Starting a small business is extremely challenging and can be a very lonely endeavor without a network of supporters in place.
It should come as no surprise that many small businesses fail. In fact, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates that just half of small businesses survive more than 5 years.
With the likelihood of failure so high, what is the best move that a new small business owner can make?
The answer is simple — find small business advisors that can provide valuable insight, strategy, and mentoring.
Mentoring can be very fruitful and it will certainly help in the pursuit of a successful small business startup. Owners that utilize a mentor are twice as likely to survive the first 5 years of business as an owner that elects to go it alone.
Read on to learn 5 benefits of mentoring provided by small business advisors.
1) Lessons Learned from Small Business Advisors
The best reason to enlist the help of small business coaching services is to learn from others’ mistakes. Many mistakes in business are avoidable with the proper awareness and planning.
Small business mentors can forewarn new owners of likely obstacles and how to overcome them. An advisor may identify a weakness in the business model, allowing for correction before it hurts the bottom line.
2) Develop a Business Network
The age of social media has also put a spotlight on the importance of networking. There are many reasons why LinkedIn is such a popular tool amongst working professionals.
Enlisting the support of a mentor may lead to access to a new business network and all of its connections. As a result, this will increase the new owner’s profile and hopefully lead to business opportunities.
Ultimately, it is a lot easier to be introduced to new connections through a respected third party.
3) Get an Outsider’s Opinion
Far too often, business owners are susceptible to tunnel vision and lose the ability to objectively evaluate their business. This is where a good mentor comes in handy.
For instance, envision a scenario in which the startup business receives some unfavorable reviews online. The new owner brushes off the criticism as incorrect and simply chooses to ignore it.
However, the small business advisor emphasizes the importance of an online reputation in today’s business world. The advisor may encourage the owner to rectify, or at least address, these issues to minimize the damage of a negative review.
A good mentor may help prevent an echo chamber from taking root at the new business.
4) There is Little Risk to Utilizing a Business Mentor
Most mentors are volunteers and their services are free of charge. There are non-profit associations that facilitate relationships between small business owners and volunteer mentors.
This means there is little risk to the business and it will not negatively affect the bottom line in any way. Essentially, the business will receive valuable, expert-level advice at zero expense.
5) Increase Revenue
The many benefits of having a mentor can ultimately lead to higher revenues.
A 2012 study concluded that businesses that enlisted a mentor saw revenues increase by 106%. During the same time period, businesses that did not utilize a mentor only observed 16% increase in revenue.
Clearly, there are many benefits to selecting and maintaining a mentor. Use a mentor to learn from others’ mistakes and to build a more robust business network.
Most importantly, enlist a mentor to increase revenue. Check out the rest of our business resources and learn other ways to grow the business.