If you have your own business or are thinking about starting a business, have you thought about hiring a mentor to support you? If so, the well-known phrase ‘been here, done it and got the T-shirt’ has never been more important – and it’s true about the business mentor you hire. Answer this question ‘Yes’, and you move forward with them; if the answer is ‘No’, stop, think and ask yourself another question, ‘how can someone who has not run a business help me run my business?’
When I first talk to people who want to start their own business or with business owners who are already up and running, I ask them hen a few questions. Do they have the ambition? Do they have the right attitude to succeed? Are they mentally enough to deal with all the challenges faced by every business owner? Do they know what they are letting themselves in for? Most do, but some don’t. By working with a business mentor, all these questions turn into reality and answers can be found.
By definition, a business mentor has many years of experience. They have run their own business, they have had the good times and the bad times, the agony and he ecstasy. They have dealt with the HR problems, the difficult bank manager, the new product launch, the negotiations with partners and investors, meeting the important delivery dates, the cash flow problems, the growth plan – just to name few. Most importantly, they have faced the challenges, sorted them out and moved on.
An experienced business mentor will……
……increase your chances of success – 70% of businesses which work with mentor make it beyond their first five years.
……help you develop your business and achieve the growth and success you want – 97% of business owners who have worked with a mentor say they were invaluable, helping them with both their personal development and the growth of their business.
……work with the positives and avoid the negatives. A mentor’s experience often means that they have been in the situation you are in, so they know how to deal with it.
……act as your ‘sounding board’ and ‘critical friend’ – helping you tackle the challenges of being a business owner and ensuring you are not alone.
……already be part of an extensive business network with many colleagues and contacts who have loads of knowledge which is available to you – ‘yes, I know a man or woman who can!’
I’m a member of the Association of Business Mentors (ABM), the professional association for business mentors in the UK
The ABM has strict membership standards to ensure all is members provide an excellent service and great value to their clients. The first question theABM ask of anyone who wants to join is ‘have you run your own business or worked at senior management level?’ Business owners can rely on ABM mentors to deliver results and help them achieve the success they work hard for and deserve.
Now where’s that T-shirt of mine?
Chris Dowling is a director of the Association of Business Mentors – he is always pleased to talk to business owners about their plans, ideas and their route to success.