How to Find a Business Mentor
Written by Casey Gollan
Seventy percent of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs. However, despite these encouraging statistics, surprising evidence has emerged recently that suggests 42 percent of small-businesses owners have never consulted a mentor.
My career as a business coach officially began in 1996. Looking back now I see that my education has been happening my entire life and the most important lessons were never learned from a book.
Something I’ve come to understand is that the best sources of knowledge are people with experience. Right from the start I sought out and worked with business mentors and I’m not alone. Some of the biggest names in business have taken advice and guidance from mentors.
An example of a successful mentorship is the Sean Parker and Mark Zuckerberg relationship. During the early days of Facebook, Zuckerberg consulted with Parker. In a Vanity Fair article Zuckerberg stated, “Few people are as smart as he is.”
The biggest entrepreneurs of the last few decades (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc.) have all had mentors.
Today, you have many ways to find a great business mentor.
Tools to Find a Business Mentor
A list of tools includes >>>
- Your existing network or friends and business contacts
- Local groups and organisations
- Business coaching federations
Search Google to help you find the best business coach for your situation. Look for as many details as you can for each potential mentor including articles and reviews that mention them. Whether they are local or international, with technology you can learn from the best mentors and coaches in the world – where ever they might be.
Search for keywords such as >>>
- Business Coach CITY (type in your city)
- Business Coach INDUSTRY/BUSINESS TYPE (type in your business type etc)
- Recommended business coach (you can add to this your location and/or your business type)
- Business mentor testimonial
- Business coach directory
As you search you’ll come across communities that offer support in your search. For example, groups on LinkedIn offer support, feedback and recommendations for business coaching. Your community of colleagues likely extends to those you know from local groups and networks. Reach out to these people for recommendations and references. There are also business coach federations both on local levels and even on global levels.
Once you have a list of potential candidates, begin to qualify them using the following criteria.
Criteria for Finding a Business Mentor
Items to look for in a good business mentor include >>>
- Experience: Choose someone that has been coaching for longer than 5 years.
- Proven Track Record: Choose someone that has helped businesses become more successful.
- Results and Examples: Choose someone that has documented the success of clients.
- Delivery Method: Choose someone that has a teaching method that works for you.
- Matching Values: Choose someone whose values match yours.
- Price Point: Choose someone whose price point fits your situation.
Follow these steps you’ll find the perfect person for your situation.
Assess your company values and your personal values. List them out and use them for reference as you research potential mentors. Matching values, for me, is one of the most important criteria when selecting a mentor.
Proven Track Record
Too often we make decisions based on emotion. You are more likely to make a good decision for your business mentor when you follow the results.
These are some of the items to look for when assessing a mentor’s proven track record.
The mentor has >>>
- Been doing it for a long time.
- General business and or industry-specific focus.
- General business and or industry approval.
You can find this information on mentor websites and business coaching federations. Speak with references or those that have worked with your potential mentors in the past.
Working with someone that has niche expertise can be beneficial. For example, someone that has 20 years of experience in the plumbing industry s a great potential mentor for a startup plumber. If the mentor also has industry credentials it makes the relationship even more likely to succeed.
Are you convinced that a mentor can help your business?
Here is one more statistic: Sixty percent of UK business leaders have had a mentor, and of these, 97 percent said they had benefited from the advice given.
That’s a huge success rate.
Your Perfect Business Mentor
If you take one thing away from this article remember that finding a mentor that is right for you and your situation is the most important element for success. Perform all the background research you can. Find someone that fits your value system. Reach out to them and get to know them. If you feel strong about the potential of the relationship form a partnership where you are both invested in the success of your business.
This is how I’ve worked with each of my mentors and it’s how I work with each of my students.
If you are interested in a potential business mentor relationship please visit my website. I’ve helped many business owners add hundreds of millions of dollars in sales over the last 15+ years.
About the Author
Casey Gollan (link to http://www.caseygollan.com.au/business-coach-casey-gollan/ ) has been business coaching since 1996. In that time he has guided over 80 small businesses in adding at least one million dollars in additional growth. His elite business coaching club Add10 (link to www.add10million.com) helps savvy entreprenuers to grow their businesses by $10 million dollars and more. To get his free video series fill in your details on this page www.caseygollan.com.au (link).