4 Reasons Your Business Needs a Mentor

4 Reasons Your Business Needs a Mentor

“I started a business in 2002 knowing very little about running a business. But I stuck with it, through post-partum depression, angst, lack of resources, failures and more,” she recounts. “There are so many people out there who have great business ideas… but zero confidence. Mentors can be the key to building confidence in yourself and your business.”

Dellinger cites SCORE, an organization supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, as a valuable resource. Its national network of more than 11,000 mentors delivers free and confidential advice to entrepreneurs. Business mentors are available for one primary reason – to help you succeed. But it’s a two-way street.  Since  business mentors can learn from mentees as well, the experience is usually mutually beneficial.

Below are just five key reasons how mentors can give small business owners a competitive advantage. They provide:

A Valuable Resource. A great mentor can be your indispensable adviser and life coach since he or she  has traveled the same road  and can guide you to your intended destination faster than if you take that trip solo, asserts Dellinger. Common mistakes and business-damaging pitfalls can be avoided. “I was able to tap into key contacts, vendors, expensive industry reports that were out of my reach due to my mentor. A great mentor will enable you to dramatically cut your learning curve,” she adds.

A Support System. You will invest a lot of time and resources into your new business venture. To be successful, you must have  a support system for counsel and, in some cases, a motivational boost. .  Says Dellinger:  “A mentor in your industry—or even not in your industry—who can listen to the latest startup crisis sympathetically is invaluable. When you’re starting a business, having experienced guidance is the best support system of all.”

A Sounding Board. Every idea you come up with won’t be golden. Mistakes are part of the game. Don’t be afraid to question yourself, or allow others to question you. You’d be amazed at what talking through an idea can do.  A good mentor can be that much-needed sounding board to assist you in thinking through your idea and helping you find effective solutions.

A Point of Access. Along with decades of experience, valuable mentors come with a vast network of industry connections and decision-makers in your target market. Among one of the key benefits to having a mentor can be to provide access to greater business opportunities.Key partnerships and introductions will be more difficult to secure, as will gaining the trust of key brands and influencers you may want to work with to accelerate growth,” Dellinger says. “A mentor can put their own reputation on the line for you should they decide you’re worthy of it. Without a mentor you will have to create your own opportunities. This will prove to be a much longer, slower road.”