Why Mentoring Is Good for Business

by:  Brian W Kerr

When you pursue any new business venture, one of the main challenges you face is not knowing what to do first.

The opportunities are out there, in franchises, in brick and mortar businesses and in online businesses. There are literally thousands of opportunities to get involved with. What is very common is that people mostly get into these things with no experience how to run a business or what to do to make it profitable. Some of these opportunities may come with pages of procedural guides and hours of video, and many come with absolutely no training resources at all. On paper, some of them actually look do-able: pick something that interests you, read the books, watch the videos, and presto… instant business. But what do you do first?

All businesses require unique skillsets, different approaches and attitudes and specific, directed action.

The common thread among most of the packaged training programs out there is that they are posted on a website called a ‘back office.’ When you go to that site, you discover a very large amount of information organized in a way that usually makes perfect sense to the company that posted them there, but you find absolutely overwhelming. It all looks like good information and it seems to provide a lot of “how-to”detail about processes you can use in your new business. But you soon find your head swimming with questions: “Do I have to learn all this stuff, or do I pick and choose?”, “Can I work just on the things I know I’m good at already?”, What happens when I don’t understand something in here?” and “What do I do first!?” In a nutshell, the problem is, it doesn’t tell you where to start, how much time you can expect to have to spend at it, and most importantly, what attitude to approach this stuff with. We are emotional beings, and attitude is EVERYTHING.

Good mentoring is the key to moving forward quickly and confidently in any new business venture.

Almost every successful business person you meet will tell you the secret to their early (and continuing) success was receiving guidance from a trusted mentor. Business is a person-to-person relationship; your relations with clients, colleagues and other businesses are all based on personal contact and personal trust. Without an understanding of how these complex relationships work, no amount of process training or how-to videos will make a new business successful. A mentor provides the intangibles: suggestions about attitudes and approaches, positive critical comments about the work you are doing, recommendations on how to prioritize tasks, and honest encouragement. A mentor supplies the human touch.

Finding a mentor with experience in your industry is a critical success factor to the success of your new business. Few businesses come with a mentoring program included, but there are a few which do. I strongly recommend you seek out those which make mentoring an intrinsic part of their business model. The odds of your success will increase exponentially.

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