Starting a business is very challenging and risky for most entrepreneurs especially if they are the first generation entrepreneurs in their family. Due to the lack of information and experience, the entrepreneur may make a wrong decision, which can cause great financial losses, and damage the reputation of the business.
Having an experienced mentor can greatly improve the chances of success for a business, and help it grow fast. Hence many business owners and others who wish to have a mentor to guide them in managing the business will ask how do entrepreneurs find mentors. Some of the options available are discussed below.
For centuries networking has been the most effective ways for a business to find new customers and business partners. Hence in most cities, the local business associations and service providers are arranging networking events where startups owners can interact with professionals, managers and other business owners.
Many of the business owners would like to mentor startups since it is mentally stimulating, allowing them to understand and help a new business, share their knowledge, and ensure that they do not repeat business related mistakes. So attending networking events can help in finding a suitable mentor.
Most reputed schools and colleges have a large alumni association, many of whom are successful business owners or professionals. These successful individuals have been helped in their own career by mentors and they would like to help the younger generation succeed, by mentoring them.
So the colleges often maintain a database of their alumni who wish to become mentors. Startups and other entrepreneurs who require mentors can contact the college alumni association for assistance in finding mentors, specializing in their field of interest or having other relevant experience.
Local trade or business associations
Almost every city or town has a business association, with most reputed businesses members of the association. The business association usually realizes that startup and new business owners will find it easier to be successful if they get advice and guidance from mentors.
Hence the experienced business owners interested in becoming mentors can inform the business association about the service they offer. In some cases, the advice is offered free, and in other cases, the mentor may get a stake in the business he is mentoring, especially if he is devoting more time and money.
In some cases, the business owner has a very busy schedule and does not have the time to attend the networking event. In other cases, the startup is selling a product or service in a specific niche, and there are no experienced mentors in the field in the area. So in this case, the startup owner should consider using a paid service which will help in finding a suitable mentor.
The mentor may also charge a fee for his services since he is using his experience and spending time, though the increase in profit due to the right advice will compensate for the fees being paid. In other cases, the mentor may be given sweat equity in the startup.