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Business Mentoring

Business Mentoring
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Business mentoring is becoming more available and is a really good way of setting your business on track. When you decide to start your own business, it can be a lonely and stressful period. However it’s becoming a more popular choice, with the number of people becoming self-employed increasing by 10% since the start of the economic difficulties. If you run your own business, then mentoring can provide support whatever stage of development you’re at. Here we look at what they can help with and how to find a mentor.

How can business mentoring help?

Before you start looking for a mentor, it’s important to understand exactly what support they can provide for your business and the areas they can’t help with. A business mentor will usually have extensive knowledge of business or be an expert in a particular field, such as business marketing or online.

Working with a mentor will help you to step back from the daily tasks and focus on growing the business. They’ll be able to see what’s right and wrong with the current situation, as they’re not as close to it as you are. They can offer guidance on what worked or didn’t work for them in the past and help you come up with innovative solutions or new directions for the business.

Sometimes when you’re working for yourself, you just need some friendly and unbiased support at certain periods. A mentor will provide confidential support and someone to discuss ideas with. They could also put you in touch with new contacts or networking opportunities.

However, a mentor is not there to provide you with a personalised counselling service. They also don’t offer specific business information, training or coaching. If you require help with these elements you should seek expert advice.

business mentor

Where to find a mentor

Mentoring services are provided by a range of companies. There are commercial organisations, who’ll charge a fee for their services, as well as not-for-profit companies who might request a small fee or donation in return for advice.

Mentorsme.co.uk is the first online portal to help you find a suitable mentor and provides a free service. You can select the region you operate within and the stage your business is at – from start-ups through to established companies. The site will then provide you with a list of relevant mentoring organisations in your area. Once you’ve discussed your requirements with them, they can recommend the right mentor for your business.

Horsesmouth is a not-for-profit social network that offers a free online mentoring service. This is an anonymous site, where both parties are encouraged to use aliases. The site includes mentors from a wide range of backgrounds and you can connect with one who has experience of the issues you need assistance with. There’s also the opportunity to publish your conversations with the mentor to help other businesses in similar circumstances.

Rockstar Mentoring Group offers a more structured programme for entrepreneurs. They offer a free consultation service and then charge a membership fee. Following the consultation, they’ll match you with a mentor who provides the level and type of service you’re looking for. Alternatively you can choose your own from their extensive list. The programme is open to businesses of any age and in any sector. There are over 60 mentors available, who cover more than 25 different business sectors.

Above all you need to feel comfortable with the mentor you’ve chosen, as this will help you to get the most from the experience. If you don’t feel they’re providing adequate support you should speak with the relevant organisation.

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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