When you decide to go it alone it can be daunting. Starting your own business is exhilarating but it can be a frightening time too and once the excitement of setting up is over it can be very isolating. Having a little bit of support can really help and a mentor can be the person to provide this.
Few people have every skill needed to run a business effectively, at least when they start out. A mentor can provide you with extra support in areas you know little about and is someone you can turn to when you need to let off steam about your business too. Many experienced business people are happy to act as mentors as they know exactly what it was like to be in your position.
Mentoring can really benefit your small business in many ways. An outside voice can tell you if you need extra support in certain areas. It could be that you need additional administrative support and they can suggest a quality virtual assistant or they may have other recommendations to help your business grow.
What exactly is mentoring? It’s more than just someone you can phone up when you feel like it. It’s a business person who can help to teach you how to run your business more effectively. Your mentor will have experience and knowledge they can share and they know how to develop a successful enterprise.
Mentors are your genuine sounding board. You can talk to them about your concerns as well as your plans for the future and they should provide dependable, tried and tested advice.
This kind of support is invaluable but looking at on screen it sounds pretty expensive. For some businesses there is access to free mentoring. If you are a start-up company then there are many schemes across the UK that you may be able to access. Organisations such as The Prince’s Trust provide free mentoring to businesses that qualify and there are many local organisations who provide similar services. Utilising our Google+ Community “Startup in Britain” also gives you the opportunity to talk to successful business owners and develop your business identity and plans for going forward.
Make the Most of it
To get the most out of mentoring you need to be open to others ideas. It can be hard to be told your biggest and best idea is actually not going to work but you must take constructive criticism on board. Your mentor knows what they’re talking about and they’re willing to work with you to help your business grow – ignoring their advice makes the whole process fruitless.
Your mentor will help you set manageable goals and work with you to ensure you can reach them. They will have suggestions you may not have thought of and have real life experience you can draw on.
Starting up a new business is lots of hard work and you’ll only be doing it if you’re passionately dedicated to your cause. Sometimes passion and drive isn’t enough and you do need some genuine business acumen to help your grow.
You can also join our Google+ Community “Startup in Britain” which is packed with help, resources and articles to get you started. Use it to get tips, advice and start building your network!