What Does a Business Mentor Do
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs
A business mentor targets the personal development of entrepreneurs who are well versed in their fundamental technical skills but need extra assistance in other areas, expertise or knowledge.
Typically small business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to start a business will have a passion, a grand idea or an expertise, but they will know much less about other business disciplines which may include finance, planning, buying, growth, and management.
The business mentor will guide you to experts (frequently who they have experience or knowledge of), they will guide you to what you need to do and what you don’t.
Business mentoring will help you prioritise, create structure and most importantly, help you understand all the aspects of running a business.
Remember the biggest danger to a potential business is ‘not knowing what you don’t know.’
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- A business mentor is not a business coach; Business coaching assumes that the client has the necessary capability and helps them to discover it for themselves.
- Business mentoring is not consulting; Management consulting is based on the expertise, knowledge, skill set and technology of the consultant. The consultant’s skill set is focused on building their own internal resources, in order to apply them for the client company’s benefit.
Very simply put, a coach hones the skills and knowledge that already exists, a consultant does it for you. The mentor helps you learn new skills or manage people and suppliers who provide them for you which means that mentoring is about self-development and helping you improve your personal skill set – coaching and consulting is about supplementing your lack of knowledge and adding value in a different way.
Don’t confuse a mentor with someone who will actually do things! They are there to help you develop your own knowledge and learn skills where your existing knowledge is weak. Make sure your relationship is one of mentoring and not providing skills.
Blunt advice about Mentor support from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Selecting a mentor it is very difficult to establish the objectives from the outset, as they will change with time. Read >