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Mentorship: A Solution of Business Problems

How to select a right mentor and what are the importance of mentors for businesses /start-ups to survive in this competitive economy is necessary to understand by all entrepreneurs.
BY Akshay Arora
Feature Writer, BusinessEx
Jun 20,2017

Business wisdom doesnt just appear out of thin air. It comes from hard earned and often hard fought experience. Any entrepreneur worth their salt will tell you about the times they failed, the mistakes they made and the keys they found to ultimate success. A good business mentor will also have a deep understanding of what makes the world tick. They can often see in an individual what that person cannot see in themselves. Mentorship is not limited for start-ups only, but any business going through a rough phase can take guidance from a mentor of the same industry.

Establishing a business in todays dynamic environment needs experience and proper guidance in the formulation of plans and decisions. New entrepreneurs may have ideas and new innovation to start a business but what they lack is in-depth knowledge of how the industry works and for that the solution is mentorship.

Most entrepreneurs may not value the need of a mentor, and this can become the biggest reason for failure in business. If we see the past records, then we will find that most successful persons had a business mentor with them. Some examples of persons who have done exceptionally well in their relationship as mentee and mentor would be Bill Gates and Dr Ed Roberts, Steve Jobs and Robert Friedland.

The key importance of having mentors are :-

Provision of Information and Knowledge:-

A mentor helps to provide with information and knowledge on how to formulate strategic plans, handling daily operation, analyse the market, take necessary decisions at right time, and overall functioning of the business. But it can be done after proper understanding nature of the business.

Stimulation of Personal and Professional Growth:-

Proper teaching and sharing of experience from mentor help entrepreneur to have a clear view of how industry functions and what should be done to achieve desired objectives. This guidance from mentor helps them to gain professional as well as personal growth.

Network Opportunities

Mentor knows the industry well and has many contacts that can be useful for an entrepreneur to expand their business operations. Mentor generates several opportunities for entrepreneur through meetings or invitation in conferences to form contacts.

Encouragement and Emotional Support

Mentor provides support when business is in a rough spot, needs help to provide emotional support and encouragement to an entrepreneur so that no irrational decisions will be taken that impact business productivity. Mentor provides a new eye to look at things differently that gives courage to entrepreneurs of facing complicated situations.

Trusted Advisor

In the world of business, it is difficult to trust people as everyone have their own personal motive that they carve for. But a mentor is someone who has no stake in your business and guides you to growth without any personal motive.

Maintain Confidentiality

Maintaining an environment of confidentiality is a critical component in building trust between the participants. Without a mutually understood ability to speak freely as the situation wants, the relationship is unlikely to reach its full potential. Full disclosure of business and proprietor goals needs to share with a mentor so that decision can be taken accordingly.

The difficult part comes when you have to find the right mentor for your business.

what to look for while selecting a right mentor for your business:-

  1. Find someone who is already successful as what you aspire to do and has prior experience. A mentor could be CEO, President, and vice president of a company in the same industry or it could be a researcher or educationalist.
  2. Dont assume it has to be someone you already know; now there are various other mediums like to find trusted mentors.
  3. Try not to limit yourself to one mentor, as more expertise leads to better understanding.
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