Entrepreneurs want to go their own way. Otherwise they wouldn’t be entrepreneurs. Though it’s admirable to do everything by yourself, it’s also impossible. Doing something the second time is always easier than the first because ultimately, experience is priceless. Business mentors give entrepreneurs access to relevant practical experience most consider wisdom. Finding the right mentor to guide an entrepreneur as they are starting their company is the difference between that company growing into a successful business or failing, despite what could have been a viable product or service.
Below are the five main ways business mentors can help startups:
Business mentors can help secure funding
Financing is the top priority for most startups. Business mentors aren’t all billionaires, but they have all succeeded in raising money for new companies. Whether it’s identifying grants, making introductions with investors, or helping to identify spending priorities based on past experience, a mentor is almost as important as an accountant when it comes to startup financing. Mentors also add clout. Their endorsement can be crucial to securing loans and convincing additional investors.
Business mentors offer advice
Entrepreneurs have to make tough decisions. These are the kinds of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” choices where both options are unpopular and it’s not so much about winning but what type of loss is going to occur. This is where someone who’s had to make the same call can be invaluable. Very few people will be able to truly empathize with an entrepreneur in these situations, but a good business mentor is one of them. Being able to listen to someone with rare relevant experience can provide emotional support as well as valuable business guidance.
Business mentors can work remotely
Remote mentoring is becoming very popular. In this situation, the mentor does not actually visit the company they are helping, instead they periodically video chat or call the entrepreneur for updates with advice. How exactly does this help? It gives the entrepreneur complete independence in the day-to-day operations of their company while still having access to a guardian angel-type figure to offer insights. This is likely easier for the mentor, and allows the business founder the space to establish confidence in their leadership abilities and hone their management style.
Business mentors are an endorsement
Anyone that becomes a business mentor is worth listening to. Their word carries weight not just with the person they are helping, but throughout the entire industry. Their involvement automatically boosts the status of the startup they are associated with. This makes it easier to set meetings with vendors or supplies, secure funding, generate press and be taken seriously by the rest of whatever field a startup is trying to enter.
Business mentors provide knowledgable experience
Everything comes down to experience and mentors have it. Business is unpredictable, so being able to call on someone who’s been through a similar situation can save any entrepreneur from making a devastating mistake. Having been in a similar situation while approaching a new one from a distance, mentors are often able to see the bigger picture, which helps newcomers to channel their passion and vision into a viable and coherent long-term strategy.