Small Business Mentor - Why Use One?
Having a small business mentor is a really effective way of improving your skills and ultimately your business. Using a mentor is becoming more and more common these days, especially with people who need help starting a small business from home.
Small Business mentor
Starting an online business is exciting but it can also be a bit scary. When you're working with other people in an organization you can bounce ideas off them, there are people whose experience you can draw on and you can ask for advice, if need be.
Working from home you don't have that support so you need to find it through other channels eg mentoring.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is like a coach and is someone who is respected and experienced in their field. They help you set goals and guide you to build the skills you require to achieve your goals. To do this they offer knowledge, insight and wisdom.
Benefits of Having A Mentor
There are many reasons why people have mentors. For someone like you, getting specialised help starting a small business is priceless.
The following are only a few of the areas in which a mentor can be of benefit to you. You mentor will:
- act as a source of information
- assist you through difficult situations
- act as a sounding board and reference point
- give feedback on your actions
- act as a role model
- focus on helping you to reach specific goals
- provide guidance
One Size Doesn't Fit All
Remember you're not limited to one mentor. You could choose to have more than one (at the same time or at different times) depending on the area that you are wanting to develop.
I found having a mentor really helped me. I had one when I was building this website and another when I was starting my eBay business. The help and support I got was invaluable.
It's like having your own personal adviser/coach. There's always someone that you can ask for advice or bounce ideas off. Without this help it would have taken me far longer to reach my goals
Sometimes it's only a confidence thing. When doing something new like starting an online business, it helps just to hear someone else confirm that you're on the right track.
And, by the way, mentoring can also take the form of a book, tapes and a "home study" course. I use these a lot for motivation and when I'm working on improving my mindset.
5 Stages Of The Mentoring Relationship
When you enter into a relationship with a mentor, use the points outlined below as a guide to how the relationship with your mentor should progress.
Stage 1 - Establish the relationship
Get to know your mentor, create a bond and agree on the groundrules. You can use a formal contract, if you like. This is something you and your small business mentor should discuss and agree on even before you start.
Stage 2 - Define Objectives
Discuss your current situation and how you would like things done differently in future. Review your skillset with your mentor and define those skills that you would like to improve or any new skills you would like to develop.
Stage 3 - Create an Action Plan
Evaluate the various options that your mentor recommends and then develop an Action Plan to ensure you meet your objectives.
Stage 4 - Implement
Implement the Action Plan that was developed in Step 3.
Stage 5 - Review
It is important to review your progress periodically with your small business mentor to make sure you're on track. Evaluate where you need to "tweak" your Action Plan, make amendements, if required, and implement the changes.