Mentoring can help improve productivity, build better business relationships and help to retain staff. It's a useful tool to turn to as your business grows, as you can benefit from the advice of someone who has been there and done it before. Read our guide to find out how mentoring can benefit your business.
However good your idea, there is no substitute for experience. A mentor can offer a good level of support and act as a sounding board, providing advice and guidance to help you overcome challenges as your business grows. Mentors can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and can also provide you with some useful contacts when it comes to raising finance or finding suppliers, for example.
Mentors can be a vital part of your business growth but it can be hard to find the right one for your business. Identify the key issues you want help with and look for people who have faced similar challenges and overcome them. Chances are they might say no to being your mentor, but ask them if they can recommend anyone else. One of the best places to find mentors is through business or trade organisations or by asking others in your peer group for any recommendations.
It's important to realise that mentors are not consultants - they are there to help you explore, question and resolve issues with your business. In order to succeed, a mentoring relationship needs to be a two-way process - be prepared to put in as much as you are getting out of it. Mentoring is usually carried out on an informal basis and is process undergone over a period of time - it's not a quick-fix solution.
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