Just as every sports team has a coach in a side, analyzing the game, changing players and tactics, motivating and guiding, every business requires a mentor for the same reason.
A recent study found that only 2% of people were able to work without supervision so that most business owners need someone to help guide them.
1. Outside perspective – ‘can’t see wood for trees’ is an old expression that summarizes why business owners need a mentor. When we in business every day doing work it’s hard to retreat and take a helicopter’s view of how things are. Business mentors can enter and analyze business because they are not involved every day. They can see things that the owners can’t see (a little like can never see the right salt in front of you at the dining table).
2. Accountability – The main steps in mentoring are to identify problems / areas to improve, place plans in place and ensure that the plan is implemented. Most of the mentor associations that I did with clients in the last 3-6 months. Placing a plan in place is an easier part of this process. Ensuring that changes made can be a bigger challenge. This is where the mentor plays a key role when business owners can do ‘homework’ to do and know that the mentor will soon review this work.
3. Expert knowledge – Most owners / managers work in business as Haidressers or architects before starting their own business. They will take other skills along the way but there may be some gaps in their knowledge. Many mentors will have financial experience, sales, marketing, strategies, HR etc. So they can help plug the knowledge gap that the owner might have.
4. Second Opinion – Quite often business owners know what to do or have a great idea about the next step but they are not 100% convincing that it is a way to go, so they do not continue. Discuss it with a mentor who often helps them realize that it is the right step and gives them the confidence to continue. Being in business can be a quiet place and it might be difficult to discuss things with staff or couples or friends.
5. Motivation – especially in difficult economic times, sometimes it is difficult to remain motivated. Part of the role of a mentor is to encourage the owner, highlight positive things and convince them that they have great business. This can be a very valuable support for business owners.