There’s no denying that running a business is not always smooth sailing! With the job title of entrepreneur, you need to wear many different hats in order to keep things running. As a result, it’s natural to run into situations on your journey that have the potential to throw you off. And, it’s impossible to do absolutely everything on your own! So, many business owners reach a point where they want to seek support from somebody outside of their organisation. Whether this is simply to lend a listening ear, or help them come up with solid strategies to move forwards, it can certainly be helpful. But who should you choose to help you? There seem to be so many services out there provided by people who promise to level up your operation. What’s the right choice for you? The two main services that entrepreneurs usually seek out are business mentoring and business coaching. But what does a business mentor do? When should an entrepreneur consider taking on the services of a mentor? How is mentoring and coaching different? This blog post aims to answer these questions, to help you decide whether a business mentor or coach would be more beneficial for you and your organisation. There’s no denying that mentoring can be incredibly beneficial, as long as you can find the right mentor for you. In fact, it’s often used in tandem with coaching for the best results. Does this sound intriguing? Keep on reading to find out more!
So, what does a business mentor do?
The concept of a business mentor in its most basic form is somebody who shares their knowledge and wisdom with you, in order to have a positive impact upon your organisation. They will have plenty of industry experience, usually having run their own company too, and will want to see you and your operation thrive and grow. Aside from simply sharing their knowledge, a good mentor will challenge you to develop your business in ways that you may not have thought about before. Lots of incredibly successful entrepreneurs attribute some of their success to their business mentors, so it is definitely a worthwhile investment if you feel you could benefit from these sorts of services.
Why might you need one?
Now we’ve covered the question of what does a business mentor do, let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why an entrepreneur may choose to take one on:
You want to grow your business
Who doesn’t want to grow their business? In fact, it’s the ultimate aim of many entrepreneurs. But the thing that stops many of these businesses from actually growing is the fact that the entrepreneurs are not 100% sure how to make the growth happen! A business mentor will have experienced these situations before and come out of them stronger. As a result, they can pass on their knowledge, tips, and tricks to help you do exactly the same thing.
You’re new to the business world
Lots of people start successful operations with very little direct experience! It doesn’t have to be the thing that stops you from starting the company of your dreams. However, you are a lot more likely to be successful in your endeavours if you have someone on hand, with more experience than you, to help guide you through all of the new experiences you will encounter. A good mentor who cares about your success will also be able to introduce you to a whole range of knowledge, ideas, strategies, and even people that will be incredibly valuable to a brand new business owner.
You’re looking to expand your network
In business, often the key to surviving and thriving is the people you know! It’s important to cultivate a wide network of different contacts, as you never know when and how they may be able to help you, and vice versa. Despite this, it can be tricky to do as a new entrepreneur. So, a business mentor will help you, by introducing you to their contacts who they believe you will find useful. From these introductions, you will be able to build a network of key relationships that you can leverage to help get your business where you want it to go.
You want to cultivate a long term relationship
Speaking of business relationships, if you are looking to build one with a long term, trusted person who will guide you through different phases of your business, you may benefit from seeking out business mentoring. A good mentor will want to get to know you and your operation on a deeper level, and help you succeed, no matter what is happening or changing. So, if you also want to cultivate this sort of relationship, you haven’t really got anything to lose!
Is it different from business coaching?
On the surface, from answering the question of what is a business mentor, it seems as though a mentor and a coach are fairly similar. Of course, they do have their similarities. A good coach will be able to help you with many of the same areas as a mentor, such as introducing you to new contacts and helping you to come up with strategies for growth. But, there are also a few key areas in which they differ. These include:
Coaching is focused on specific goals
Of course, business mentoring can help you meet goals for your organisation. But, its main aim is usually to share general wisdom about the business world and how to navigate certain situations that may arise. However, with coaching, the aim is to help you meet certain, specific goals. These goals can be anything, and there is a coach out there who specialises in that area! From growing your sales, taking on a larger team, expanding into new markets, or simply making money, a coach is more likely than a mentor to give you specific, tailored advice to help you do just that.
Business mentoring isn’t always a paid service
Many business people who have lots of experience actively seek out newer entrepreneurs to mentor for no cost. They do this as they feel it’s their duty to give back to people who are in the position they were once in and share their valuable knowledge. On the other hand, business coaching is usually a paid service for a set amount of time that’s designed to help you meet specific goals. The fact that mentoring is often free has both pros and cons. Of course, it’s great that you don’t have to pay for the advice, and it can be very useful! But, it also means that your mentor won’t be able to dedicate as much time to you as a paid coach, whose sole job is to work with you on meeting your business goals. As a result of this, many entrepreneurs choose to take on both a mentor and a coach to really help them thrive on their journey, ensure that there are no gaps in their knowledge, and have the peace of mind that they always have access to advice when they need it.
Coaching is usually a shorter-term service
As this post has already mentioned, the concept of mentoring is usually a long-term relationship that is cultivated and developed over a period of years. On the other hand, coaching is usually a shorter-term service. After all, coaching is designed to help you meet specific goals. Once these goals have been reached with the help of your coach, many business owners find that they no longer require coaching services until the next time they have specific goals they are struggling to meet. While some entrepreneurs do work with their coaches long-term, it is less likely than it is with mentoring.
You can benefit from coaching at any stage
Often, business mentoring as a concept is aimed at those who are new to running their own business, or who are ‘up and coming’ in the business world. After all, one seasoned businessperson would probably not benefit as much from mentoring provided by another businessperson, compared to how valuable it could be to a newbie! On the other hand, coaching is a good solution at any stage of your business journey! Whether you have a brand new business, or it is well-established with further goals to meet, the services of a business coach would be appropriate. So, coaching tends to be a more adaptable service.
Final thoughts on what does a business mentor do
Business mentoring and coaching, while different entities, can both be very useful to any business owner. But, mentoring is particularly beneficial for those who are newer to the business world, and would benefit from the advice and opinions of a more seasoned entrepreneur. Overall, practically any business could find mentoring, coaching, or a combination of the two to be useful. It’s all about finding the right mentor or coach, one whom you work well with for business the improvement of your business. Not sure how to find the right person for you? Click here to read a blog post all about finding the right business coach for you! Or if you’re ready to work with an effective business coach, contact me now at email@example.com or complete this contact form, and I’ll be in touch shortly.