So you have a business and know your industry inside out – sure, what would you be doing with a mentor?
A few years ago, I would’ve had the same opinion, but actually starting my own business means I’ve seen first-hand the benefits a good mentor brings to the table, and having provided mentoring services to a suite of business owners, I thought I’d let you all in on what a business mentor can do for you!
- As the owner of a small business, you listen to the problems of your customers, your employees, your suppliers, but who actually listens to you?
- Perhaps you go home in the evening, and talk to your partner or your friends about your business, your plans and your issues, but often, through no fault of their own, their tolerance for your business can wear thin.
- As such, the primary role of a mentor is to let you get all the thoughts buzzing around your head like bees in a jam jar out into the open – a problem shared is a problem halved.
- The next step depends on what’s at the forefront of your mind, but step 1 is most definitely to listen to what you have to say about your business.
- In order to build a successful business, you have to have conviction in same – if you don’t believe in your business, why would anyone else?
- Whilst your friends and family might placate your (anything for an easy life, and no-one wants to be the one to say, “I don’t know if this will work,” because you simply never know!), a mentor will question your ideas, and challenge you.
- If you are able to withstand the questioning and this doesn’t make you doubt yourself, you’re more than likely on to a good thing. Go you!
Although we don’t claim to know everything, business mentors provide a sound starting point when it comes to looking for business advice. If we don’t know the answer, the chances are we’ll be able to point you in the right direction, which can save a lot of precious time, and money in some cases!
An extra bonus is that, as the role of a business mentor is more akin to a coach than an adviser, we talk to you in language that you’ll understand – i.e. no technical jargon or TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms). This means that business owners can build on their knowledge of different elements of their business, which is always useful.
Devises a plan
A key component of a mentoring session is that actions, responsibilities and timelines are agreed.
This is documented by a business mentor in our follow up correspondence.
This forms the basis of an action plan to address whatever issues the mentee has raised. Having a plan to address issues, or a plan to take you from A to B, broken down into key actions can make a business owner’s life so much easier.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
An action plan forms a list of tasks that is so much more easily worked through than taking on a mammoth task in its entirety, especially when time is tight.
Provides Motivation and Accountability
I’ve said it before, being your own boss is not a bed of roses – with no-one standing over you, it’s easy to put tasks on the long finger.
But having agreed actions, responsibilities and deadlines with a mentor makes you countless times more likely to get the jobs done – no-one wants to be sitting at a meeting explaining why they don’t have their homework done.
So a mentor provides business owners with motivation that’s so often missing when working for themselves, and helps to ensure that they remain accountable to their own plans. Which increases the likelihood of a successful business.
It’s common knowledge that networking is key to building and maintaining a successful business.
A relationship with a business mentor can prove a useful connection, as a good mentor will have a wide network and access to this could open desirable doors for your business now or at some point in the future, particularly in Ireland where everyone knows everyone!
If you would like to find out more about the mentoring services offered by She Means Business, please do get in touch – we would love to hear from you!