Finding a business startup mentor
Inexperience is the major factor affecting small businesses, and the only way you can quickly overcome this challenge is by engaging in a mentorship or advisor program. This way, you are able to learn from other people’s experiences.
Finding a business startup mentor is always available for small business owners who are interested and willing to learn how to overcome this problem.
Now that we have identified that a business startup mentor is the solution to the unfavorable business factor called inexperience, finding mentors is now what we have to discuss.
Below are some places that are highly recommendable to find a business startup mentor;
Business networking events
Networking events are designed for businesspeople to meet for business relationships. At business networking events, business opportunities and ideas are discussed, and potential partners or investors are sought. Here, you get the opportunity to meet experienced business managers who can mentor you until you become a business professional. This one of the top ways to find a business startup mentor.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
Small Business Development Centers are organizations that provide resources, expertise, support, and advice to small business owners. With the services offered here, you should be able to get a mentor or advisor. Try to contact your nearest small business development center for inquiries and/or information.
Entrepreneurial Hot Spots
Co-working spaces, incubators, or The Sandbox are great for meeting fellow entrepreneurs that might have open work areas fostering focused working but also the possibility to meet other people within your niche. Some of these, like Impact Hub, also have mentors on site that can assist with developing your startup or small business. You can also attend Meetup groups such as the Santa Barbara Entrepreneur for weekly discussion and brainstorming for ideas with other creatives. Startup SB is another resource focusing on building a strong community and meeting other entrepreneurs. Be on the look out for these type of organizations as they are a fantastically valuable resource not only for development assistance but also entrepreneurial energy. In tandem with business networking events you certainly are likely to find a business startup mentor.
Score is an organization aimed at supporting business owners. There are numerous chapters, and you can request a free face-to-face meeting with an advisor or mentor to discuss your business idea. You should endeavor to find the closest chapter to you.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
These three social media channels are invaluable for connecting with other people within your industry. Search for potential mentors drilled down by category, niche or demographics. One piece of advice here is that you definitely want to take a soft approach here and introduce yourself casually while trying to get to know potential candidates before asking them to be your mentor. Act eager and ask the right questions.
Conferences are another place where you can meet or find a business startup mentor. Here, you will definitely find people who are more experienced than you. This way, you can reach out to them to seek their advice and mentorship support.
Seminars and workshops
Apart from conferences; seminars, trainings, and workshops are other places where you can find a business startup mentor. The guest speakers and facilitators are more experienced than you. You can contact them for your business mentorship and support.
In case you do not know, your indirect competitors or business owners in another line of business may be able to mentor you properly, as long as they have been in business long before you. They must have also suffered inexperience when they just started business. So, what worked for them will very likely work for you. And since your direct competitors may be unwilling to mentor you, your indirect competitors will suffice.
Using a targeted approach
If you really want to connect directly with a business startup mentor and you are willing to try a matchmaking service, you should definitely take a look at Everwise. One of it’s amazing features is that it connects you with the ideal business startup mentor from thousands of professionals around the nation using a specific data-driven method. One of the drawback to finding a business mentor using this service is that you may not find a business startup mentor that lives locally for in person sessions.
Friends and family
Your friends and family can also play an important role in finding a business startup mentor for your business. Since you already have a small business, you can talk to them. They should have friends who have been in business before you. At least, one of them should be able to provide you with the mentorship support you require.
Another thing you can do is apply directly to some of the accelerators such as Techstars or Y Combinator. If you are successful with these guys you will most likely get some startup capital to take you to the next level in addition to securing a world class business startup metor. Keep in mind competition is fierce so you will need to make sure your submission is polished and you pitch is solid.
Honestly, just about anywhere
Your best bet here is really to simply talk to anyone, strangers even, who you think might be a possible business startup mentor for you. Fortune favors the bold, so if you are not aggressively seeking a mentor, then your competition will be. Look where you think would be the best places to find a mentor. Always remember this is a process and to remain patient and all be open to knew potential contacts. All it takes is one to help your business take off.
Finally, it is advised that once you are in a mentorship, you should be humble, respectful, and patient with your mentor, so that you can learn a lot, and equally acquire ample business management skills and knowledge. To find a business startup mentor try your local resources first such as SBE, Score, Impact Hub, Scheinfeld and WEV. Each of these something different and unique to offer which will hopefully get your business on its way to success.