Are you a slave to your business? Many business owners and managers find their original ideas and motivations for going into business have vanished, and they have just created another job for themselves.
Running a business is no doubt challenging. And to be successful, you need to improve or borrow a set of skillsets, stay motivated when the going gets tough, and develop critical thinking skills when making solid business decisions.
Remember, all the best athletes in this world have one thing in common – they all have a mentor, teacher, advisor, or coach to push them to achieve their very best. And just as mentoring, coaching, and advisory are essential to achieving a great sporting career, it has become crucial for running a successful business.
For convenience, we will use the word business mentor to encompass the meaning of business advisor, business consultant, and business coach.
The right business mentors can bring a fresh and unbiased perspective to improving and growing your company. They will guide, advise, motivate, reassure, and push both you and your employees, helping your business perform at the optimum level. They can also help you and your company: –
- Increase the value of your business.
- Prepare your business ready for sale
- Identify strategic direction
- Increase your sales/profitability
- Improve employee productivity
- Target new business opportunities
- Achieve your goals
- Give you more time to do the things
Overall, the right business mentor is more than just giving advice.
More importantly, a business mentoring relationship has the word ‘business development’ written all over it, which is why you should investigate finding a business mentor sooner rather than later. They will support you, teach you, guide you and help you grow your business, as they are highly experienced professionals that can train you to become the business owner you dream of being.
But how do you find such a person, and what does it take to get them on your side?
This section will explore 6 Tips to find a FREE business mentor and 3 ways to find a great business mentor.
6 TIPS TO FIND A BUSINESS MENTOR WHO WILL DO IT FOR FREE.
1. Government Business Mentorship
Depending on your government initiative and local councils, they may offer a free program to help business owners with their challenges. As with anything free, e.g., free health service, free vaccination, free surgery provided at the public hospital, you need patience and the ability to wait in line: expect a waiting time and non-priority support as every matter are urgent in this line of support.
If there is no sense of urgency to your needs and requirements, you may wait patiently for a business mentor to get in touch with you, and opting for the government free business mentorship service could be your ideal way to go.
2. Event Hopping
Get yourself out there in relevant places to meet your ideal business mentor. If you want to find a business mentor who’s happy to give you free advice consistently, you can try attending business events. You might need to attend business fairs, functions, and industry-specific seminars or attend professional conferences and workshops to find the “one” mentor that resonates with you. And if there’s a roundtable discussion that aligns with your brand, you can’t afford to miss it.
The very essence of these events is to connect with people to find a business mentor that resonates with you. And if you’ve got a website or business card, make sure you pass it around to as many people as possible.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as finding the “one”. Business mentors who don’t charge for their time may not be the perfect role models in other areas of their life: they might be very successful entrepreneurs in their core area, but they might be heavy smokers or heavy drinkers. On the other hand, they may be socially awkward or only interested in helping attractive individuals.
Even if you think you’ve found ‘the one’, you’ve got to keep meeting more people. Pushing your agenda of mentorship would be a huge mistake. You want the relationship to blossom naturally, so keep it as laid-back as you can before broaching the subject of business mentorship.
As you can see from this strategy, it takes time, patience, and the business mentor must choose you as their young padawan.
3. Connect on the Net
Join social media business groups with social networks designed specifically for professionals and small business owners. There are often a handful of business mentors in that group who will give you a free tip or two. They often contribute their 5 cents on members’ questions. They are very approachable and known by many as the few willing to take on this charitable duty to help other businesses grow.
You can easily find these communities and groups with the same business interests as you on most social media sites: go to Facebook or Google, type “business group”, and you will be shown with relevant business groups in your local area, if not international.
Once you join those business groups, start posting questions and challenges on the chat/ forum, and you will find members eager to give you their responses.
And if you can find the right business mentor in these groups, it’s a good idea not to come out all guns blazing by asking if they can mentor you for free. The important thing here is to build the bond first, which takes time. Remember, if you want them to give you their time, you need patience, and it will be at their convenience.
So lay the proper foundation, interact, and make it apparent just how absorbed you are in their advice and commentary. Be proactive and take charge of the chat if you can and clarify what you hope to gain from the relationship in a private message by being transparent about what exactly it is that you need. Pay close attention to what your potential business mentor has to say before making any comments and commitments.
You might be asking, does such business mentors exist in these groups? Yes, in some countries, and no, in other continents. Someone who has the free time and consistency to offer free business mentorship to you and to the group is either financially retired or has a heart of gold.
