Why You Need to Have a Business Mentor 16 Aug 2018


“Even better, according to a 2014 survey by The UPS Store, 70 percent of small businesses that receive mentoring survive more than five years – double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.” – Small Business Administration

There are thousands of websites and seminars focused on helping small businesses survive and thrive. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the influx of advice for small business owners. But, an abundance of advice can’t replace a good mentor.

The fact is, no matter how good a website or seminar is, the internet can’t provide the same level of detail and insights that a business mentor can offer. And research shows that mentored businesses are twice as likely to survive. Let’s look at a few more reasons why your business needs a mentor and where a mentor can make the biggest difference for you.

Expert Business Advice from Someone Who’s Been There

When you need advice, you likely ask your friends and family members for help. But, the person who gives you relationship advice probably isn’t a business expert. And while the internet has a lot of information for small businesses, this advice is usually for a broad audience leaving it up to you to find ways to apply specific pieces of advice.

Another problem is that the internet may tell you what to do, without ever telling you how to do it. A business mentor can fill in these gaps. They’ve owned a business and been through all this before. They can teach you how to apply the advice you get from the internet and provide insights that are just right for your business.

Mentors can also give advice that relates to specific situations you’re going through or to your business as a whole. For example, a business mentor could help you to:

  • Decide if you need to make a new hire or if you can get by with a contractor
  • Decide whether you should expand the products or services you offer
  • Choose the best method to keep your business growing long term
  • Determine what kind of marketing is best for your industry

But, a business mentor can do way more than give advice.

Provide Support

Business mentor meeting with manager at coffee shop

“Our chief want in life, is someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him, we are easily great.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you’re running your own business, it can feel like no one understands you. A business mentor can support you during the most trying moments of entrepreneurship.

Sometimes the advice on the internet and in business books can make you feel like you should be able to fix everything right away. But, a business mentor can help you realize when you need to fix something and when you need to just grin and bear it. They can also listen to you talk about what you’re going through and act as a sounding board. This will provide you with clarity and motivation to help you keep moving forward.

Help with Networking

An experienced mentor has been in the business world longer than you and will have the network to prove it. This means their list of contacts is a lot longer than yours. Getting a contact from a mentor can help you to find the right person or company for a task without having to sift through hundreds of options.

Getting recommendations for contractors, services, and leads can help you grow your small business by putting you in touch with people who know what they’re doing, and can help you with areas you may not be familiar with. These contacts may then recommend you to other clients they have that are looking for services or products you offer.

Cost Effective Help

There are many consultants and advisers that can help you with your business, but most of them charge high fees for their services. They’re also more concerned about your business than they are about you. This isn’t a great setup for a working relationship.

A business mentor, on the other hand, helps you for free because you’re both part of a mutually beneficial relationship. This relationship helps you both grow as businesspeople and gives you a place where you can find support.

How to Find More Practical Advice for Your Small Business

In this article, we’ve considered how having a business mentor can help give practical business advice, support from someone who has been there, network with people, and receive help without a hefty price tag. But where can you find practical advice on other things, like hiring your next employee?

If you need to hire someone, make sure you don’t miss an important step. Download our 11-step checklist designed to supercharge your small business hiring process. Learn all the essentials for making a compliant hire, whether it’s your first or your hundredth.