Mentorship programs, why should you care about them? Are there any tangible benefits to be gained out of mentorship? And if so, where can you get access to them? That’s precisely what we’ll be exploring today as we take a deep dive into mentorship programs for small business growth.
Mentorship In A Nutshell
First, we’ll need to take a quick look at who exactly is a mentor and the motivation that drives them to do what they do. Why? Because the core of any mentoring activity is the teacher, aka the “mentor,” and understanding them will help you grasp mentoring quickly.
Simply put, mentors are experienced professionals or entrepreneurs who have had great success in whatever they’ve chosen to do as their professional endeavors.
I briefly described them as teachers, and in a way, that is what they are. They are eager to teach from their experience, so you can avoid making the same mistakes they did when starting.
Think of them as tricks of the trade. With a mentor, you can get inside knowledge that would be hard to acquire without years of experience in a given field.
And speaking of fields or industries, do you think finding a mentor for a dentist’s office would be complicated? A chiropractor, organic farm? Or perhaps a technology startup? It turns out, absolutely not.
You would be surprised to know that there are mentors for hundreds of different businesses, just like there are entrepreneurs for all of them as well.
A Symbiotic Relationship
Mentoring or a mentoring program entails a relationship between a mentor and an entrepreneur.
First, the mentor shares their time willingly to understand your business to the roots. Then, through communication and planning, you both work together to figure out what direction would be the best for growth.
It involves a lot of back and forth between your mentor and yourself. Chatting, meetings, and planning are at the center of what you’ll be going through with your mentor.
What Can Mentorship Do For You?
We’ve been facilitating mentoring connections worldwide on Micromentor for over ten years. I can genuinely say that there’s an ocean of solutions that mentors have provided entrepreneurs.
While typical marketing concerns involve digital strategy and advertisement, the unseen matters are often the ones with the most impact in the short term. They range from your standard marketing and pricing issues to finances and funding. Think about correct pricing, branding, and audience segmentation, and targeting.
All of those need little to no investment to bring significant returns, but what other aspects do they all have in common?
For example, many entrepreneurs run their businesses in a numbers-blind mode in the financing realm, which is as much of a threat as an opportunity. Why do I say that? Well, if a company is still running, then that means that something is going well. Still, at the same time, you’re cutting yourself out of many opportunities for growth that could come out of accounting and resource allocation.
Finally, another important but many times overlooked benefit of having a professional mentor as your ally is the legitimacy that your business benefits from. Financial institutions will look at you with trust and confidence in your ability to execute by standing next to them. In our experience, that has meant a more accessible path towards accessing and securing funding from traditional sources.
Having a mentor clarifies your path to financing and ensures you’ll approach the right fit for your business in the long term.
How To Find And Connect With A Mentor
So now you know exactly how could a mentor help you out through the obstacles on your way to the top, but how do you connect with them? Do you know any professionals in your field? Perhaps peers that you respect or that are doing great at the moment?
They could be the initial option for a mentoring relationship. But what if you do not know anyone? Another popular choice is to use social media, especially Linkedin, to join groups dedicated to mentoring and networking.
The first step for amplifying your options will always be networking. Even if it is a daunting and time-sucking process, you’ll find many possibilities opening up in front of you as time passes.
With that being said, we built the MicroMentor network to clarify and simplify all the hassle of connecting with a mentor utilizing traditional routes. The network has the sole purpose of offering entrepreneurs the chance to connect with international and local mentors who can help them grow their businesses entirely for free.
Once you’ve found a potential mentor of your interest, all that’s left is sending a connection request accompanied by an introductory message. The purpose of the message is to get your mentor some context on why you think he could be the ideal person to help you out through your journey.
We encourage entrepreneurs to send connection requests to several mentors to increase rapid connection times so that they may start collaborating sooner rather than later.
Well, there you have it. You are now prepared with a deep understanding of what mentoring relationships could mean for your business. If you choose to do so, head over to micromentor.org to find a mentor today.