4. Head for the Business Hubs
Business hubs are where the businesspeople hang out. After identifying events you can attend and online communities you can join, start thinking about hives of business activities in your area. Take advantage of business network international (BNI) or co-working spaces. You’re likely to find people that know a lot about business there. At the very least, you’ll come across people with the same mindset that you have.
5. Airport and hotel lounges
Airport and hotel lounges are weird places to find FREE business mentors. Still, they can be an excellent place for the movers and shakers to hang around as the atmosphere in these places is relaxed, so all you must do is get to know the people you’ll be meeting but strike a conversation first and make sure you build rapport before you ask them for help.
And if airport and hotel lounges are not your cups of tea, then stick with business organizations that provide guidance to small businesses and offer marketing support in other ways. Perhaps, this could be the perfect place to find a business mentor because it’s a place of business education.
6. Business Training and Educational Programs.
Speaking of education, there’s a good chance you might find what you’re looking for at the nearest business school. After all, there’ll be a bunch of bright business minds for you to pick.
However, you probably need to bring some value to the table if you want the help of a business mentor who doesn’t charge a fee for their time at these business hubs. The relationship has to be mutually beneficial.
Just so we’re Clear
If you want to find a free business mentor to guide, advice, and coach you, it doesn’t help to show up just once to one event or visit a location once. Similarly, it won’t do you good if you log into social media once in a while. You need to show that you’re committed to connect, which means you can’t have one foot out and one foot in. Building a relationship may not happen overnight; that’s why you’ve got to work towards familiarity. Remember, nobody will mentor you if you seem unreliable or untrustworthy, so a strong track record is necessary.
As mentioned above, free business Mentorship isn’t a one-way street. Take a moment to ask yourself what value you’re adding to this person’s life. You need to bring something to the table, so they have a good reason to help you. Showing just how grateful you are will work wonders in making them go the extra mile for you. If at first, they refuse, don’t panic; give them space. There’s a chance they’ll change their mind or refer you to someone that can actually help you. Remember, this isn’t a race; it’s a journey.
Now, if you find the above recommendations extremely time-consuming, wrong use of time, and arduously painful, then I suggest you engage a PAID business mentor.
HERE ARE 3 TIPS FIND AN EXCELLENT BUSINESS MENTOR
Those who billed for their time are in the business of helping other business owners to grow, accelerate, and make more money.
Time is precious to them, and great business mentors are often busy helping business owners cross over the sea of challenges. The three tips are as follows: –
1. Type these keywords on Google
- Business Consultants near me
- Business advisory
- business coaches
And click on the Ads or search results that pop up in your local area.
Once Google has registered your keywords, you will start seeing relevant Ads on your browsing pages, Facebook Ads, and other social media platforms.
Check out their service, offers, and pricing, or attend their free training to get a feel for their service.
A business mentor often provides two types of services: one and one advisory service and group (mastermind) business program. The price is dearer for 1-on-1 help compared to group training programs.
2. Compare experience, qualifications, and prices you need.
In the realm of business mentorship, no doubt there are many out there like fishes in the sea, with each claiming to be business advisors, business coaches, business consultants, and business mentors.
It is challenging to understand who is qualified: some business mentors are business owners themselves and have been running various businesses in the past and present for several years. And some business mentors came to the industry straight out of the corporate environment and hadn’t run businesses before.
We cannot suggest which type of business mentors are preferable for your needs, as that question is dependent on what you seek in a business mentor: price/ fee, relevant qualifications, past experiences, and look. Therefore, we suggest the next step.
3. Write a list of what you need from a business mentor.
To find the right business mentor for you, you need to start writing out your ideal list to attain clarity and not be distracted by the loudest marketing noise. Like finding the perfect partner or creating your ideal lifestyle, it starts with a list.
If you need help with coming up with a list, check out this article—5 Qualities of a Great business Advisor.
Once you have a list, you now have clarity and direction to find the right business mentor for you and your business.
If you want free business mentorship, expect to bring value to the table or put in the hours to wait patiently with no expectation for the time you invested in fostering the connection.
But suppose your business is experiencing significant challenges, and you need urgent strategies and solutions to fix them. In that case, you need to engage a professional business mentor (advisor, consultant, coach) with the right qualifications, business experience and expertise to help you grow your business.
Read this article to help you crystalize what to look for in a business mentor. 5 Qualities of a Great Business Advisor.