How do I find a small business mentor?
I am in my first year of a small digital marketing business. I feel like it may be useful to have a mentor or coach who can give me advice and help me make business decisions.
How would I find a mentor? Has anyone reached out to a mentor?
This may sound crazy but an entrepreneur does not have a mentor. I had a dream. I had a purpose. No person stood in my way. I found I could rely on nobody. I found that maybe it was my bad luck but nothing is for nothing and nobody truly gives anything of themselves so you have to use you morals and ethics your family taught you and strive. The mentor is you concious. It is your willingness to succeed and never accept no. Do people really care other than your parents unconditionally? I'm yet to see it. I am a man made multi millionaire entrepreneur with morals and 2 parents on disabled pensions. It's their morals that got me here. Not a person.
Marcus Tjen ,
at Rugged Computing
That depends on what kind of mentors you're after: Paid Mentor Easiest way to get someone to mentor you is to get a professional mentor to guide you. Of course the downside is that you have to pay them pretty pennies to get the advice and guidance. When searching for paid mentor best to do your research and find one with good reviews. Unpaid MentorYou can find unpaid mentor from your family and friends circle. Ask around for someone who has some experience in the area that you need to be trained in and since they're your friend or family, they would be willing to assist you with some advice and guidance for free.Incentivised Mentor Good mentor are very busy people, so it's almost impossible to find anyone that would be willing to mentor you for nothing. But, you can try to incentivised someone who you think would be a good mentor for you with some sort of incentives. It doesn't have to be money, it could be by offering them some shares in your business, you could offer to work for them for a period of time for nothing or close to nothing, you could join a cause that your mentor is passionate about and spend time helping your mentor manage/support the cause (eg. charity that they setup, etc). Your imagination is the limit.Passive MentorIf you could spare 30 to 60 minutes a day, you could buy and read books from successful people in your industry. Busy successful people prefer to pass on their knowledge through books or videos simply because that's how they can reach and help the most people with the least of time. So give their books a try first before you go and try to find a mentor especially a paid mentor, it could save you thousands of dollars.
Jef Lippiatt ,
Owner at Startup Chucktown
I have worked with several mentors. I'm currently looking for another one myself and looking to cross-mentor others.
I can say that here in the US there are several nation wide programs. Through the Small Business Administration (SBA) there is another program called SCORE (essentially more seasoned or retired entrepreneurs and business professionals). SCORE mentors are free to use as resources as long as you need them.
If something like that isn't available to you in your area, I would suggest tapping your personal and professional networks to get recommendations on who to talk to next. They may not know a specific mentor, but their recommendations could lead you to one.
I would say don't hire a mentor, hire a consultant. Banks and other large companies hire consultants all the time to introduce you processes and technology into their business.
Talk to sales reps. If you want to improve different areas of your business, speak to sales from the service providers. They will help you get an understanding of how their product can help. Speak to enough sales reps and you will get a better understanding of the industry and ways you can improve your current processes.
You could hire a consultant and I would recommend that. However not until you talk to sales reps first and do some industry recon first. Research your industry, know more about the tech that is available, then look at a consultant. Then you can get value for money out of them.
I have companies call asking for help however they don't really know their industry. They don't research and they don't want to change anything. They just want someone to talk to and let off steam. I have no interest in that and nor to most consultants I know.
A consultant should be able to walk in. Identify issues and put forward solutions. If your not willing or can't afford to make changes, your not in a position to hire a consultant. Prior to hiring a consultant you should have a basic understanding of what your pains are.
Are your processes taking too long. Is your spend too high vs return. Do you want to automate more. Just speaking with a consultant over the phone prior to hiring them, they should be able to tell you. Yes or No, around how much to actually make changes in your business.
If the consultant can't give you a basic understanding of what you should expect and how much to impliment change. Then call someone else.
Mentoring involues more of give overrall guidance and coordinate in taking appropriate business decisions.This needs experience in the particular field of business or someone who is good in strategy and number of years of experience in running similar business or maanegement experience where he can be approached whenever the business needs support in key decisions and ongoing development of the business.One of the ways to find a mentor is by identifying a person engaged in business advisosory and focussing on small business .