I read a great quote from Herbie Hancock today which got me thinking about Mentorship and the value it can bring to small business owners starting up.  Hancock said “I’ve learned a lot from mentors who were instrumental in shaping me, and I want to share what I’ve learned.”

This, for me, is a key essence of having a Mentor and why it’s important for start-ups.  By working with a Mentor you are aligning yourself with someone who has a lot of experience, believes in you, has confidence in you, helps to shape you and helps you focus on your strengths.  For many mentees that support then inspires them to want to become a Mentor themselves and pass on the knowledge and experience they received.

Many start-ups are focused on being in their business, getting the job done but forget to give back to themselves, allowing for a space to think about and be supported in the development of themselves and their business.

The benefits of mentorship are huge and could make the difference between success and failure.  Here are four simple ways a great mentor can help:

  1. You’ll have more discipline and focus

All businesses need to develop and grow. To be able to do that the owner and their team needs to have focus, be disciplined and be productive.

The business must have a clear vision, have the right products in place and generate revenue. To help accomplish this a Mentor will provide business and management skills and help the owner become a better leader.

The Mentor may also help with business strategy and planning and guide you on the processes required to create a healthy business.

Many Mentors have mentors themselves, knowing their critical importance in the journey to business success.

  1. You’ll avoid common mistakes

Your mentor will have the knowledge and experience of running their own business or will have lots of professional expertise that you can leverage on your business journey. They will have experienced ups and downs, success and failure and know what it takes to be an effective.

Although some experiences are unique, many start-ups will go through the same growing pains and the mentor can help you avoid common mistakes.

This can include advice on planning and budgeting, securing funding and marketing the business. Critical advice to ensure the business has a sound foundation.

  1. They’ll help you build up a network.

Business professionals and entrepreneurs will often have a large network filled with the resources, expertise, skills and knowledge you need.

These connections can prove invaluable as you grow your business, whether it be connections with suppliers, helping you get your message out, managing the day to day or acquiring new customers.

They will also be willing to make introductions, give you the confidence to speak to peers and help to improve your standing in the community you wish to sell to.

  1. You’ll have more confidence

By having the support and experience of a mentor at your side you will gain confidence.  This confidence helps create better leaders and benefits your all round business knowledge.

It will allow you to talk about your business more eloquently, sell the business more effectively and give you the framework to plan and grow your business more effectively.

Don’t let the opportunity pass of working with a Mentor.  It could be the best decision you ever made.

About the Author

Mark Pettit is the Owner of Lucemi Consulting a Business Consultancy and Business Coaching practice that helps small business owners build and grow sustainable, profitable businesses.