Finding the right business mentor can help you improve your business and increase profits faster and better than you could do on your own. More often than not, a fresh pair of eyes can add a new perspective in identifying areas for change. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t settle for just any business mentor.
To get the most out of your business mentoring relationship, you must identify a business mentor with some specific qualities. As a business mentor for a number of years, I have compiled the list based on the feedback I have received from my clients on what they consider to be crucial qualities when choosing the right mentor.
- They Possess the Skills You Don’t: When choosing a suitable business mentor, you want someone who possesses the skills you are lacking and someone with the know how especially in fast evolving areas such as marketing, I.T., etc. The right mentor should also have good contacts to direct you to if they are short on knowledge in a specific area. Finding a mentor with a fresh perspective who can give you ideas and insights into doing business a new or better way is the key to success.
- Experience and Understanding of Your Industry: A suitable business mentor should have experience of mentoring clients within your business sector and possess good knowledge of the industry. Your mentor should act as a sounding board and a valuable resource to help you face challenges specific to your industry. A business mentor from outside of your industry can also offer general business knowledge but it’s important to note that a mentor with industry experience carries greater value and can offer actionable tips for you to succeed.
- Active Listening Skills: In a small business mentoring relationship, you should be able to freely share your ideas, business challenges and goals for growing and improving your business. Honestly is key to getting the most from your mentoring. A great mentor listens to your challenges and helps you build a plan to overcome them. They should be in tune to your strengths and help you focus your energy in the right areas. By listening to your ideas and goals, they can help you develop a step-by-step plan to reach them.
- A Mentor who Understands You and Your Needs: If your mentor does not understand you and your needs then it may not be the right mentoring relationship for you. For example, if you value specific time with your family or have interests and hobbies, you need a mentor who supports and values similar things and understands the importance of work life balance. The same thinking should be applied to your business goals. If your mentor values scaling companies to national levels, but you prefer the small, local approach, you may clash on your goals and ideas of success.
- Someone who Spurs You On: A good mentoring relationship does not involve someone who tells you what you want to hear. In fact what you need is the opposite approach and someone who will spur you on, out of your comfort zone and challenge you to meet the goals you set. A good mentor will support and encourage you and give you the practical tools you need to believe that you can achieve the success you really want. The more you can be challenged and sharpened by a good mentoring relationship, the faster you’ll grow personally and professionally.
There is so much to be gained by taking the time to scope out a suitable business mentor. Good Luck on your journey!
For more information, contact me today.
Emily Mahon, Business Mentor, MentorUs Business Solutions