have done. That said, do not pretend to know everything or do everything by yourself and ask for help if you need it. Remember that the best technology is common sense.
Perhaps for being the first to have made a mistake. Today I keep insisting on the importance of having a business mentor (or several) when undertaking a project whether small, large or medium.
“Entrepbusiness” also invited you to read this aritcle: http://seattlegreekamericans.com/5-tips-make-business-productive/