Business mentors are the shepherds of the business world. They use their knowledge and expertise to help business owners improve their business and achieve their goals. With some research and a little introspection, finding the right business mentor for you is easy.

6 important questions to ask before searching for a Business Mentor

If you think that you’d benefit from professional business management consulting here’s 6 questions to ask before you begin your search.

1. What is a business mentor?

A business mentor guides and advises fledgling small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups towards greater success. Thanks to their extensive experience, small 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.

2. Do I need a business mentor?

That depends. If you run a medium to large size organisation, chances are that you’ve 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. Starting a business means more than taking a leap of faith. It means putting time, effort and money into your passion.

3. Where do I start?

By branching out. That’s the easiest, but most frustrating answer to receive. 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.

  • Look at your own network of past acquaintances, colleagues and peers and touch base with some of them. These relationships can be invaluable in helping you grow in the future.
  • Try networking events, although this may be hard if you are time poor. Industry-specific events will yield plenty in the way of insider knowledge.
  • Enlist some outside help, in the form of a professional business mentor.

The easiest way to grow your business is to venture outside your circle. The right business mentor will give you advice that is free from the constraints of personal relationships. Stones Sharp business mentors will give you sound, accurate and impartial advice that is tailored to help you reach your goals.

4. What are my business objectives?

Building a business without goals is like running a race without a finish line. Without an end in sight, you will burn yourself out before you’ve reached success. Quantifiable goals and objectives give you a benchmark that you and your mentor can work towards together. Here are some common goals that our clients set for themselves:

  • Increasing profits by a certain percentage for the next financial year
  • Increasing productivity throughout all stages of business
  • Pay down a determined amount of debts or consolidating cash flow
  • Stabilising staff retention and operational capacity

If you’re struggling to define a set of goals for yourself and your business, finding an experienced business mentor is crucial as they will be able to offer you guidance on where you can improve and succeed, no matter what stage you are at.

5. What do I need to know about my business?

When you are too close to something, it’s hard to see the big picture. Part of a business mentor’s role is to develop reports on your business, giving you an accurate summation of where you stand, without any bias or judgement. Here are some metrics that a dedicated business mentor can analyse, set and continually revisit over the course of your business relationship:

  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Budgets, cash flow projections and other financial reports
  • Ongoing internal management plans
  • Marketing and advertising strategies

You are the brains behind the operation. You are good at what you do, and you know what you want to achieve. Let a qualified and experienced business mentor compile a balanced, fair and all-encompassing view of your business, while you get on with work.

6. Am I being challenged?

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 look towards a professional.

Looking for the right business mentoring and advisory? Look no further than Stones Sharp. Our professional business mentors can guide your business every step of the way, from startup to success. Get in touch, or call us on (03) 9853 0641 and see your business from another perspective.

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