How to Find a Mentor for Your Small Business

How to Find a Mentor for Your Small Business

All successful entrepreneurs out there would agree that having a good mentor makes the difference between success and failure. Some recent research shows that almost 70% of monitored businesses do not survive more than 5 years. If you ask me, this number is pretty concerning.  

Although getting a mentor sounds very reasonable, there is a difference between knowing what is best for your business and starting to use that in practice. A lot of people share the opinion that mentorship is important, however not all have a mentor by their side. So let’s put it in a few words here – having a mentor can increase your chances to become successful and avoid many mistakes in entrepreneurship that will cost you a lot. 

What are the most common entrepreneurial mistakes?

Lack of guidance can lead to a lot of mistakes, be it financial or management issues. By having a mentor you will be prepared to avoid some entrepreneurial mistakes. Let’s take a look at the possible list of the most common ones:

Financial mismanagement

It is important to prioritize your finances. The financial health of your business can be improved a lot by having a good organization of your cash flow and balance sheets. How can a mentor help here? Well, a good mentor will lead the way and guide you to focus on managing your finances for growth. As a small business entrepreneur, you have other essential responsibilities and research to handle, so having an advisor would help put you in line. 

Not knowing how to expand infrastructure

Your business and profit will improve when you implement proper infrastructure for the business. However, some businesses try to expand before having thought of all the processes and consistency of their products or services. They don’t consider their profit margins as well. 

An experienced mentor will come in handy because they can help with the decision making or guiding for your business growth; this entails decisions such as expanding and infrastructure, future partnerships, hiring employees, and many more ideas that can grow your business. 

Poor market strategy

If you don’t know your customers or your potential buyer’s persona, there will be a lot of expenses to handle for your marketing strategy. You know the saying “if you do everything it is like you have done nothing”? It is common to find people trying their hands at so many things and failing because they are not strategic enough. You must have a targeted audience, which you will need to find ways of approaching and interacting with. This is where expert advice comes in handy. Having a mentor can help guide you to thinking about strategies that fit your business best, and also help you narrow down your audience so that you can reach the right customers.

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Among the most important benefits of having a mentor is all the knowledge you can get. That mentor has years of experience, they have failed and succeeded at so many things, so you can learn a lot from them and avoid those missteps by yourself. Use your mentor wisely and try to learn from first-hand experience on decision making, investments, team building, and scaling your business without having uncalculated risks. 

What is important to mention here is that your mentor doesn’t have to be a high-profile businessman with prominent success. You can learn a lot even from an experienced small business entrepreneur who can introduce you to the fundamentals of a business and dealing with customers. Having a mentor will help a lot. Don’t let your ego overwhelm you and get in the way of seeking assistance in the form of knowledge, you can never know it all

Where can you find a mentor?

It is a misconception that having a mentor is too expensive or that it is hard to find. You can find a mentor for each stage of your business growth; you will need to talk to different people as your business starts to evolve. And sometimes that won’t cost you a naira!

There are some resources that you can use to help you find mentors and advice. One of them is by networking. You can connect with your potential mentor through a good conversation. Go outside! You can’t always be asking “God when?” when you are always at home. Get out of your shell. However, if going out is too much for you, you can ease into it by networking on social media or at events that are held online. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you share common interests with or whose achievements you admire.

Be a good mentee

How can you maintain the right relationship with your mentor? Despite the need for a mentor, you also need to learn how to be a good mentee. Meaning you need to follow the advice provided by your mentor, and always share your assistance, opportunity, or skills with them. If you want them to feel that their contributions are of use to you, implement them! Let them see that you are working. 

Try different approaches as that will also strengthen your skills under the mentor’s assistance. If you are guided by a mentor, you can outgrow your uncertainty for decision-making and achieve your goal during your journey. 

Find the right mentor for you and work with them to build a great business!

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