Running a business has its challenges. Many business owners have some strengths, but they also often have gaps in the skills needed to succeed. This is where making use of a mentor can make a real difference.
Experienced business mentor, Glyn Davies, uses a great analogy with sports training to emphasise the benefits of also seeking ‘training’ in business.
“Keen golfers and other sportspeople don’t take much encouragement to invest in a coach to improve their score and bragging rights; they see it as a necessity. But it seems that there is the considerable reluctance with business people to invest in a coach to improve their business game. Everyone has blind spots, gaps in their knowledge, and skills they haven’t yet mastered. Just like a sports coach, a mentor can help business people to achieve their – and their business’s – full potential.”
Engaging with a mentor leads to more informed decision making and potential cost savings for your business, as well as guiding your personal development as an owner and entrepreneur.
A business mentor can help you look at problems and situations from different perspectives. For example, as a new business owner, you may have trouble looking at your business through the eyes of a customer, potential investor or regulatory official. By engaging a mentor, who has dealt with people in these roles, can help you understand how your business will look to these individuals.
A mentor can also help you develop numerous other business skills including:
- creating a business plan
- implementing change
- identifying challenges, creating strengths
Building a relationship with a mentor can also lead to greater networking. The value of being able to expand your business network through connection with a mentor is significant – networking is one of the most cost-effective ways to gain new clients, new customers, new suppliers and new support networks.
Then there are times you just want to be able to vent with someone you can trust. Owning a business can be stressful and frustrating. Business owners cannot vent to their partners, employees or customers without potentially causing instability in the structure of the business. However, once you vent to a mentor, you can often start the process of working with the mentor to solve the cause of your frustration. For example, if you’re experiencing performance issues with employees, you may need to vent to your mentor before you can think positively enough about the employees in order to develop a plan to motivate them. A mentor can not only tell you, from experience, how important it is to create a positive environment and boost morale, but they can also give you strategies for doing so.
It is no surprise that starting or running a business is a difficult and complex undertaking, and many business owners face challenges early in the process. In fact, many business owners go through the same types of struggles. That’s why having the ability to hear first-hand from a mentor about their experiences will help you realise that the challenges you may be facing now, will prepare you to be a better business person in the future.
Engaging a mentor will be one of the best investments you make on your business.
|CHAMBER MENTORS is the type of support you would expect from us, and we have experienced, proven mentors ready to apply their knowledge and skills to the next stage or challenge of your business journey. See what some of our mentors have to say about the impact a mentor can make for your business.
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