Starting a business is not easy. Oftentimes, the experience can break even the most confident entrepreneur. To help avoid this, many small business owners have a mentor or confidant that helps them get through the initial uncertainty.
Did you have someone like this when you launched your business?
If so, you know how important it is to have someone there to offer advice or to mentor you through difficult times. Chances are if you look around your circles, you might be able to pay forward the lessons you learned from your mentor to a new small business owner in your local community. If you are interested in sharing your expertise via a mentorship to a new business, here are three avenues to look for an up-and-comer to mentor.
Chamber of commerce – Many local chambers of commerce host events where businesses can network with one another. Oftentimes these groups will offer advice and consultation to new or aspiring business owners. A quick phone call to your local chamber can help get you involved with these consultations, or pair you with a new business in need of mentorship.
Existing partners – Mentorships don’t always have to be with new businesses, some can come from existing partnerships. For example, if you own a local lumber yard and you realize one of your regular customers has been coming in less frequently, you can reach out and find out why. A simple call to touch base to see how thing are going can often spark a conversation on business where you can offer tips to help them get out of their rut, should they be in one.
Friends and Family – One of the easiest groups of people to help mentor are friends and family members who are looking to open their own business. Since these people have known you for years, they will appreciate your insight into what it took to get your business off the ground, along with common pitfalls to avoid.
These mentorships will not only benefit the business you take under your wing, they also will help you reinforce strong business practices for your own business. As both businesses evolve, your former mentees may become strong business partners or a sounding board for future business ideas. or assistance if your company should ever be in need.
Have you ever mentored another business? If so we’d love to hear your experience in the comments below.
Image courtesy of jscreationzs via www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Jason is the Senior Communications Manager at Vistaprint, where he and his team are deeply involved with small businesses and lead the efforts in mining micro business trends, behaviors, and attitudes through various research studies and analysis. A former journalist with more than a decade of experience in the communications field, he has also spent time working for a number of small businesses in New England, giving him a unique perspective of the issues facing them on a daily basis. To reach him directly email email@example.com.