Bev James explains five ways a mentor can help your business to grow
Research in the UK has shown that 70% of small business owners that receive mentoring survive for five years or more. This is double the rate compared with non-mentored start ups, yet less than a quarter of small business owners are using a mentor. In my previous role as Director of Mentoring for Start Up Loans, I saw the positive impact that mentoring had unfold time and time again.
If you’re a budding business owner that wants to take your venture to the next level and realise your potential, here are five ways a mentor can help you get your start up business going.
1. Business experience
Mentors have years of experience and have learnt from their own mistakes. They have walked the path and grown successful businesses themselves so they are fully aware of the pitfalls, which can help to prevent you from making the same mistakes.
2. Managing cash flow
A good mentor understands the importance of managing cash flow. Finance issues are one of the greatest challenges when it comes to running a business. Many start ups fail simply due to poor cash flow management. Your mentor can guide you in the right direction when it comes to reining in unnecessary spending. This can help to safeguard your business from cash flow issues and ensure you get a return on your investment.
3. Creating an action plan
A business mentor understands how challenging running a business can be and can help you to gain focus by identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your market. Together you can come up with the answers to create a solid plan of action to reach your objectives. Your mentor can hold you accountable for your steps forwards, provide you with an objective viewpoint if you need a second opinion and lend support in the face of any challenges on your road ahead.
4. Business contacts
Mentors tend to have a great network of contacts, friends and colleagues which they’ve built relationships with over the years. If there is good synergy between your business and a contact they know they may be willing to introduce you to someone who could help to open doors for you and grow your business.
5. Expanding your comfort zone
A mentor can challenge you by encouraging you to do things that don’t feel comfortable so that you can move beyond your comfort zone and grow. Having the wisdom, support and guidance of a mentor to back you with each step forwards can help you to gain the confidence required to get out there and make your business a success.
Alongside the funding, Start Up Loans offer every loan recipient a free mentor to give your business every chance of succeeding.
Thinking of starting a business? Check out our free online courses in partnership with the Open University on being an entrepreneur.
Our free Learn with Start Up Loans courses opens in new window include:
- Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
- First steps in innovation and entrepreneurship opens in new window
- Entrepreneurial behaviour opens in new window
Plus free courses on finance and accounting, project management, and leadership.
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