How to Connect with a Business Mentor
Download our free Mentoring Toolkit and Business Model Canvas
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Are you ready for a business mentor?
One of the best ways to get potential business mentors excited about your business and ideas is through some preliminary preparation. Doing so helps to demonstrate your competence and ambition—both of which will help your mentor feel more confident in the viability of your business and their ability to help you achieve your goals. This worksheet is designed to make sure you are mentor-ready by helping you articulate your business plan and create a profile that stands out.
Download your Mentoring Toolkit: Help for Entrepreneurs
Connecting with a Business Mentor
After completing your preliminary preparation, it is time to connect and match with a mentor. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that this process is efficient and easy.
1. Create a Complete Profile that Grabs Attention
Profiles that clearly explain the specifics of your business as well as who you are as an individual and entrepreneur attract more and better quality responses. Your profile should include a detailed yet concise "elevator pitch" that focuses on the problem(s) you are trying to solve and the specific competencies a mentor could employ in order to help you get there. Use the Preparation Worksheet above as a guide to edit your profile and make it even more complete. Next, make sure to dedicate some space to familiarizing potential mentors with your personality and motivations. A good personality fit is just as important as a good skills fit. Finally, we recommend that you upload a high-quality and professional profile photo. Mentors want to work with real people and including a photo will help to establish a human connection. In general, the more you’re able to share with a prospective mentor, the easier it is for them to really understand your needs.
2. Search Smart
MicroMentor offers many ways to search through our mentor profiles. You can search by expertise, industry, languages spoken, country of residence, and more. We've discovered that the best mentors don't always need to come from your same industry, or even your own country. We invite you to expand your search criteria to find the widest pool of potential mentors.
3. Take Time to Craft a Professional First Message
Once you’ve found several mentors who seem like they may be good fit, send each of them a brief, personalized message. When writing potential mentors, respect their time and help them to understand how their experience relates to your issue. Just like a good cover letter, this is your opportunity to describe your relevancy and significance.
Example First Message:
Hello Mr./Mrs. _____________,
My name is _______ and I am the owner and operator of First Impression Messaging Service, a company that aims to help business men and women put their best foot forward in all direct messaging correspondence. After reviewing your profile, I believe that our organization could benefit greatly from your professional skills, especially in the areas of online marketing and communications. Kindly take your time to review my MicroMentor profile and reach out should you share in my enthusiasm to explore a potential mentoring relationship.
Thank you very much for volunteering your time to empower aspiring entrepreneurs like myself.
4. Nurture the Connection
After you connect with a mentor, it is important to be open and honest about how you plan implement their advice. In some cases you will need to trust their credibility and take calculated risks based on their advice, while in other cases their advice may be off the mark, requiring that you push back. Make sure to be open to considering your mentor’s perspective, but use it in a way that works for you and your business. Always be respectful and responsive.
The Business Model Canvas
Have you written a business plan? The Business Model Canvas can help you outline the basic elements of a business plan, making your business idea much more clear to you and your mentor.
Even if you do have a business plan in place, The Business Model Canvas is a useful exercise that can help to summarize all of your business activities on one sheet of paper, allowing you and your mentor to analyze what you are currently doing and brainstorm possible solutions to the challenges you are facing.