As an aspiring or current small business owner, you’ve most likely come to realize that you don’t (and can’t) know everything. The potential roadblocks or issues you encounter as a business owner may be brand new to you, but others have already faced and overcome similar challenges.
That’s where mentorship comes into play. A business mentor can help offer advice and guidance tailored to your specific business situations. The can celebrate your successes, support you through difficult times, and offer the wisdom of their past experiences.
Whether you’re looking to jumpstart or expand your small business, finding a mentor is an important step toward business and personal success.
Support and Motivation
Not every interaction with a mentor will be about solving a tough business problem, and that’s a good thing. As a business owner, it can be difficult to run the show and have enough mental energy at the end of the day. Mentorship is almost like business owner therapy. It gives you dedicated time to work on the business and work on yourself.
“Business ownership can be lonely and isolating,” says Jenn Lisak-Golding, owner of Sapphire Strategy. “It’s good to have a sounding board to talk through ideas in a candid and transparent way.”
How to Find a Small Business Mentor
If you’re not sure where to start, it can be helpful to attend industry-related events and networking meetings. You’ll be able to connect with like-minded individuals, ask questions, and gain a community. That doesn’t mean that you should dismiss general small business leadership events. Even if another business owner isn’t in your specific field, most likely, you will find certain struggles and successes in common.
One thing to note when looking for a mentor: begin developing a relationship with them slowly. If you dive right into asking a fellow business owner or leader to be your mentor, it could seem overwhelming to them. The label “mentor” could imply the need for a large time commitment. And as a business owner yourself, you can imagine how little downtime they have.
That doesn’t mean you should never ask someone to be your mentor outright. After building a solid relationship foundation, you can choose to shift the conversation toward the topic.
As you’re looking for a business mentor, check out some of these helpful resources to jumpstart your journey.
- SCORE provides mentoring services that are free, regardless of the number of times you visit a mentor.
- Veterans Business Outreach Centers provide entrepreneurial development services to eligible veterans.
- Small Business Development Centers provide free counseling and low-cost training to help small business owners start and grow their businesses.
- Women’s Business Centers give free and low-cost counseling and training to women entrepreneurs.
If you’d like to start or expand your Indianapolis-area business, the Build Fund, operated by Renew Indianapolis, may be able to connect you to flexible, affordable, and responsible funding options for your business. Start the process now!