Even the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners can benefit from an external eye and receiving some outside advice from a mentor. The right business mentor can use their knowledge and specialised expertise to provide a fresh perspective, give feedback, and help you create a plan to achieve your business goals. But, how do you know if your business needs a mentor and how can you fit the right fit for your needs? We define what a business mentor is, how to identify when your business requires one, and how to find the right mentor for your business.

What is a business mentor?

A business mentor guides and advises fledgling businesses, entrepreneurs and startups towards greater success. Thanks to their extensive experience, business mentors can offer proven techniques, new ideas, and specialised skills. They can also assist with reporting, analysing data, and growing businesses based on this analysis. Often, a business mentor will have a particular skill set that the organisation is lacking and requires specialised expertise in. 

Do I need a business mentor?

Whether your business requires a mentor will depend on a variety of factors like the size of your business, the challenges facing your business, and your business objectives. If you run a medium to large size organisation, chances are that you have already got a detailed plan mapped out for the next few years. However, small businesses and entrepreneurs can certainly benefit from the knowledge and experience imparted by a business mentor. If your business is facing challenges which are beyond your expertise and experience, then a business mentor is recommended. In the case of still developing your business goals, a mentor can identify your objectives and assist in creating a path to achieve them.

How to find a business mentor

Now that you have identified your need for a business mentor, it is time to find one! 

Unfortunately, finding a business mentor is rarely instantaneous. To find the right mentor, you need to be willing to take the next step as an entrepreneur by stepping outside of your comfort zone and reaching out to others.

Utilise your existing network

We recommend utilising your own network of past acquaintances, colleagues and peers and getting in touch with them when looking for a business mentor. These relationships can be a great starting point and can help introduce you to more contacts and possible mentors.

Attend networking events

Although it can be tough if you are time poor, attending industry-specific networking events is an ideal way to meet new people who specialise in the skills or expertise your business requires. Due to the nature of these events, you will have plenty of opportunities to chat to other professionals and discuss your business requirements in a suitable environment. 

Enlist the professionals 

Sometimes it is best to use the professionals! A professional business mentor will be able to give you advice that is free from the constraints of personal relationships and in the best interests of your business. Due to the nature of the professional relationship, it will also be easier to share any confidential information such as your financial situation with your business mentor. 

How to know if your business mentor is the right fit

Anyone can give advice. To ensure that your business mentor is a suitable fit for your business, they should meet the following criteria.

Your values & philosophies align

While you and your business mentor’s business values and philosophies do not need to match completely, it is important that they are aligned. Otherwise, their advice and ideas may be in conflict with your ethics and approach to business. For example, if your business prioritises sustainability then choosing a business mentor who values profit above all else will not be the best fit for your business and values.

They understand your business

A good business mentor will take the time to understand what makes your business unique. Your mentor should be curious about how you operate your business and have a solid understanding of your industry and points of difference. Otherwise, they will only be able to give generic advice which may not be practical or suitable for your business.

Can provide honest feedback

A great business mentor will give you the facts straight. You should prepare for some tough love, some home truths, and some humbling advice when it comes to your own professional development. Business mentoring is about reexamining what you think you know, and letting someone else into your comfort zone. If you feel that your business mentor is not challenging your development, it may be time to find someone else. 

High level of communication skills

Good people and communication skills are something all business mentors should have. The ability to work with a diverse range of people is important, as your mentor will need to be able to extract important information and insights from different individuals across business. They should be able to communicate their recommendations in a way that anyone can easily understand and put in place.

Attention to detail

The smallest mistake made with billing can have catastrophic consequences for your operations. Being able to spot and prevent these is important, as is being able to detect the potential of future errors. They should be able to remain organised and productive throughout the process.

A balanced approach

Growing a business involves a calculated combination of both risky and conservative behaviour. This means being able to create several back-up plans that take into consideration worst case scenarios, while also understanding that certain unexpected and risky opportunities might pop up and require immediate action. This means balancing creativity with structure, logic and intuition. Above all, an accountant needs to love accounting and love what they do. This single quality can even ensure the rest falls into place.

Choose Stones Sharp as your business mentor 

We know that being in business means taking risks, and we also know that these risks are best taken with a safety net of support. Stones Sharp business mentors will give you sound, accurate and impartial advice that is tailored to help you reach your goals. Contact Stone Sharp on (03) 9853 0641 to learn more about how we can help your business identify and achieve your goals!

Shane Borg

Shane Borg


Shane is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and a Chartered Accountant.

Shane’s passion is to consider the clients, the client’s business and taxation affairs with a holistic approach whilst providing business mentoring, business strategies, systems development, taxation advice and taxation planning in order to assist his clients and their business achieve their goals.

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