23/12/2021 0 Comments
If you are a startup founder, or tech entrepreneur, do you have a mentor?
Is it REALLY true that startups and tech entrepreneurs with mentors are in a different league?
This article will explore 9 reasons why this is the case!
#1 The Statistics
Extensive research has been carried out and the jury has delivered the verdict - entrepreneurs with mentors do better.
We’ve included a few pieces of research here:
“Mentored startups grow 3.5x faster and raise 7x more money… The experience and connections of the mentor provide entrepreneurs with a roadmap with a higher probability of success.”
“70 percent of small business owners that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, double the rate of those who do not receive mentoring.”
Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative
#2 Fresh Perspective
A mentor gives you an outside perspective. A startup is a lot like a puzzle, and as the founder, you are the one who has to put all of the pieces together. This can be difficult when you’re too close to the puzzle pieces to see the bigger picture. It's also more complicated if you've never put together a "business puzzle" before!
Having a mentor gives you an objective point of view from an experienced person who is likely to have seen similar scenarios play out and can offer you unique insights and raise points that you might not have considered. They can help you identify your blind spots and make better decisions based on other people’s experience and knowledge.
#3 Support And Guidance
A mentor provides guidance and support at times when it can become easy to get overwhelmed, anxious, or discouraged.
As an entrepreneur, there will inevitably be times when things don’t go as planned and you hit a rough patch. This is when it’s helpful to have a mentor who can offer support and guidance. They will share their own experiences of how they, or others overcame and navigated their way around similar challenges and give you advice on how you might move forward.
A mentor can provide encouragement when things get tough and offer helpful advice, suggestions and options when you need them most. They will also keep you accountable, which is crucial for success!
#4 Time and Energy Savings
A mentor has been there before and starting and running a business becomes SO much easier when you are not constantly reinventing the wheel at every stage of building your business!
As an entrepreneur, freelancer, or tech startup founder, you will face challenges that your mentor has already faced and overcome, or seen other people experience. This can be extremely helpful, as they can share their wisdom and advice on how to best approach these situations. They may also have a wealth of business tools and resources at their disposal that they can share with you!
This is one of the major reasons why Purposeful Group’s tagline is “Start your business the SMART way!”
Starting your own business from the ground up will be far quicker and easier if you hitch a lift up the mountain by tapping into existing knowledge, instead of walking the whole way up. Those that get a helping hand will reach their destination faster and will be far more efficient in doing so.
#5 Connections And Network
This leads us neatly on to benefit #5. A mentor can be an excellent source of connections. One of the most significant benefits of having a mentor is access to their network of contacts. Your mentor has probably built relationships with other successful entrepreneurs, investors, and business experts over the years and can introduce you to them. This can be extremely valuable for growing your new business.
The people you know can make a BIG difference in how fast you are able to move forward. Things will be easier for you when you receive help at the times when you need it most!
#6 Knowing what to say (and who you should say it to)
A mentor can help you raise money. One of the biggest challenges for technology startups is raising money. Still, a good mentor can help make this process much more manageable. They will know who to talk to and what to say to get the funding you need. They can also introduce you to potential investors and provide guidance on negotiating deals and creating a credible pitch that will not “turn off” investors, or raise red flags that will put you in the “no thank you” pile.
A mentor can also give you credibility. Having a mentor lends credibility to your startup and shows potential investors that you are serious about your business. It also demonstrates that you have taken the time to invest in yourself and are committed to learning and growing as an entrepreneur. This can be key when trying to attract top talent to your company.
Investors want to know that you have a support system because building a successful business is hard. Someone with no help or guidance and no connections may be a less attractive prospect for some investors unless they have the time to mentor you themselves.
#8 Growth & Expansion Advice
A mentor can help you expand your business. A mentor may have experience in running a successful business and will be able to share their knowledge with you. In addition, they can provide advice on things like marketing, sales, and operations and help you grow your digital business into a thriving company.
#9 Accountability, and someone to “Bounce” Ideas Off
A mentor can act as a sounding board. When you’re starting a company, it’s important to have someone to talk to and get feedback from. A word of advice at the right moment can be critical and we see entrepreneurs all the time that have gone off track because there was no-one around to give them the right words of advice at the right time.
There is absolutely no substitute for honest input which helps you make better decisions for your business.
Accountability is critical in helping you keep up the pace with the things you need to do. Simply knowing that you will be speaking to someone to update them on what you've achieved since your last conversation is great for maintaining focus and staying on track, and on target!
Many entrepreneurs find this invaluable as without this resource, it can be easy to get lost in the weeds, or to feel adrift without the structure that regular accountability can bring.
What should you expect from a "good" mentor?
A good mentor will also not just "tell you what to do", but will collaborate with you and help you gain clarity around what your priorities should be, and will work with you to solve problems, and to figure out the best way(s) to execute on the actions that you need to take, so you are clear and confident about exactly how to move ideas and plans forward.
We are often told that this level of very practical help is what differentiates Purposeful Group from mentors who provide less detailed guidance.
Ideally your mentor will have mentored a lot of other businesses at a professional level. This will give you confidence about their experience and that they have a breadth of experience that will add additional value to the advice that they give you. Naturally, experience within your sector, or industry could be an added bonus.
Finally, a mentor should genuinely care and want you to win!
You should feel encouraged, and the mentor should feel like an extension of your company or team - someone in your corner to help you grow from strength to strength who will celebrate your wins, and help you get back on your feet when things don't go according to plan.
Purposeful Group was formed by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs and we understand exactly what it's like trying to start a business from scratch! Now we’re motivated to help others to get started the smart way.
We've supported thousands of entrepreneurs and delivered professional business mentoring funded by local and central government, including DCMS and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.
Andrew Paradise writing for Forbes says it very well: “You can ignore the rules and tear up blueprints all you want, and many disruptors have become legendary for doing just that. However, even disruptors need a compass to traverse unexpected peaks and valleys.”
A good mentor is a valuable resource, and is one of the best things an entrepreneur can have to take their business to the next level. If you don’t have a mentor, now is the time to find one!
Contact us to find out more about our mentoring services.
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