When you are growing a small business, having a good small business mentor can be one of the most important steps in helping you succeed. They will be someone who has gone before you and can help you prevent common mistakes. They’ll also point you in the right direction. Still, there are many different kinds of mentors, so it might be challenging to find the right one. They should help you set clear, attainable goals, allowing you to breathe life into your idea. There are several ways to find the right individual for your company.
Focus on Relationships
Your mentor could come from anywhere, whether it’s someone you know through work, a friend, or a classmate. Everyone has a network of individuals who could be helpful when it comes to getting ahead. Investing in these types of connections allows you to form relationships with others who can offer advice to help you make important business decisions. One way to build the types of relationships you need to be successful is by getting your degree.
This gives you a valuable business background, and others you meet in the classroom may end up being future mentors. If you’re thinking about going back to college, you can take out a private student loan to make your education more affordable. Know that mentorship is a long-term relationship, so even if you don’t feel the need for one now, it’s important to think about this now. Show gratitude for others and think of ways you can add value to their own lives.
Think About Your Requirements
When you are just starting out the most important thing is creating a business plan, but after you make that decision it is time to think about the other important aspects as well. The most important step is to decide that you need a small business mentor. Think about the type of personality you would work well with or the kind of advice you are looking for. Consider the type of person you would work the best with.
There are many qualities that this person might have, but they will all want you to be successful. They should understand your industry and have their own experience. That allows them to offer guidance on how you can meet your professional or personal goals. They will also be honest in their assessment of where you could improve.
Spend Some Time Researching
Consider learning about the success stories of those who have mentored others in the past. You can also connect with other successful business owners to learn about who helped them along in their journeys. Consider the lessons you might be able to learn from them and how you could apply these to your own endeavors. There are many resources that can help you find this type of person.
You could work with an industry trade association in the area, look into small business resources, or get advice from an individual who may have some skills with your organization’s needs. It is your responsibility to take this time to research, as well as implement it into your organization. Don’t expect a small business mentor to do the heavy lifting for you. Instead, consider absorbing all the knowledge you can. Keep this in mind as you research who may be a good potential mentor.
Consider Someone Who Offers Value
Everyone is different, so you should look for an individual who is experienced and knowledgeable in their industry. If you sell directly to other businesses, someone who has only worked in a services industry may not be the right fit for your business. Even if they offer value, that value may not be as relevant to your organization.
Still, you should be open-minded about the kind of individual you work with. Your goals, vision, and needs will grow and change over time, so you may have multiple mentors over the course of your business. Someone who was a good fit before may no longer have relevant advice, so you may need to work with more than one person. Revisit goals and priorities on a regular basis to learn how your needs change.
Communicate Well and Prioritize Trust
Communication is critical for any relationship to be successful. It’s a two-way street, so you both need to be thinking about the other person’s needs and communicating with each other. This ensures each session is successful. Consider trustworthiness when you are seeking potential mentors as well. They should be an excellent communicator, as a lack of communication or trust can lead to frustration in the relationship. You may also become disappointed with them if things are not going as well as expected. This can lead to discouragement, which can even lead to setbacks in your organization.