December 21, 2014

5 Benefits of Having a Small Business Mentor

business mentor benefits

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate. And whether you’re busy trying to establish your business or developing a growth strategy for your existing operation, it can be valuable to get an expert opinion from a mentor.

Below are some key reasons you should consider reaching out to a mentor.

Business Mentor Benefits

1. Expert Advice

Above all, business mentors have “been there, done that.” They can offer you expert advice and guidance based on actual experiences — successes and failures included.

The insight that business mentors can provide because of what they’ve been through with their business ventures, and over time, is tremendously valuable from a practical standpoint.

2. A Different Perspective

Consulting with a business mentor can be a great way to gain a different, fresh perspective. It’s easy to get caught up with your ideas to the point of questioning, confusion or second guessing – and having a sounding board in a business mentor is a great way to work through some of those kinks.

You may also be presented with some considerations from a business mentor that you wouldn’t have come across otherwise. So it’s a great opportunity to broaden your own outlook.

3. Networking

With all that experience likely comes a vast network of industry connections. Your mentor can help open doors so you can meet people – potential partners, customers and decision-makers in your target market.

Having an introduction from someone like your business mentor can help strengthen that new tie more than simply meeting someone randomly at an event.

4. Skill Development

If you find that you’re struggling with a particular task in your start-up activities or are facing an issue with employees, bookkeeping, etc. in your existing business – a mentor can help.

Many business mentors have a particular area of advanced skills, so you can further your technical abilities while you gather bigger-picture insight.

5. Low Risk

Through many organizations and programs (such as SCORE), consulting with a mentor is usually free, so you don’t have to worry about fronting cash to benefit. You also don’t need to be concerned with scams, because business mentors are available for one primary reason – to help you succeed.

But it’s a two-way street.  Business mentors learn from mentees as well, so the experience is mutually beneficial.

If you’re just getting started down the path to business ownership – or have been there for some time – and are looking for some guidance, consider reaching out to a business mentor to help you along the way.

You’ve got nothing to lose – and a world of business insight to gain.

Mentor Photo via Shutterstock

21 Comments ▼

US Small Business Administration


US Small Business Administration The US Small Business Administration is an independent federal agency that works to assist and protect the interests of American small businesses by delivering the answers, support and resources small businesses need to start-up, succeed and grow. The SBA Community is an interactive extension of the site and features a variety of discussion boards and blogs that allow business owners to connect with their peers, industry experts and government representatives to ask questions, share best practices and get advice.

21 Reactions

  1. Honestly, we have used the Internet (i.e. websites, business forums, etc.) as our business Mentor over the years.

    • But nothing beats a real business mentor who will personally look at your business and give you the exact steps that you need to take and point out the exact errors that you have been committing.

  2. Getting a different perspective, especially when that 2nd perspective is free of the day to day grind, is highly valuable. I also like #3, because connections can lead to partnerships or opportunities you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

  3. I believe the biggest boost to start-ups are mentor-ship. It does not even have to involve funding. Just someone who can give incredible advice to start ups.

  4. Having someone who has a different point of view from you can open up many doors opportunities and options when making decisions. But mentors are just that—to give advice, not orders. Most of the decision-making will be under your responsibility and you have to face consequences on your own. The best thing with mentors, though, is they always have your support regardless of the circumstances. Thanks for sharing!

  5. If you’re just getting started down the path to business ownership and are looking for some guidance, consider reaching out to a business mentor to help you along the way.

  6. Having a mentor or someone to bounce ideas off is crucial to your development of your business. When you are a small business you can feel like you are standing alone, when so many others have been there and done that before. We tend to be so focused on what we have been doing, we tend to stop thinking outside of the box, which a mentor can give a different thought process or persepctive to the matter.

  7. A business mentor sounds like an incredibly helpful tool, especially in today’s world.How would a business owner go about finding a reputable mentor?

    • Good morning Ed. Any start up or existing business owner who needs professional and free business mentorship should contact their local Small Business Development Center. We are located in every State and are part of the SBA.

  8. I am not really understanding what business mentor actually teaches you… If I need to know how to market my business will it be some kind of profound marketing tips than? Or business mentor only teaches you how he got investors and how to pitch?

  9. Awesome article. I would love for you to write an article outlining how to find and qualify a mentor.

    Aaron

  10. A good business mentor can pave the way for newbies. A new business owner can learn from the mentor’s early mistakes and avoid similar pitfalls. And of course the mentor will be able to guide them down the right path.

    It might be helpful to focus on a mentor that specializes in a certain aspect of the business. It might be a marketing mentor, or accounting mentor or start up mentor.

  11. I love the article! But, I must say I have contacted the SBA’s mentor program, and the mentors acted like I was bothering them. I had 1 “mentor” at 2 different times. And they did nothing to help me start, or grow my business. I thought menotrs were someone to guide you along the way, to check up on you to see how things are going, and to give you advice. I thought mentors were what the article mentioned, but I have to tell the truth. I did not get mentoring from my so-call mentor. Maybe, it’s because I wanted an online mentor. What do you think? OR maybe there are no mentors in Denver, CO?

  12. I have searched high and low for a business mentor. Can someone give me at least 4-5 ideas of where I may need to look? I have tried SCORE and have had no success to date. I would appreciate any feedback!

  13. One concept often overlooked is a ‘Personal’ Mentor.
    As a Small Business owner, you are often ‘The Business’ and if you are struggling emotionally and mentally with the challenges of making the business a success then the business will suffer.
    Having someone, either in person or via a medium, that you can call on for advice, inspiration or just good common sense is vital.
    For years I have followed the teachings of the late Jim Rohn for my personal life which has sustained me in my business life.
    Fully agree to have a Business Mentor but they might not be the same person you need for your personal support.

  14. Well I believe having a business mentor is very helpful, I mean he will guide you on how to manage a business, gives you ways or maybe tips, an expert advice and thought you everything that you should know in running a business. So i agree in this article. Who knows? this will lead you to your achievements and success.

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