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What is a business mentor?

A business mentor is an experienced individual who offers independent advice, guidance and support to help you successfully run and grow your business. Every step of the journey, they will be able to provide assistance and encouragement, enabling you to explore new opportunities, develop ideas, gain confidence, and bolster skills.

Working as a trusted counsellor, a professional business coach and mentor is there to listen, guide and provide useful contacts and resources. The right mentor will help you, as an entrepreneur, reach your full potential. Above all, a small business mentor needs to be approachable, flexible, and knowledgeable. Their purpose is not to tell you what to do – it’s to advise, spurring you on to arrive at your own insights and make the right decisions.

What services and support can a business mentor provide?

The role of a mentor in business is varied and wide-ranging. It all depends on what you’re looking to gain, as a company. Do you want to concentrate on boosting your team management skills and techniques? Are you interested in learning more about marketing strategy? Maybe you’re new to running a business and just want some general, well-rounded advice. 

You’ll find that there are many different types of business mentors out there with unique industry knowledge and specialisms. Some, for instance, will have experience in a particular field, such as technology or finance, while others may boast a great reputation for working with start-ups.

The importance of working with a business coach and mentor

For small businesses and start-ups, investing time and money in a business mentor can prove extremely beneficial. Aside from passing on valuable business knowledge and helping you develop your skills, they are able to provide a certain level of emotional support. In the early days of launching a company, it’s common for small business owners to feel burnt out, stressed, and isolated.  A business coach and mentor will be able to empathise, offering support and reassurance so you feel like someone’s got your back. They will be able to help you look at situations from different perspectives and can provide practical tips, methods, and strategies for a host of circumstances.

How is the mentoring delivered?

There are no strict guidelines on how business mentoring is delivered. The whole point is that it’s flexible and bespoke. The most important element is maintaining regular, professional contact between the mentor and mentee. This can involve face-to-face meetings or online interaction – or a combination of the two – and the sessions can be as casual and structured as you like. Would you prefer to interact via email or telephone? Do you prefer formal meetings to set agendas and business objectives? With business mentoring, there’s not a one size fits all approach. We all work in different ways, so take some time to find the best arrangement for both parties.

How to get a business mentor

Now that you know the benefits, next, you’ll be thinking about how to get a business mentor on board. To ensure you’re fully harnessing the mentoring experience, it’s important to choose a mentor who has a deep understanding of how the world of business works. You can find professional, established small business mentors locally, as well as online. You could also choose someone from within your own social circle or business network – friends, family members and business contacts can make great mentors too. There are various options to explore. Do your research and consider your goals and requirements. You’ll want to gel well with each other, after all.

So, how much will you have to pay a business mentor? Well, you may be lucky enough to find a mentor who’s willing to work for free, but more often than not, mentors will charge consultation fees. It’s just up to you to negotiate. Be clear about what you want from the partnership. It’s an important discussion to have so that you are both able to manage your expectations.

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